BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. – GHG Goals (2022)
Outcome: Successfully withdrawn after company agreed to commit to send a letter of commitment to the Science Based Targets Initiative by December 1, 2023; to publicly disclose 2031 scope 1 and 2 targets in line with 1.5 degrees of warming and calculated using the Science Based Targets Initiative methodology by December 1, 2024; and to submit 1.5 degree aligned targets covering all scopes for verification to the Science Based Targets Initiative by December 1, 2025.
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 disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color. (2)
BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. (“BJ’s”) does not disclose its carbon footprint, nor does it have greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals of any kind. (3) While its peers are addressing climate-related risks and opportunities, BJ’s appears to be falling behind. Peers including Kohl’s, Walmart, Williams-Sonoma, and Target have committed to set third-party verified GHG goals aligned with climate science via the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). Walmart has committed to reduce absolute scopes 1 and 2 GHG emissions 35% by 2025 and 65% by 2030, and will reduce CO2e emissions from upstream and downstream scope 3 sources by one billion metric tons within the same timeframe. Williams-Sonoma has committed to a 50% scope 1 and 2 and 14% scope 3 GHG emissions reduction by 2030. Target has committed to reduce scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions by 30% by 2030, and that 80% of its purchased goods and services suppliers will set science-based scope 1 and 2 targets by 2023.
Given the impact of climate change on the economy, the environment, and human systems, proponents believe the BJ’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 BJ’s is doing its part to reduce emissions in a comprehensive and timely manner.
Resolved: Shareholders request that BJ’s Wholesale Club, 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 Statement: In 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.