The Cooper Companies: Request for Report on Reducing GHG Emissions in Line with Paris Goals
RESOLVED: Shareholders ask the Cooper Company to prepare a report evaluating the feasibility of the Company achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions in line with Paris climate change goals for those parts of the business directly owned and operated by the Company. The report should be prepared at reasonable expense and may exclude confidential information.
WHEREAS: In 2015, 196 parties at the U.N. Climate Change Conference agreed to limit climate change to no more than 2 degrees Celsius warming above pre-industrial temperatures, with a goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world's leading scientific climate authority, released its most dire warning yet. The IPCC panel, based on more than 6,000 scientific references, underscored that, in line with the 1.5 degree Paris goal, the world must cut pollution by 45 percent by 2030, and reach net zero pollution by 2045. It underscored that maintaining warming below 1.5 degrees versus 2 degrees warming would significantly affect the extent of global harms. For instance, it would mean the difference between having some coral reefs survive and virtually none at all; of agriculture surviving across vast swathes of the Earth, or suffering mass desertification; and would mean saving the world $20 trillion in climate impacts.
Achieving emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of 1.5 degrees requires the world to achieve net zero emissions sooner than is currently planned by most corporations and nations. We believe that achieving this goal is important for the success of companies operating in a globally carbon-constrained economy and to achieve long-term shareholder value. The Cooper Company should be a leader in this area, given its prominent role in the new technology economy.
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: In producing this report, the Company should provide information on how it plans to achieve Paris compliant emissions reductions, including how it might achieve net zero emissions by 2045.
Further, in implementing this proposal, the Company may wish to consider The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, prepared by World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute, which provides a useful guide for quantifying and reporting corporate GHG emissions. That Protocol identifies three types of emissions:
Direct Emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company, e.g., company-owned buildings or facilities; and
Electricity Indirect Emissions, which are emissions from electricity purchased and consumed by the company.
Scope 3 Emissions that are a consequence of a company’s activities, but that stem from sources not owned or controlled by the company, e.g., employee business travel, commuting, product end-of-life disposal.