GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY | Report on the impacts of mining on biodiversity at GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY

Status
Filed
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
6
Resolution details
Company ticker
GM
Lead filer
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Environment
ESG sub-theme
  • Biodiversity / nature
  • Water and oceans
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Shareholder
Company sector
Consumer Discretionary
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED:Ê Shareholders request that General Motors publicly disclose the Company's policies on the use of deep-sea mined minerals in its production and supply chains.
Whereas clause
WHEREAS: The deep sea contains many of the planetÕs intact ecosystems and plays a crucial role in regulating the climate.[1] Studies indicate that mining this underexplored and complex area for battery-related minerals will create irreversible habitat and ecosystem loss and could permanently destroy invaluable carbon storage.[2]

Deep sea mining (DSM) for mineral deposits found in nodules on the seafloor can be devastating to marine ecosystems, even when performed cautiously. Removing nodules removes habitat.[3] Dredging obliterates seafloor life and releases sediment plumes laced with toxic metals that poison marine food chains.[4] Studies have found that deep-sea organisms are slow-growing and fragile, and habitats may never recover to pre-impact states.[5] The likelihood of biodiversity loss associated with DSM jeopardizes fish-based livelihoods and food supplies.[6] As importantly, industrial-scale seafloor exploitation could have grave consequences for the oceanÕs ability to absorb carbon dioxide, and may lead to release of carbon stores.[7]

The scientific uncertainty and likely harms of DSM have caused civil society groups, governments, private organizations, and manufacturers to voice deep-seated concerns. Twenty-four governments have established bans, moratoriums, or precautionary pauses on DSM.[8] DSM is also at odds with global goals to protect and restore nature, including the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.[9]

Finally, the supply of deep-sea minerals is technologically and financially insecure, making it expensive and risky for automakers to incorporate deep-sea sourced minerals into supply chains.[10]

Companies are responding to the significant reputational risks inherent to such a destructive practice. Electric vehicle manufacturers, including BMW, Volvo, Volkswagen, Rivian, and Renault, have signed a global moratorium on deep sea mining, pledging to keep their supply chains deep-sea-mineral-free until scientific findings are sufficient to assess the environmental risks of DSM.[11]

PeersÕ commitment to a moratorium demonstrates the precautionary principle and the availability of more sustainable methods to obtain minerals. The BMW Group emphasizes that its Òsustainability strategy is also relying more on resource-efficient closed-loop material cycles Ð with the aim of significantly increasing the percentage of secondary material in vehicles.Ó[12]

Unlike its peers, General Motors (GM) has not supported a DSM moratorium or taken a public position on DSM, leaving shareholders concerned that the Company is not addressing the serious reputational, financial, and regulatory risks of DSM.[13] By taking a public stance on DSM and deep-sea sourced minerals, GM can assure investors that it is addressing the risks of DSM and practicing responsible sourcing.
Supporting statement
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: At Board discretion, GM should disclose the criteria it will use for decision making related to the use of deep-sea sourced minerals.

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