J. B. Hunt – Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2019)
Outcome: Omitted by SEC
Resolved: Shareholders request J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT) adopt company-wide, quantitative targets to reduce total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, taking into account the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, and issue a report, prepared at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, discussing its plans and progress towards achieving these targets.
Supporting Statement: Proponents recommend JBHT consider the methods outlined by the Science Based Targets Initiative (sciencebasedtargets.org) to ensure its emissions reductions targets are consistent with the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Whereas: The Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 that was agreed to by 195 countries established a target to limit global temperature increases to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, ideally striving for 1.5°C. Achieving this limited warming scenario will require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions for many sectors, including transportation, according to a 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows the transportation sector recently surpassed the electricity generation sector as the largest producer of GHG emissions. Transportation is also the only major U.S. sector with increasing emissions – the residential, commercial, industrial, and electric power sectors have been reducing emissions for several years.
Aware of the need to increase the scale and pace of action on climate change, nearly 1,200 global companies have stated intentions to set “science-based” emissions reduction targets to ensure they are doing their part to fulfill the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement. This includes Expeditor’s International, Republic Services, Waste Management and Norfolk Southern, companies JBHT identifies as peers. In addition, roughly half of JBHT’s Fortune 500 peers have set quantitative GHG emissions reduction targets.
JBHT has stated it takes climate change seriously. It has adopted various initiatives to reduce fuel consumption and its Inter-Modal operations provide emissions reductions for its clients. However, the Company has not set company-wide, quantitative targets, nor has it aligned its efforts with climate science.
Proponents believe adopting such targets would help JBHT align new and existing initiatives, lower costs, increase competitiveness, mitigate the risks of severe weather events, and prepare for changing regulations. Setting company-wide, quantitative targets would also enable shareholders to better evaluate the rigor of JBHT’s emissions management strategies.
Setting science-based GHG emissions reduction targets may help unlock important opportunities for growth as business customers are increasingly demanding environmental accountability from suppliers. For example, Walmart, one of JBHT’s major customers, is aiming to drastically reduce its supply chain emissions by encouraging its suppliers to set their own ambitious, science-based emissions reduction targets.
As a sign of growing investor interest, one of the recommendations of The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, whose members include JPMorgan Chase, UBS Asset Management, Generation Investment Management, and BlackRock, is: “Describe the targets used by the organization to manage climate-related risks and opportunities and performance against these targets.”