Ryland Group GHG Reduction Goals 2011
|Filer||The Nathan Cummings Foundation|
|Subject(s)||Climate Change; Greenhouse Gas Emissions|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals|
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that warming of the climate system is unequivocal and that human activity is the main cause. Debate surrounding climate change now focuses not on whether a problem exists but rather on the best means for abatement and adaptation.
The rise in average global temperatures resulting from climate change is expected to have significant adverse impacts. According to Business Week, many scientists agree that the warmer temperatures resulting from climate change are causing more powerful storms and perhaps intensifying extreme weather events including droughts and wild fires. Thermal expansion and melting ice sheets are expected to lead to rising sea levels, with significant implications for coastal communities. Rising temperatures will also impact fresh water supplies. California’s Department of Water Resources, for instance, has stated that, “Adapting California’s water management systems to climate change presents one of the most significant challenges for the 21st century.”
Climate change also has important economic implications. The Stern Review, often cited as the most comprehensive overview of the economics of climate change, estimated that the cumulative economic impacts of climate change could be equivalent to a loss of up to 20% of average world-wide consumption if action is not taken quickly. A more general pronouncement in the IPCC’s report, Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, observed that “Taken as a whole, the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time.”
According to the Washington Post, “Buildings are the largest source of the greenhouse-gas emissions that are causing global warming, and in the United States, half of building-related emissions are from houses.” The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the residential end-use sector accounted for 21% of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion in 2008.
With residential end-use accounting for such a high proportion of GHG emissions stemming from fossil fuel combustion, a number of recent studies have focused on energy efficiency improvements in residential dwellings as a potential source of emission reductions. One study in The McKinsey Quarterly found that nearly a quarter of cost-effective GHG abatement potential involves efficiency-enhancing measures geared at reducing demand in the buildings and transportation sectors. A second McKinsey study concluded that the residential sector represents the single-largest opportunity to raise energy productivity, noting that, “The adoption of available technologies (including high-efficiency building shells, compact fluorescent lighting, and high-efficiency water heating) would cut ... end-use demand for energy by 32 QBTUs in 2020, equivalent to 5 percent of global end-user demand in that year.”
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that the Board of Directors adopt quantitative goals, based on available technologies, for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from the Company’s products and operations and report to shareholders by December 31, 2011, on its plans to achieve these goals. Such a report will omit proprietary information and be prepared at reasonable cost.”