PICO Holdings Issue Water Sustainability Report 2012
|Company||PICO Holdings Inc.|
|Subject(s)||Sustainability Reporting; Water Pollution; Water Scarcity|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Sustainability report including water|
|Status||Withdrawn; Company will address|
WHEREAS: We believe tracking and reporting on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors makes a company more responsive to a global business environment characterized by finite natural resources, changing legislation, and heightened public expectations for corporate accountability. Reporting also helps companies better integrate and gain strategic value from existing sustainability efforts, identify gaps and opportunities in products and processes, develop company-wide communications, publicize innovative practices, and receive feedback.
ESG reporting is rapidly becoming common practice. Almost 20% of Fortune 500 companies now report according to the GRI Framework, up from 5% 4 years ago.
The Principles for Responsible Investment, launched in 2006, now has over 900 institutional signatories who collectively manage over $25 trillion, who pledge to “incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes,” and to “seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest,” by doing things such as: “ask[ing] for standardized reporting on ESG issues."
Among the finite natural resources that affect the global business environment, vvater’s role has become increasingly important. At a local and global level, there is increasing awareness that water is a scarce and valuable resource. This realization is subjecting water use to greater regulation, increased commoditization, and conflicting ownership assertions. Likewise, global population growth, agricultural and industrial demands, changing climatic pattems, and point source water pollution are creating water scarce regions around the globe.
Pico Holdings’ 10-K describes some water-related risks including potential variances in physical availability, environmental and legal impediments to water development activities, and potential community opposition to water development. We commend Pico for bringing much needed water to communities in the Southwest through its Vidler subsidiary, but investors today do not have sufficient information to assess how the company evaluates and manages the water risk associated with its development activities.
We believe that increased transparency on ESG issues in general and on water issues in particular will be helpful for interested investors and will increase shareholder value.
We are requesting that the company produce a comprehensive sustainability report including thorough disclosure on water-related risks.
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that Pico Holdings issue a sustainability report describing the company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance including an analysis of material water-related risks and any strategies for mitigating those risks at the company/‘s Vidler subsidiary. The report should be available by May 2013, prepared at reasonable cost, omitting proprietary information.
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: We recommend the report include a company-wide review of policies, practices and metrics related to ESG performance and that Pico Holdings commit to continuous improvement in reporting. We encourage use of the GRI Guidelines (G3). The GRI (www.globalreporting.org) is a globally accepted reporting framework considered the gold standard of reporting. The GR] also provides a flexible reporting system that allows companies to report incrementally over time and to focus on issues most important to the company.