J. B. Hunt – Climate Change (2020)
Whereas: In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change advised that net carbon emissions must fall 45 percent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 to limit warming below 1.5°C thereby preventing the worst consequences of climate change.
The Fourth National Climate Assessment (2018) reports that with continued growth in emissions, “annual losses in some U.S. economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by 2100.”
Climate change impacts present systemic portfolio risks to investors. A warming climate is associated with supply chain dislocations, reduced resource availability, lost productivity, commodity price volatility, infrastructure damage, and an increase in severe weather systems that disrupt operations, among others.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration identifies the transportation sector as the largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions and its emissions are steadily increasing.
While J.B. Hunt has adopted various ad-hoc initiatives to reduce fuel consumption, the Company states these initiatives are not part of an overarching strategy, it does not have a low-carbon transition plan, and it does not use climate-related scenario analysis to inform its business strategy.
Ramping up the scale, pace, and rigor of its climate-related initiatives may help unlock important opportunities for growth as major business customers are increasingly demanding environmental accountability from suppliers. It may also help prepare the Company for future carbon-related regulations.
J.B. Hunt peers Republic Services, Waste Management, and CSX Corporation are among the over 690 Companies intending to reduce their emissions in line with the aims of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement – the landmark global agreement to limit global temperature increases to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, ideally striving for 1.5°C. Amazon.com, Inc. plans to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030 as part of its ambition to achieve the Paris goals ten years early.
Given the impact of climate change on the economy, the environment, and human systems, and the short amount of time in which to address it, proponents believe J.B. Hunt has a clear responsibility to its investors and other stakeholders to account for whether, and how, it plans to reduce its ongoing climate contributions.
Resolved: Shareholders request J.B. Hunt Transport Services issue a report, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, describing if, and how, it plans to reduce its total contribution to climate change and align its operations with the Paris Agreement’s goal of maintaining global temperature increases well below 2 degrees Celsius.
Supporting Statement: In the report shareholders seek information, among other issues at board and management discretion, on the relative benefits and drawbacks of integrating the following actions:
• Developing a low-carbon transition plan;
• Adopting short- and long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for the Company’s full carbon footprint aligned with the Paris Agreement;
• Increasing the scale, pace, and rigor of existing initiatives aimed at reducing the carbon intensity of J.B. Hunt’s services and operations;
• Investing in renewable energy resources.