Restaurant Brands International Inc. | Identify Water Risk Exposure

Status
28.70% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
6
Resolution details
Company ticker
QSR
Resolution ask
Conduct due diligence, audit or risk/impact assessment
ESG theme
  • Environment
ESG sub-theme
  • Water and oceans
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Shareholder
Company sector
Consumer Discretionary
Company HQ country
Canada
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Considering the growing pressure on water supplies posed by climate change, shareholders request that RBI conduct and report to shareholders, using quantitative indicators where appropriate, an assessment to identify the water risk exposure of its supply chain, and its responsive policies and practices to reduce this risk and prepare for water supply uncertainties associated with climate change.
Whereas clause
WHEREAS: According to the 2021 IPCC report, climate change is intensifying the water cycle, resulting in more intense droughts globally.1 The UN 2023 Water Conference highlighted the need for water commitments and action.2 Climate change related water scarcity poses material risk to our company, including lowered production capacity and disruption of supply chains.
For companies in the food sector, the majority of their water footprint comes from agricultural supply chains.3,4 Restaurant Brands International, Inc. (“RBI”) states “...we are committed to doing our part with respect to energy, water and waste, and we expect our Vendors to do the same.”5 RBI completed a Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) in 2020 “identifying their environmental impact across carbon, water, and waste,” however the company only discloses that it is focusing on emissions, not the full LCA results.6 The company also underwent an ISO20400 assessment, a sustainability framework focused on global procurement. While the company reports their first phase of creating sustainable frameworks includes work on key impact areas including antibiotics use, animal welfare, climate action, and water consumption, among other areas7, it neglects to provide disclosure for water use in any function of its business, especially in its agriculture related ingredient production.
Because RBI does not assess supply chain water risk, the company’s water related risk remains in question. To identify water risk and reduce costs, many peer companies – including Yum!
Brands, McDonald’s, Kellogg Company, Starbucks, and Chipotle – conduct water risk assessments for both operations and supply chains.
RBI fails to report to CDP on water scarcity, did not disclose progress on water commitments through the 2019-2022 FAIRR Global Investor Engagement on Meat Sourcing8, and most recently scored just 7 out of 90 points on Ceres Valuing Water Finance Initiative Benchmark.9
Without a full value chain water risk assessment, and disclosure of quantitative performance metrics and best practices for water management in areas of water stress, investors cannot gauge whether RBI adequately manages its water risk.
Supporting statement
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: Proponents request the report disclose, at management’s discretion:
• Identification of water assessment tools used by RBI or its suppliers to assess supply chain water related risk
• Results of water risk assessments across its agricultural supply chain, including identifying the regions of at-risk ingredient production and supply chains
• Any additional monitoring of supply chain water resources
• Water scarcity planning and responsive actions
• A description of how water management is integrated into governance mechanisms
• A description of water-related engagement with value chain partner
1 https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-i/
2 https://www.wri.org/insights/un-water-conference-2023-needed-outcomes
3 https://www.ceres.org/resources/reports/global-assessment-private-sector-impacts-water
4 https://www.ceres.org/resources/reports/global-investor-engagement-meat-sourcing-2022
5 https://s26.q4cdn.com/317237604/files/doc_downloads/governance/Code-of-Business-Ethics-and-Conduct-for-Vendors.pdf
6 https://www.rbi.com/English/sustainability/responsible-sourcing/default.aspx
7 https://www.rbi.com/English/sustainability/responsible-sourcing/default.aspx
8 https://www.fairr.org/engagements/meat-sourcing
9 https://www.ceres.org/water/valuing-water-finance-initiative/benchmark

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