BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. – GHG Goals (2022)

Outcome: Pending

Whereas: In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change evaluated the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement and advised that net carbon emissions must fall 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 in order to limit warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius and prevent the worst consequences of climate change. However, in 2020, the UN reported the world is “way off-track” from achieving these goals. (1)

Exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius presents risks to the global economy and investors: up to 10% of total global economic value is projected to be lost by 2050 under current emissions trajectories.  A warming climate is associated with supply chain disruptions, reduced resource availability, lost production, political instability, reduced worker efficiency, and adverse health impacts that disproportionally affect low-income communities and communities of color. (2)

BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (“BJRI”) does not disclose its carbon footprint, nor does it have greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals of any kind. (3) While other companies are addressing climate-related risks and opportunities, BJRI appears to be falling behind. Peers are tackling important issues like deforestation and food waste, with The Cheesecake Factory working towards zero deforestation from the sourcing of cocoa, coffee, and tea by 2025 as part of its Sustainable Sourcing Policy. (4) Cracker Barrel has announced the implementation of a consolidated food waste tracking system on which it will begin reporting in 2022, (5) which according to one study of return on investment for food waste mitigation could mean up to a 14-fold return. (6) Other peers including Panera, Chipotle, McDonalds, Restaurant Brands International, and Nando’s Chicken Land Limited have demonstrated best practice by committing to set third-party verified GHG goals covering scopes 1-3 aligned with climate science via the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). 

Given the impact of climate change on the economy, the environment, and human systems, proponents believe the BJRI’s board and management have a responsibility to investors and stakeholders to disclose and adopt GHG goals aligned with a 1.5 degree scenario and to outline a clear plan that demonstrates accountability. Independently verified, science-based goals covering scopes 1, 2, and 3 would provide shareholders with objective assurance that BJRI is doing its part to reduce emissions in a comprehensive and timely manner. 

Resolved: Shareholders request that BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. adopt and disclose independently verified short, medium, and long-term science-based greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, inclusive of emissions from its full value chain, in order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner and to attain appropriate emissions reductions prior to 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of maintaining global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Supporting StatementIn assessing targets, we recommend, at management’s discretion:

  • Consideration of approaches used by advisory groups such as the Science Based Targets initiative.
  • Disclosing these targets to investors at least 180 days prior to the next annual meeting.

(1) https://library.wmo.int/doc_num.php?explnum_id=10211

(2) https://www.swissre.com/institute/research/topics-and-risk-dialogues/climate-and-natural-catastrophe-risk/expertise-publication-economics-of-climate-change.html

(3) https://www.bjsrestaurants.com/earth

(4) https://www.thecheesecakefactory.com/corporate-social-responsibility/sustainable-sourcing

(5) https://investor.crackerbarrel.com/static-files/129da9cf-b1e0-4b82-874e-493053b156ea – p.13

(6) https://champions123.org/sites/default/files/2020-08/business-case-for-reducing-food-loss-and-waste.pdf

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