THE KROGER CO. | Just Climate Transition Report at THE KROGER CO.

Status
Filed
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
7
Resolution details
Company ticker
KR
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Environment
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Just Transition
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Shareholder
Company sector
Consumer Staples
Company HQ country
United States
Supporting materials
  • Kroger Just Transition 2024 Exempt Solicitation Domini.pdf Download
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that the Board of Directors publish a just transition report, at reasonable cost omitting proprietary information, disclosing how Kroger is assessing and addressing the impacts of climate change and ensuring fundamental labor protections for workers in its agricultural supply chain, consistent with the ILO’s just transition guidelines.
Whereas clause
A “just transition” is increasingly recognized as an important component of climate action to address the needs, priorities, and realities of society while mitigating climate change and fostering resilience. The International Labor Organization (ILO) published just transition guidelines for governments and businesses with guidance on anticipating, preparing, and adapting to the employment impacts of climate change,[1] premised on respect for rights at work and fundamental labor protections, including against forced labor. The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) developed a methodology to assess companies on their contribution to a just transition.[2]
Kroger acknowledges in its 10K and CDP report that climate change presents physical and transition risks that may impact the company’s ability to operate its own facilities and supply chain. The food and agriculture industry contributes one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the agricultural supply chain is vulnerable to changing patterns of drought, extreme heat, and precipitation, as well as climate migration. In 2030, the sector may account for 60 percent of global work hours lost to heat stress. Farmworkers face heightened climate related risks, including heat related illness and death,[3] exhaustion and heat stress,[4] mental health stressors, increased pesticide exposure,[5] as well as other severe human rights violations including forced labor.[6]
Yet, Kroger’s disclosures overlook the climate-related risks to workers, such as impacts of heat stress on job quality and productivity for workers that harvest and deliver the commodities and products to Kroger’s stores. Failure to identify, evaluate, and adapt to these risks can lead to business disruptions, lack of supply chain resilience, and legal and reputational risk. In 2023 a Kroger distribution center employee died on the job due to heat-related causes.[7] Despite Kroger’s existing responsible sourcing policies, it has been connected in 2023 and 2024 to major forced labor cases in the United States involving its suppliers, which resulted in convictions or are currently being prosecuted.[8]
Worker-driven social responsibility models, including the Fair Food Program (FFP),[9] have been responsive to identifying the risks of climate change and developing appropriate and enforceable protections from these risks and others facing farmworkers, without fear of retaliation.[10]
Supporting statement
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: Shareholders recommend the report include, at Board discretion:
A set of measurable, time-bound indicators, such as those recommended by the WBA, An evaluation of the risks facing its agricultural supply chain workers, and how, if at all Kroger is addressing them, detailing how its efforts compare to other effective mechanisms such as the FFP, and Disclosure on the stakeholder engagement process used in developing its just transition report. [1] https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@ed_emp/@emp_ent/documents/publication/wcms_432859.pdf; https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_711919.pdf
[2] https://assets.worldbenchmarkingalliance.org/app/uploads/2021/07/Just-Transition-Methodology.pdf
[3] https://insideclimatenews.org/news/31122023/california-farmworkers-dying-in-the-heat/
[4] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-12/farmworkers-overheat-on-frontlines-of-climate-change
[5] https://www.farmworkerjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/EJ-Symposium-Issue-Brief-Climate-Change_FINAL.pdf
[6] https://polarisproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Polaris_Labor_Exploitation_and_Trafficking_of_Agricultural_Workers_During_the_Pandemic.pdf
[7] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/aug/28/kroger-worker-dies-heat-temperature
[8] https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20230202-2; https://www.levernews.com/how-krogers-merger-push-leads-back-to-alleged-human-trafficker/
[9] https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2021-Aug/CBP%202021%20VTW%20FAQs%20%28Forced%20Labor%29.pdf; https://blog.dol.gov/2022/01/13/exposing-the-brutality-of-human-trafficking; https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/flsp/faq
[10]https://ciw-online.org/blog/2023/11/how-the-fair-food-programs-heat-protections-are-saving-lives-and-leading-the-way-toward-a-worker-driven-solution/; https://www.thepacker.com/news/social-responsibility/farming-under-big-red-sun-worker-advocates-push-heat-stress-protections

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
Kutxabank Gestion SGIIC SAU. For

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