Green Century, Amalgamated Bank file shareholder proposal with Amazon seeking disclosure of entire carbon footprint
Andrea Ranger, Shareholder Advocate, email@example.com, 781-349-2813
Mark Morgenstein, Media Relations Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 678-427-1671
Boston, December 15, 2022 – Green Century° and Amalgamated Bank led the filing of a shareholder proposal Thursday pressing Amazon to fully quantify and disclose its scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions. Scope 3 emissions, which include things such as transportation that occur outside of a company’s direct control, can represent an enormous portion of a retailer’s carbon footprint. Last year, Walmart and Target reported on every category of their scope 3 emissions, which comprised 95% and 97% of their total greenhouse gas output, respectively. By contrast, Amazon reported on only a portion of its scope 3 emissions.
For example, in 2021, Amazon only disclosed product-related emissions for its Amazon-branded products such as Kindles, Fire TVs or Whole Foods’ 365 products. However, private-label products represent a mere 1% of its sales. The rest of the products it sells directly or through third party vendors, comprise 39% and 60% of total sales, respectively. Unlike Amazon, Walmart and Target do not parse out emissions from their private-label brands versus products from other manufacturers or products sold on their third-party platforms. It’s likely, therefore, that Amazon is significantly undercounting its total emissions.
“What Amazon is doing — or, should I say, not doing — is not acceptable,” said Green Century Funds President Leslie Samuelrich. “It needs to play by the same set of rules as everyone else and disclose all indirect emissions up and down its value chain. As climate-concerned investors, we believe Amazon has a responsibility to use its vast resources and influence to reduce its burgeoning carbon footprint.”
Emissions grow but Amazon’s greenhouse gas emissions disclosures are still lacking
In 2019, Amazon launched an ambitious initiative called the Climate Pledge, inviting other companies to commit to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 — 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement’s target year of 2050. Since that time, Amazon’s sales have nearly doubled, in large part due to pandemic-fueled at-home purchasing; consequently, Amazon’s greenhouse gas emissions — at least the ones it discloses — have risen by nearly 40% in the same time period.
“Walmart and Target are doing the math for all the brands they sell – from bottles of Tide to Samsung TVs. They’re adding up all the emissions that go into making the bottle, the laundry detergent, the energy used by the washing machine, and they’re counting the emissions that go into the parts and pieces of the TV, and the electricity used to run the TV once it’s home,” Green Century Shareholder Advocate Andrea Ranger said. “This accounting is important because you can’t manage what you can’t measure. We fully expect that Walmart and Target will use their influence to lean on manufacturers to cut their emissions in smart and timely ways. Amazon needs to get on board and do likewise – now.”
About The Green Century Funds
°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are one of the first families of fossil fuel free mutual funds in the United States. Green Century Capital Management hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.
*As of September 30, 2022, Target Corporation comprised 1.08%, 0.44%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund, respectively. As of the same date, other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of any of the Green Century Funds. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.
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