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Retail Shareholders Require Sustainability Reports

Ceres, a Boston-based coalition of investors, environmental groups and public-interest organizations that works with companies to address sustainability challenges, announced last month that it had filed a record 54 global-warming shareholder resolutions with dozens of U.S. companies, including several retail chains.

Retailers cited included The Kroger Co., Rite Aid, Lowe’s Cos. and Big Lots. The 54 resolutions, which seek greater disclosure from companies on their responses to climate change, including greenhouse-gas (GHG) reduction and renewable and energy-efficiency strategies, are nearly double the number filed just two years ago.

Specifically, Kroger was asked to develop a comprehensive policy for addressing climate change and reducing GHG emissions and to issue a report to its shareholders by Dec. 31. Rite Aid was asked to provide its shareholders with a report by Sept. 1 assessing how the company was addressing energy efficiencies.

Resolutions filed with Lowe’s and Big Lots were withdrawn after the retailers agreed to respond to the 2008 Carbon Disclosure Project survey, which indicated a commitment to disclose the steps they were taking to mitigate climate risk.

© 2014