Adopt GHG Reduction Targets

Shareholders request that Home Depot adopt a policy with time-bound, quantitative, company-wide goals for managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, taking into account the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement.

We request that Home Depot report, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information on its plans to achieve these targets.

It is appropriate for shareholders to request that Home Depot set goals for managing GHG emissions because such goals help to mitigate a critically important issue for civil society and businesses -- climate change.

Scientists expect that failure to mitigate climate change will lead to additional sea level rise, more extreme weather, mass migration, and public health impacts from heat waves, fires, and changing disease vectors. In one shocking worst case scenario -- a 4 degree centigrade increase in average global temperatures -- the World Bank has stated it may not be possible for humanity to adapt.

To manage the risks posed by climate change, representatives from approximately 195 countries adopted the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit the increase in global average temperature -- and the most devastating social impacts of climate change -- by reducing GHG emissions. Transitioning to the low-carbon future envisioned in the Accord is likely to fundamentally transform the global economy and the competitive environment in which all corporations operate.

This proposal requests adoption of a high-level policy with goals but leaves the nature, timing and level of the goals entirely up to Home Depot discretion. The proposal is not an attempt to micromanage but to set a guiding direction that can be assessed by shareholders.

The GHG management goals requested are intended to be integrated with other goals the company has adopted or stated, including reducing the carbon footprint of its customers by selling more energy efficient products. Well over 60% of Fortune 100 companies have already set GHG emissions targets (see Power Forward 3.0), presumably while taking into consideration other corporate goals and policies. Operating a company by striving to meet a variety of specific goals is a standard business practice.

Examples of companies with GHG reduction goals include: Walmart, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, GM, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, JP Morgan Chase, McDonald’s and Microsoft. [1] National retailers such as Walmart, Target, CVS and Best Buy have set, or publicly committed to setting science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions across their operations, including their supply chains.

Large institutional investors such as BlackRock and State Street Global Advisors have publicly and privately called on companies to address climate change. A State Street white paper states: “We view establishing company-specific GHG emissions targets as one of the most important steps in managing climate risk.” [2] Investors are concerned about climate impacts on individual companies as well as portfolio-wide risks related to changing regulations and costs associated with extreme weather events.

There are numerous cost-effective ways for companies to reduce GHG emissions and help protect society from the worst impacts of climate change.

[1] _Digital_Second_Final.pdf?1493325339, P. 40

[2] effective-climate-change-disclosure.pdf, p. 2.