International

Companies respond as shareholders call for climate action

May 26, 2022

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The climate crisis continues to have devastating impacts on our global community, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration citing 2021 as the sixth-warmest year on record. As companies affect the climate crisis through their operations, supply chain and lobbying, investors have been advocating for them to take responsibility for their role. 

This shareholder advocacy season, investors continued to press companies to set greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets, filing 215 climate-related resolutions, including 78 on GHG emissions targets or progress reports on existing targets.  

  • With the Chevron board of directors’ support, 98 percent of shareholders voted for Mercy Investment Services’ resolution asking for a report on the reliability of the company’s methane emission disclosures. 
  • A proposal asking for Paris-aligned GHG emissions reductions targets, including for the company’s operational and supply chain targets, at Valero Energy received 47 percent of shareholder votes cast, despite the company’s efforts to thwart the proposal. 
  • Mercy withdrew proposals asking for science-based GHG targets after Lowe’s and Macy’s agreed to set them, including scope 3 (supply chain and product) emissions.

 

In addition to GHG emissions targets, shareholders have requested that companies report on how their direct and trade association climate lobbying activities align with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Companies including ExxonMobil, General Motors and Delta Airlines have reported on the Paris-alignment of their lobbying activities, and many others are in the process of doing so. As a result, Mercy and other investors withdrew most of the 20 climate lobbying proposals filed this proxy season, including at Lockheed Martin, NextEra Energy and American Airlines. Mercy’s proposal that went to a vote at UPS received 33 percent at the company’s annual meeting.

As part of our concern for Earth and care for our common home, Mercy Investment Services will continue to hold companies accountable for their role in the climate crisis through our shareholder advocacy work.