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Calvert’s Amazon.com climate change proposal gets big-name support

Responsible investors see case for climate change report

Some of the world’s most influential responsible investors have backed a call from Calvert Asset Management for online retailer Amazon.com to produce a report on climate change.
Calvert had tabled a motion at Amazon.com’s annual shareholder meeting on June 7 in Seattle requiring the company to provide a report to shareholders on the impact of climate change.

Amazon advised shareholders to vote against the non-binding proposal – saying it didn’t believe it was an “an efficient use of time and resources”.

But investors such as APG, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), PGGM, Christian Brothers Investment Services and CalPERS didn’t agree and voted for the Calvert proposal, according to individual funds’ voting records. CalPERS, the California Public Employees’ Pension System, said “this reporting would be of benefit to shareowners”.PGGM backed the resolution because “Amazon lacks comprehensive disclosure on evaluation of its climate change risks and strategies as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emission metrics and/or goals, which sets the company apart from some of its peers”.
“Amazon shareholders could benefit from more detailed disclosure on its overall climate change strategies,” PGGM’s analysis continued.
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan voted against the Calvert proposal, as it generally does not support proposals that place “arbitrary or artificial constraints” on firms. And the Alberta Investment Management Co. (AIMCO) said the proposal was “not in the best interests of shareholders”.
In the event, the proposal was defeated by 257.6m votes to 65.9m.