Amgen – Renewable Energy – 2016
Outcome: Successfully withdrawn following a commitment from the company to include greater disclosure of current and future renewable energy projects in its Environmental Sustainability Report.
Shareholders request Amgen Board of Directors, issue a public report, at reasonable cost and excluding confidential information, by September 2016 analyzing and proposing how the company can increase its renewable energy sourcing and/or production.
Sourcing renewable energy will make our company more responsive to a global business environment characterized by heightened public expectations and volatile energy prices. The transition to a low-carbon economy necessary to prevent the most harmful effects of climate change requires companies dramatically reduce their direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We believe investing in renewable energy reduces the company’s exposure to changing energy prices and will move it closer to achieving its GHG reduction targets.
In order to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, the IPCC estimates U.S. target reduction of 80 percent.
Sustainability practices matter to investors, as effective sustainability management and value creation are strongly linked.
Companies have the opportunity to drive significant change in the demand and consumption of clean energy. There is now a stronger emphasis on the need for companies to diversify their energy sources. Although energy efficiency is crucial for reducing emissions, there is a limit to how far operational efficiencies can carry a company relative to the reductions needed to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. Sourcing renewable energy is essential to achieve the greatest emissions reductions.
Companies are increasingly turning to renewable energy to power their operations. Setting strong greenhouse gas reduction targets has also compelled them to invest in renewable energy. Eric Schmidt of Google recently stated: “Much of corporate America is buying renewable energy in some form or another, not just to be sustainable, because it makes business sense, helping companies diversify their power supply, hedge against fuel risks, and support innovation in an increasingly cost-competitive way.”
We believe renewable energy investment is good for companies and for shareholders. A report by the Carbon Disclosure Project found that four out of five companies earn a higher return on carbon reduction investments than on their overall corporate capital expenditures. While generating savings, investing in renewable energy enhances a company’s role as a corporate citizen and strengthens its license to operate – a proactive response to reputational risk.