Climate Action 100+ Investors Welcome Bunge's New Science-Based Emissions Reduction Target

Nov 18, 2021 11:50 AM ET
Press Release

November 18, 2021 /3BL Media/ - Climate Action 100+ investors and coordinating investor networks Ceres and PRI welcome new science-based targets by the global food company Bunge to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Bunge is one of 167 focus companies engaged through the world’s largest investor engagement initiative to take action on climate change.

Investors have been engaged directly with the company on setting strong, science-based emission reductions targets and improving its overall climate change reporting. The new targets have been validated by the Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi), a crucial step to demonstrate the credibility of the targets. A substantial portion of the emissions reduction within its supply chains is expected to be reduced by Bunge’s commitment to achieve deforestation-free supply chains by 2025.

The announcement comes on the heels of COP26, where several major pledges were announced to accelerate global efforts to end deforestation, including one by top financial institutions including Boston Common, Domini, Impax, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust, to stop investment in companies with deforestation in their supply chains, signaling the growing importance of nature conservation in climate policy.

Climate Action 100+ investor signatories, California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and ACTIAM lead engagements with Bunge, and welcomed today’s news.

Anne Simpson, Managing Investment Director for Board Governance & Sustainability at CalPERS and a member of the Climate Action 100+ Steering Committee said: “Deforestation and climate change risks go hand in hand for funds like CalPERS, who face urgent systemic and financial-related impacts from these risks. As one of the lead investors engaging Bunge as part of Climate Action 100+, we applaud the company for its decision to pair their no-deforestation policy with a science-based emissions reduction commitment. We look forward to engaging them on their broader decarbonization strategy towards the goal of net zero emissions."

Ceres and PRI are founding investor networks to Climate Action 100+ and help to coordinate investor engagements with focus companies.

"Bunge’s announcement shows that investors and companies are making the connection between value chain emissions and the impacts they have on our forests,” said Mindy Lubber, Ceres CEO and a member of the Climate Action 100+ Steering Committee. “With this commitment, Bunge is stepping out in front of competitors by creating a science-based target that includes deforestation. Investors expect companies not only to make climate-related risk disclosures that include land-use change, but to set targets for mitigating those risks. We welcome Bunge’s latest commitment as a stepping stone towards reducing total emissions across their entire value chain.”

Earlier this year, Climate Action 100+ released the Global Sector Strategies: Recommended Investor Expectations for Food and Beverage, to help guide investor engagements with companies in the global food and beverage sector. It points to a robust no-deforestation policy as a crucial part of decarbonization plans in the food sector. In 2020, Ceres released the Investor Guide to Deforestation and Climate Change, which also urged investors to tackle deforestation risks at the same scale and speed they bring to broader portfolio-wide climate risks.

Fiona Reynolds, PRI CEO, and a member of the Climate Action 100+ Steering Committee, said: “Bunge’s commitment to setting science-based targets validated by SBTi underlines the importance of firms setting a clear and transparent decarbonization roadmap. To see the systemic change we need on climate issues it’s vital that emissions are tracked and minimized across the whole supply chain. Identifying targets across emissions scopes one, two and three – as well as setting a 2030 timelines – is an effective blueprint to realize far-reaching change on an appropriate timeline. We encourage other firms to consider their own roadmap and to identify ambitious science-backed targets for their own emissions, as well as to be mindful of the urgent need to see commitments on climate issues translate to tangible action.”

Green Century Funds, another Climate Action 100+ signatory, filed a deforestation-related shareholder resolution at Bunge during the 2021 Proxy Season. It passed with the highest ever recorded support for such a proposal with a 98.99% majority vote.

About Ceres

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

About PRI

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. Supported by the United Nations, it works to understand the investment implications of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and to support its international network of investor signatories in incorporating these factors into their investment and ownership decisions. The PRI acts in the long-term interests of its signatories, of the financial markets and economies in which they operate and ultimately of the environment and society as a whole. Launched in New York in 2006, the PRI has grown to more than 4,300 signatories.