Earlier this week, Tesla released its first Impact Report, outlining the effects of its operations on the environment and its respective communities. While around 80% of companies in the S&P 500 release similar reports to promote their corporate sustainability records, Tesla’s first effort was nonetheless enough to earn a nod of approval from a noted financial firm.
Trillium Asset Management, a firm that tracks corporate sustainability, stated that Tesla’s Impact Report went beyond superficial metrics. Allan Pearce, a shareholder advocate at Trillium, took particular notice of the company’s inclusion of its full greenhouse gas footprint, a metric that is rarely covered in first-time reports. “With any first report there’s always going to be room for improvement, though this is kind of a step above most first sustainability reports we see,” Pearce said.
Trillium currently oversees around $2.5 billion for socially-conscious investors. The financial firm had actually been calling for Tesla to release an environmental impact report since 2017, which was around the same time when reports and allegations emerged about high injury rates in the Fremont factory. Trillium submitted a shareholder proposal requesting for an impact report as recent as last December. Upon Tesla’s publication of the report, the firm promptly withdrew its shareholder proposal.
This is not to say that Tesla’s environmental impact report is already perfect in its current state. Pearce noted that the electric car maker still has a lot of areas for improvement, such as a more in-depth analysis depicting how much greener Tesla’s electric cars are compared to vehicles equipped with an internal combustion engine. The shareholder advocate added that more discussions on Tesla’s concrete goals for the future would be appreciated by investors as well.
The results of Tesla’s first impact report revealed an encouraging picture of a young company that is working hard to achieve the very ambitious goal of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy. The report covered several important points, including the amount of C02 saved by the company’s fleet of all-electric cars. With around 550,000 vehicles on the road since the days of the original Tesla Roadster, the company noted that its zero-emissions fleet has driven over 10 billion miles to date, helping prevent more than 4 million tons of C02 from polluting the environment,
Tesla also revealed that its Energy business, which is comprised of products like solar panels, the Solar Roof, the Powerwall 2, and the Powerpack, have generated a total of 13.25 TWh worth energy to date. This figure is far above the energy consumption of the company’s fleet of Model S, Model 3, and Model X, which have consumed a total of 5.26 TWh worth of energy to date.
Within its discussions on the recently released Impact Report, Tesla also revealed that it is working on its own unique battery recycling system that is estimated to result in significant savings in the future. “At Gigafactory 1, Tesla is developing a unique battery recycling system that will process both battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries. Through this system, the recovery of critical minerals such as lithium and cobalt will be maximized along with the recovery of all metals used in the battery cell, such as copper, aluminum and steel. All of these materials will be recovered in forms optimized for new battery material production,” Tesla wrote.
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Author: Simon Alvarez