16 October 2018
Even if you’ve never heard of Orora, you’ve probably come across the company before. You might have used their packaging when drinking beer or a bottle of wine – they’re a large packaging company that produce glass bottles, aluminum cans, and other packaging equipment.
They’re also one of the top 100 companies on the Australian stock exchange. So there’s a good chance your superannuation fund is invested in Orora, which means you probably own shares in the company whether you realise it or not.
Market Forces’ Investing in the Dark report shows Orora does not have an emissions reductions plan and hasn’t yet produced reports of how the company fares under different climate scenarios – including one in which global warming is kept well below two degrees.
Orora has publicly acknowledged climate change could affect its business through both extreme weather events and the introduction of new government policies. Yet the sustainability section on its website states that “no material environmental or social sustainability risk occurs at this time.”
At Orora’s annual general meeting today, one shareholder wanted to know what the board had done to educate itself about climate risk in the last year.
Chairman Chris Roberts replied that, “we measure and test executives on waste to landfill, on water usage per unit of production and energy per unit production. These are all drivers for the senior executive key performance indicators.”
The shareholder asked if Orora had an education programme to ensure awareness of how climate change would impact the business.
“I think that just by being a member of the community today we can’t escape the education that is all around us about this,” said Chris Roberts.
In other words, no.
Given the way our current government and mainstream media brush off climate change, it’s worrying that Orora are relying on education “all around them” rather than seeking specific answers as to how climate change will impact their company.
Another shareholder asked whether the board was satisfied it had appropriately disclosed to shareholders all the potential climate related financial risks to the company’s business, or resolved such risks as not financial.
“I believe the answer to that is yes,” said Roberts. Orora has three main focuses – water use, landfill and emissions use. Targets are set for each of these, on which executives are measured. While this is a positive step, our Investing in the Dark report reveals that Orora does not yet give financial incentives for their executives to decrease emissions.
It is important that all companies examine the financial risks that climate change will pose to their business and take the steps necessary to deal with it appropriately.