This excerpt taken from the BBBY DEF 14A filed Jun 1, 2009.
Investors increasingly seek disclosure of companies social and environmental practices in the belief that they impact shareholder value. Many investors believe companies that are good employers, environmental stewards, and corporate citizens are more likely to generate stronger financial returns, better respond to emerging issues, and enjoy long-term business success.
Globally over 2,700 companies issued reports on sustainability issues in 2007 (www.corporateregister.com). A recent survey found that 80% of the Global Fortune 250 companies now release corporate responsibility data, which is up from 64% in 2005 (KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2008).
Mainstream financial companies are also increasingly recognizing the links between sustainability performance and shareholder value. Information from corporations on their greenhouse gas emissions, climate change policies, and overall sustainability strategies is essential to investors as they assess the strengths of corporate securities in the context of climate change and increased public awareness of corporate social and environmental responsibility.
As concerns about volatile energy prices, climate change and energy security continue to increase, we believe the focus on energy efficiency will only intensify. For large retail chains this focus will extend not only to stores but also to the supporting distribution and transportation networks.
As such, it is no surprise that Wal-Mart, Tesco, and other major retailers have taken leadership roles in this area through the publication of comprehensive sustainability reports that address company impacts with regards to greenhouse gas emissions, toxics, store siting and employee safety (www.ceres.org). Bed Bath & Beyond, however, lags behind its global industry peers on sustainability reporting, especially regarding key environmental issues such as climate change. In a recent report authored by RiskMetrics, the company scored ninth out of nine big-box retailers in terms of climate change governance practices.
It is vital that our company address and report on the impacts of its operations on the environment and on society.