Corporate Accountability Action Toolkit

A collaboration to end gas infrastructure.

Keep Costco accountable for building mega (28+ pumps) gas stations with the following actions:

What is a corporate responsibility toolkit? Why is it important?

  • Public companies respond to public pressure to develop environmental policies and to maintain high standards of business ethics. 
  • Public companies generally disclose their corporate social responsibility (CSR) plans in proxy materials, websites, and SEC filings. Many companies also require suppliers and service providers to conduct business under their CSR policies.
  • This makes us aware of a broad web of economic, social, and ethical practices in the business community, which means we need to hold them accountable. This toolkit provides a framework for holding them accountable.
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Sending Letters to Costco Executives


Context: Costco has prided itself as a sustainability leader, with a website dedicated specifically to its “sustainability” commitments. Some of the major ones include “Operating efficiently and in an environmentally responsible manner” and “Strategically source our merchandise in a sustainable manner.” They have also created a separate webpage for their “Climate Action Plan”. This plan includes their summary of their work from the past year (2020) and their goal for the next 4 years. Their summary states “In recognition of the business imperative to address climate change, in the fiscal year 2020 we substantially accelerated efforts to better understand, assess, quantify, and execute on the action associated with our Scope 1 (direct emissions within our operations), Scope 2 (indirection emissions from energy usage), and Scope 3 (emissions outside of our operations such as waste and supply chain) CO2e footprint and our overarching response to climate change.” 

Video by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

So while all of this sounds good and well, many cities across the country have been fighting the construction of massive gas stations due to Costco. As seen from the Novato Costco gas station fight with No New Gas Novato (see here to learn more), we have learned the hard way that corporations such as Costco do this all the time. They have lawyers and engineering firms that work for them on these proposals to different city councils across the states. These engineering firms will also create lacking environmental documents that fail to address all the true environmental issues with them. Some of these include underground gas storage tank erosion from water seepage, unstable underground soil conditions, leakage from the gas transport vehicles into the tanks, and many others. 
This is why we are asking you all to write to Costco’s CEO, Walter Craig Jelinek, to tell him that what they are doing is NOT ok. Below you will see guides to help you write these letters and send them to Costco’s HQ. Thanks for joining this incredible fight!

Handwritten Letter Instructions:

  1. You can either write your own letter text or use the template we made below that you can send. We highly recommend that in either case, you make the letter personal to you and why you care about this issue. All the words that are in brackets are optional and are added in case you decide to cut up your Costco card and send it with your letter.
  2. Don’t forget to place your cut-up Costco card in the envelope if you are choosing to do so. (Optional!)
  3. Then, address your envelope to the following name and street address:
    Walter Craig Jelinek
    999 Lake Drive
    Suite 200
    Issaquah, WA 98027

  1. Place it in the mailbox and make sure to fill out our submission form so we can keep track of responses! 
  2. Also, let your friends and family know about this too!

Email Letter Instructions:

  1. You can either write your own email or use the template we made below that you can send. We highly recommend that in either case, you make the email personal to you and why you care about this issue. All the words that are in brackets are optional and are added in case you decide to cut up your Costco card and send it as a photo attachment.
  2. Don’t forget to take a picture of your cut-up Costco card and upload it to your email if you are choosing to do so. (Optional!)
  3. Please send the email to the following address:
    cjelinek@costco.com
  4. Make sure to fill out our submission form so we can keep track of responses! 
  5. Please let your friends and family know about this too!
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels



Letter/Email Template

Dear Mr. Jelinek, 

As a [former] loyal customer to Costco, I have recently discovered that your businesses are implementing new gas station infrastructure across the country during a time in which many of our youth, political leaders, and everyday citizens are asking for it to stop. California alone has said that they will no longer be selling gas vehicles starting in 2035, only a short 14 years away. We need to be creating dramatic change that will help our communities thrive and create clean business practices, but gas stations will not help us get there. 

On your website and on many of your other materials advertise the fact that your business wants to be a sustainability leader. You guys even include a “Climate Action Plan” that states “In recognition of the business imperative to address climate change, in the fiscal year 2020 we substantially accelerated efforts to better understand, assess, quantify, and execute on the action associated with our Scope 1 (direct emissions within our operations), Scope 2 (indirection emissions from energy usage), and Scope 3 (emissions outside of our operations such as waste and supply chain) CO2e footprint and our overarching response to climate change.” None of this can be true if you are building the largest gas stations in the country which promotes gas leaks, CO2 emissions from the sales of gas, and idling cars, but lastly, creates toxic conditions for local residents. We have also heard the excuse of Vehicle Miles Traveled, and there is no merit to these statistics. I have great faith that Costco wants to be a corporate leader in responsibility and transparency. I have to acknowledge that Costco’s minimum wage is now at $17/hour, this is no small feat, but it is imperative that if we create jobs that they need to clean, green, and a part of the circular economy. Put action to your words or loyal customers like me will no longer want to shop at Costco.

I speak on behalf of myself and many others when I say that customers shop at stores that care about their values. It’s simply good business and creates a good relationship with the customer. So far though, all we’ve seen are shady deals and unproven data from your climate plan. The time to take action is now. I don’t want my children or any of my future ancestors to suffer from the decisions we make today.

[As of the day I’m writing this letter, I am no longer shopping at Costco and have chosen to cut up my card in solidarity. If Costco chooses to stop building new gas stations, then I may reconsider my subscription. Till then, I will be shopping elsewhere.]

Thank you for your time,

(Place your name here)

(Where you’re from)

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