United Parcel Service- 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 degrees Celsius, thereby preventing the worst consequences of climate change.
The Fourth National Climate Assessment report (2018) finds 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 risks to investors. A warming climate is associated with increased supply chain disruptions, reduced resource availability, lost production, commodity price volatility, infrastructure damage, political instability, and reduced worker efficiency, among other factors that can disrupt company operations.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration identifies the transportation sector as the largest producer of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and its emissions are steadily increasing.
While UPS has implemented various initiatives to improve efficiency and reduce emissions, its total emissions have increased nearly thirteen percent since 2015. UPS does not have a goal to reduce absolute emissions from its airline which accounts for nearly 60 percent of UPS’s total emissions. UPS has not stated an intention to align its total carbon footprint with the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement – the landmark effort to limit global temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius, ideally striving for 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
More than 690 leading companies, including UPS’s peer DHL Group, have committed to reduce their emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Amazon plans to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030 as part of its ambition to achieve the Paris goals ten years early.
Ramping up the scale, pace, and rigor of climate-related efforts may help unlock opportunities for growth as major business customers are increasingly demanding environmental accountability from suppliers. It may also help prepare UPS for future carbon-related regulations.
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 UPS has a clear responsibility to its investors and stakeholders to clearly account for whether, and how, it plans to reduce its ongoing climate contributions.
Resolved: Shareholders request UPS 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:
- Adopting overall short-, medium-, and long-term, absolute GHG emissions reduction targets for the Company’s full carbon footprint, including its airline, aligned with the Paris Agreement;
- Increasing the scale, pace, and rigor of initiatives aimed at reducing the carbon intensity of UPS’s services and operations;
- Increasing investments in renewable energy resources.