AMAZON.COM, INC. | Report on retirement plan option alignment with climate policy at AMAZON.COM, INC.

7.24% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Company ticker
Lead filer
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Environment
ESG sub-theme
  • Climate change
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Consumer Discretionary
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Shareholders request that the Board publish a report, at reasonable expense and omitting confidential information, disclosing how the Company is protecting Plan beneficiaries with a longer investment time horizon from climate risk in the Company’s default retirement options.
Whereas clause
Climate change poses a growing, systemic risk to the economy. If global climate goals are not met, workers face the likelihood of significant negative impacts to their retirement portfolios. Swiss Re estimates a 4% decline in global GDP by 2050 if global temperature increases are kept below 2 degrees Celsius, but up to an 18% decline without effective mitigation.
Amazon has taken actions to address climate change by committing to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2040 and 100% renewable energy use by 2025.[2] Yet, even while it transitions its business away from fossil fuels, our Company’s 401(k) retirement plan (“Plan”) invests significantly in companies that contribute to climate change, jeopardizing workers’ life savings.
Employee retirement funds are automatically invested in the Plan’s default investment option unless employees proactively choose different investments. Thus, the majority of the Amazon Plan’s $17.4 billion in assets are invested in the default option.[3]
Amazon has selected Vanguard Target Retirement funds as the Plan’s default offering, which invest significantly in fossil fuel companies and companies contributing to deforestation.[4] By investing employees’ retirement savings in companies with outsized contributions to climate change, Amazon is generating climate risk, including transition risk and long-term systemic risk, to workers’ portfolios.
Amazon’s default 401(k) choice risks compromising its obligation to select retirement plan investment options in the best interests of its plan participants, including those with retirement dates more than a decade out.

In the increasingly competitive employee recruitment and retention landscape, failing to minimize material climate risk in its default 401(k) plan option may make it more difficult for Amazon to attract and retain top talent. Employee polling indicates that firms’ environmental records are an important consideration in choosing a job.[5] Employee polling also reveals increasing demand for climate-safe retirement plan options.
Given the threat that climate change poses to employee’s life savings, our Company can help ensure employee loyalty and satisfaction, and demonstrate that it is actively safeguarding all employee retirement savings, no matter when they are set to retire, by minimizing climate risk in its Plan offerings, especially the default option. The federal government recently clarified that fiduciaries may appropriately consider climate risk in the selection of plan offerings, including in the default option.
Supporting statement
This proposal has been filed by Sara Sackner
The report should include, at Board discretion, an analysis of:
- The degree to which carbon-intensive investments in the default investment option contribute to greater beneficiary risk and reduced Plan performance over time;
- Whether carbon-intensive investments in the default investment option put younger beneficiaries’ savings at greater risk than participants closer to retirement.

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
EFG Asset Management For A vote FOR this resolution is warranted. While the company offers an option to employees that want to invest
more responsibly, it is unclear how well employees understand the retirement plans available to them. The
information requested in the report would not only complement and enhance the company's existing
commitments regarding climate change, but also allow shareholders to better evaluate the company's strategies
and management of related risks.
Anima Sgr For As investors in general are becoming more interested in integrating their ESG concerns and interests into their investment strategies and a large group of Amazon employees has expressed an interest in seeing the company pursue its business more sustainably. While the company may not be responsible for its employees' investment decisions, Amazon can be expected to provide its employees with clear information on the company's benefits and employment policies and practices. The information requested in the report would not only complement and enhance the company's existing commitments regarding climate change, but also allow shareholders to better evaluate the company's strategies and management of related risks.
VidaCaixa For
Rothschild & co Asset Management For
Kutxabank Gestion SGIIC SAU. Against

DISCLAIMER: By including a shareholder resolution or management proposal in this database, neither the PRI nor the sponsor of the resolution or proposal is seeking authority to act as proxy for any shareholder; shareholders should vote their proxies in accordance with their own policies and requirements.

Any voting recommendations set forth in the descriptions of the resolutions and management proposals included in this database are made by the sponsors of those resolutions and proposals, and do not represent the views of the PRI.

Information on the shareholder resolutions, management proposals and votes in this database have been obtained from sources that are believed to be reliable, but the PRI does not represent that it is accurate, complete, or up-to-date, including information relating to resolutions and management proposals, other signatories’ vote pre-declarations (including voting rationales), or the current status of a resolution or proposal. You should consult companies’ proxy statements for complete information on all matters to be voted on at a meeting.