C.R. Bard Sustainability Report GHG 2011
|Company||CR Bard Inc.|
|Filer||Walden Asset Management|
|Subject(s)||Climate Change; Sustainability Reporting|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Sustainability report including greenhouse gas emissions|
We believe sustainability reporting on environmental, social and governance (ESG) business practices makes a company more responsive to the global business environment, one with finite natural resources, shifting legislation, and changing public expectations of corporate behavior.
The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions December 2008 report defines sustainability in healthcare as “The continual improvement of business operations to ensure long-term resource availability through environmental, socially sensitive, and transparent performance as it relates to health consumers, business partners, and the community.”
The report argues: Sustainability efforts are especially important in health care organizations because they are implicit in the overarching credo of the health profession – to do no harm. Furthermore, they are “a critical business issue that is quickly becoming a requirement.” Health care companies have yet to fully leverage their influence over providers, suppliers and consumers in their value chain, from influencing manufacturing practices and reducing emissions from distribution channels to enabling the safe collection and disposal of products, the report states.
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), representing 475 institutional investors with $55 trillion in assets, has for years requested greater disclosure from companies on their climate change management programs. The 2009 response rate for the S&P and Global 500 was 66 and 82%, respectively.
Industry peers like Baxter International and Medtronic have identified ESG factors relevant to their business and addressed them strategically through sustainability programs and reports.
In contrast, C.R. Bard does not report in any detail on its sustainability efforts and declined to participate in the CDP 2009. We believe that C.R. Bard has a positive story to tell and ask the company to make clear to shareholders that it is taking the necessary steps to identify, understand, monitor, and manage ESG factors that are material to its long term business.
Shareholders request that the Board of Directors issue a sustainability report describing the company’s ESG performance and goals, including greenhouse gas emissions data and management plans to reduce them, prepared at reasonable cost, and omitting proprietary information, available to shareholders by October 1, 2010.
The report should include a company-wide review of company policies, practices, and metrics related to ESG performance along with clear plans for greenhouse gas emissions management.
We encourage C.R. Bard to use the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (G3) to prepare the report and to use the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) as a means to specifically report on its greenhouse gas emissions and reduction efforts. The GRI (www.globalreporting.org) is an international organization developed with representatives from the business, environmental, human rights and labor communities. The G3 provide guidance on report content, addressing, among other issues, direct economic impacts, environmental performance, international labor standards and practices, human rights policies and product responsibility. The Guidelines provide a flexible reporting system that allows companies to report incrementally over time.