13,000 consumers call on Costco to honor shareholder resolution

Media Contacts
Sammy Herdman

Save The Boreal Forest Campaign, Associate, Environment America

Environmental advocates delivered thousands of petitions reinforcing the shareholder decision calling on Costco to tackle global warming emissions
DENVER — Nearly 13,000 Americans signed a petition calling on Costco CEO Craig Jelinek and members of the Costco Board of Directors to rapidly disclose all of Costco’s carbon emissions and set science-based targets to reduce emissions. The petition signatures were collected after Costco’s annual meeting in January, in which 69.9% of Costco shareholders voted yes on a proposal that called on Costco to set “short, medium, and long-term science-based greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets” to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050

The petition calls on Costco to incorporate indirect emissions caused by its suppliers, which are known as Scope 3 emissions, into its carbon emissions reduction plan. Specifically, the petition calls on Costco to include emissions caused by deforestation in its supply chain, which is primarily driven by the production of commodities like beef, tissues and much more. Scope 3 emissions often represent the majority of a company’s greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, Costco has acknowledged that it isn’t counting the overwhelming bulk of its emissions

Forests remain one of the planet’s best opportunities to limit climate change: they both absorb the greenhouse gasses heating our planet, and store centuries of carbon in their trees and soil,” said Sammy Herdmanforests campaign associate with Environment America Research & Policy Center.  “By selling products that are manufactured at the expense of forests, Costco is contributing to deforestation.  We cannot wait to act on climate change. Americans know that, and are calling on Costco to act now.

Costco derives more than half of its net sales from its food sales categories. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report describes the outsized impact that food systems have on the development of climate change:  23% of global greenhouse gases comes from agriculture, forests and other land-use changes. The IPCC report underscores the importance of food retailers, such as Costco, fully accounting for and decreasing their carbon emissions if we hope to limit warming to below 1.5 degrees C and prevent the worse effects of climate change. The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) provides a framework for companies to track and set carbon reduction goals in line with the IPCC’s advisory.