Lobbying Expenditures - Climate Policy

2016 – United Parcel Service, Inc.



WHEREAS, businesses have a recognized legal right to express opinions to legislators and regulators on public policy matters.


We believe in full disclosure of our company’s lobbying activities and expenditures to assess whether our lobbying is consistent with UPS’s expressed goals and in the best interests of shareholders. 


RESOLVED: the shareholders of United Parcel Service (“UPS”) request the Board prepare a report, updated annually, disclosing:


1. Company policy and procedures governing lobbying, both direct and indirect, and grassroots lobbying communications.


2. Payments by UPS used for (a) direct or indirect lobbying or (b) grassroots lobbying communications, in each case including the amount of the payment and the recipient.


3. UPS’s membership in and payments to any tax-exempt organization that writes and endorses model legislation.


4. Description of the decision making process and oversight by management and the Board for making payments described in section 2 above


For purposes of this proposal, a “grassroots lobbying communication” is a communication directed to the general public that (a) refers to specific legislation or regulation, (b) reflects a view on the legislation or regulation and (c) encourages the recipient of the communication to take action with respect to the legislation or regulation. “Indirect lobbying” is lobbying engaged in by a trade association or other organization of which UPS is a member.


“Direct and indirect lobbying” and “grassroots lobbying communications” include efforts at the local, state and federal levels.


The report shall be presented to the Audit Committee or another relevant Board committee and posted on the company’s website. 


Supporting Statement:             As shareholders, we encourage transparency and accountability in the use of staff time and corporate funds to influence legislation and regulation both directly and indirectly. We appreciate UPS updating the website’s disclosure on political spending and lobbying but crucial information on UPS’s payments used for lobbying through trade associations is still secret. 


UPS spent approximately $22.3 million in 2010 to 2014 on direct federal lobbying activities. (Senate Reports).  These figures may not include grassroots lobbying to directly influence legislation by mobilizing public support or opposition and do not include lobbying expenditures to influence legislation or regulation in states that do not require disclosure.


For example, UPS does not disclose or explain to investors its contributions to the highly controversial American Exchange Legislative Council (ALEC). UPS sits on ALEC’s Private Enterprise Board and made a $25,000 contribution in 2011. 


Over 100 companies have left ALEC because of its controversial positions including BP, Coca Cola, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, McDonalds, Procter & Gamble, Shell, Unilever and Wal-Mart.


Finally, UPS sits on the Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent well over $1 billion lobbying since 1998. The Chamber is aggressively attacking the EPA on the new Clean Power Plan to address climate change. We urge UPS to utilize its role as a prominent Chamber Board member to challenge the Chamber’s negative climate policy.