Roper Sustainability Report 2013
|Company||Roper Industries Inc.|
|Filer||Presbyterian Church (USA)|
|Subject(s)||Energy Efficiency (buildings); Sustainability Reporting|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Sustainability report including energy efficiency|
|Status||Withdrawn; Company will address|
WHEREAS: We believe tracking and reporting on environmental, social and governance (ESG) business practices makes a company more responsive to a global business environment which is characterized by finite natural resources, changing legislation, and heightened public expectations for corporate accountability. Reporting also helps companies better integrate and gain value from existing ESG / sustainability efforts, identify gaps and opportunities in products and processes, publicize innovative practices, and recruit and retain employees.
Reporting on sustainability is quickly becoming common practice. 79% of Fortune Global 500 companies produce sustainability reports; more than three out of four of these reports are based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines. In 2010, approximately 20% of U.S. Fortune 500 companies issued reports using the GRI framework, up from only 5% in 2006, according to the Governance and Accountability Institute.
We are concerned that Roper Industries may be falling behind other major companies in disclosure and management of ESG issues. Companies like 3M and General Electric already offer shareholders much of this important information through annual, GRI-based sustainability reports.
Today, comprehensive ESG data on individual companies appears on Bloomberg terminals used by thousands of institutional investors around the world, including signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). PRI launched in 2006 and now has over 900 institutional signatories who collectively manage approximately $25 trillion, and who publicly pledge to “incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes,” and to “ask for standardized reporting on ESG issues (using tools such as the Global Reporting Initiative).”
Furthermore, in January 2010, the SEC issued interpretive guidance clarifying that companies should disclose material risks associated with climate change. The sustainability reporting process can help companies analyze and mitigate these risks.
We believe energy use is one of the most manageable operating costs for many companies. For instance, Johnson & Johnson, has invested $187 million since 2005 in generally low-risk energy efficiency projects reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 129,000 metric tons annually providing an internal annual return on investment of nearly 19%. (http://www.jnj.com/responsibility/ESG/Environment/Climate_Change/Energy_Use_and_Alternative_Energy/).
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that Roper Industries issue a sustainability report describing the company’s ESG performance including a review of opportunities to increase the energy efficiency of operations. The report (prepared at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information) should be published within approximately 12 months of Roper Industries’ 2013 Annual Meeting.
We recommend that the report include a company-wide review of policies, practices and metrics related to ESG performance and a commitment to continuous improvement in reporting. We encourage use of the GRI Guidelines (G3). The GRI, considered the gold standard of ESG reporting, provides a uniform structure helping investors compare ESG performance between companies. The GRI is also a flexible reporting system that will allow Roper Industries to ramp up disclosure at its own pace and to report only on the company’s most relevant and material issues.
Your affirmative vote signals our company that it should embrace sustainability, and report fully on its performance.