BP & Shell Initiatives – part of our ongoing efforts to meet with companies to ensure participants’ concerns across a range of environmental and human rights issues are addressed and that top corporate performers are acknowledged.
CBIS is attending BP’s Annual General Meeting for shareholders today, April 16th, and also participated in Shell’s Socially Responsible investor day on April 14th (see below). CBIS co-filed a resolution at BP earlier this year which the company agreed to support. It was a significant step, as it demonstrated BP’s recognition of the importance of the issue to shareholders. The resolution asks the company to outline steps it is taking in the transition to a low carbon economy, including emissions, research and development on low-carbon alternatives, and their executive incentives and public policy positions relating to climate change. Support for the resolution has grown, and it has received extensive media coverage – CBIS expects a high vote in favor. CBIS will be asking CEO Bob Dudley and Board Chairman Carl Henric Svanberg about the company’s retreat from renewable energy. Over the past several years, we have seen BP radically scale back its spending on renewables, even as competitors have positioned themselves as leaders in solar and other renewable energy technologies. As energy use becomes more efficient and the cost of renewable energy falls, the world’s demand for fossil fuels will eventually decline, thus lowering potentially harmful emissions and protecting the planet. A variety of existing trends—from increased energy efficiency in North America, to clean air regulation in China, to a switch to gas may impact the oil sector. We seek to better understand how BP is addressing these issues.
Royal Dutch Shell
At Shell’s SRI day On April 14th, CBIS and 40 SRI colleagues from investment firms across Europe met with CEO Ben Van Beurden and Chad Holladay, Chair of the Corporate and Social Responsibility Committee. They kicked off the meeting with an hour long question and answer session on the company’s strategy on climate change, renewable energy, tar sands and deepwater drilling, cleanup operations in Nigeria and exploration in the challenging Arctic region. We feel it was one of the best events among all major companies for the scope and breadth of environment, human rights, and corporate governance topics covered and the level of board and senior level engagement over the course of four hours. While we may not agree with all of the company’s projects and policies, the forum allowed us to voice concerns with executives that were open to feedback.