Minerals Technologies – Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction (2018)
Outcome: Withdrawn after Minerals Technologies formalized a new process, with executive-level oversight, to review its most significant environmental impacts and to set reduction targets accordingly. Trillium will continue dialogue with Minerals Technologies to ensure climate change remains a high priority for the Company.
Resolved: Shareholders request Minerals Technologies, Inc. (MTI) adopt time-bound, quantitative, company-wide, science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, and report annually, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, on its plans and progress towards achieving these targets.
Supporting Statement: The Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, agreed to by 195 countries, established a target to limit global temperature increases to 2-degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To meet the 2-degree goal and mitigate the worst effects of climate change, climate scientists estimate it is necessary to reduce global emissions 55 percent by 2050 (relative to 2010 levels), entailing a U.S. reduction target of 80 percent.
Setting GHG reduction targets has become a common practice among U.S. and global businesses. Over 300 global businesses have committed to set science-based emissions reduction targets consistent with the 2-degree goal. We encourage MTI to work with the Science-Based Targets Initiative, which provides third-party verification, to set science-based goals.
In addition over half of the S&P 500 and many materials companies have set company-specific GHG emissions reduction targets. Examples include:
H.B. Fuller Company – To reduce GHG emissions intensity 20% between 2014 and 2025.
Croda Corporation – To generate 27% of energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2020.
Cabot Corporation – To reduce GHG intensity 20% from 2005 to 2025.
PPG Industries – To reduce GHG intensity 25% by 2020 compared to 2012.
MTI has not set GHG reduction targets, which is of particular concern as the company’s emissions have remained constant or even increased over the past several years.
Investors have shown keen interest in corporate ambition to reduce emissions. The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, whose members include JPMorgan Chase, UBS Asset Management, Generation Investment Management, and BlackRock, recently published recommendations for all companies, including: “Describe the targets used by the organization to manage climate-related risks and opportunities and performance against these targets.”
Companies that set targets often produce benefits to their bottom-line. In 2013, Carbon Disclosure Project, McKinsey & Company, and World Wildlife Fund found that four out of five companies in the S&P 500 earned a higher return on investments aimed at reducing carbon emissions than other capital investments. This study also found energy efficiency improvements earned an average return on investment of 196%, with an average payback period between two and three years.
Adopting a science-based GHG emissions reduction target would enable shareholders to better evaluate emissions performance trends and the effectiveness of MTI’s strategies to reduce emissions. Proponents believe that setting GHG emissions reduction targets would also enable MTI to strategically align new and existing initiatives to reduce emissions, spur innovation in products and technologies, lower costs, reduce risk exposure, increase competitiveness, and enhance shareholder value.