The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Stefanie Spear,

Majority of Independent Shareholders Call on Tesla to Address Growing Water Risks


Tesla, Inc. Thursday announced that 63.7% of its independent shareholders (35.4% overall) voted in support of a water risk reduction proposal filed by shareholder representative As You Sow.

The resolution asks Tesla to address water risk associated with climate change at its water-thirsty manufacturing plants and across its supply chains. The proposal seeks quantitative, location-specific water use information, and company plans to reduce water-related risk.

Globally, Tesla has 18 production facilities. Giga Berlin, a Tesla plant that opened earlier this year, will receive 1.4 million cubic meters (nearly 370 million gallons) of water annually -- enough for a city of around 40,000 people -- from an area that is water constrained. Local officials and communities are concerned about future water-related shortages in the area, which could also be disruptive to planned operations.

"Obtaining water resources is becoming increasingly contentious and fraught with risk due to drought, declining groundwater levels, and competing water demands," said Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow. "With this proposal, shareholders seek quantifiable information from Tesla about the unique risks associated with the water-constrained locations in which it operates."

According to the World Resources Institute's water risk mapping tool, more than half of Tesla's active factories are located in regions predicted to have high to extremely high-water stress by 2030. Tesla has manufacturing plants operating in Fremont and Lathrop, California; Storey County, Nevada; and Shanghai, China. As water stress becomes more prevalent, Tesla has faced greater competition for water resources, legal disputes, and higher costs. Tesla's significant water use has already generated controversy, including conflict with communities concerned about water depletion.

"Tesla's leadership has been cavalier at times when responding to localized water concerns. Every company, especially those that assert themselves as environmentally forward-thinking, should hold themselves to the highest standards of transparency and accountability regarding their resource use," Fugere said.

Automotive industry peers Ford, GM, Hyundai, and Toyota report to CDP on water use and water risk, including disclosing the percent of water withdrawn from areas with water stress.

As You Sow is the nation's non-profit leader in shareholder advocacy. Founded in 1992, we harness shareholder power to create lasting change that benefits people, planet, and profit. Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.