Sunday, January 9, 2011

Big Money In Big Oil

“Since Chevron is committed both to protecting shareholder value and to protecting human rights, the company needs to take more seriously the fact that in 2008, Chevron shareholders representing more than $ 35 billion in market value called on the company to increase its measurement and transparency of human rights activities,” said the Very Rev. Thomas Krettek, provincial of the Wisconsin province of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), the lead filer of the proposal. “An ever-growing percentage of shareholders understand that protecting shareholder value requires clearly and substantively protecting human rights.” Chevron does have a brief human rights statement and has initiated a training program for employees, but there is a growing concern that the company is not keeping pace with its competitors.  
 “Best practices have advanced significantly in the last five years and several of Chevron’s immediate peers, notably BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Occidental Petroleum, have responded to stakeholders concerns by providing – to varying degrees – information on the company’s implementation programs, including the use of human rights impact assessments, compliance tools, and other mechanisms,” according to Proxy Governance.
“Especially in the wake of recent negative press coverage regarding its operations in Ecuador, Chevron has an opportunity to come forward and establish itself as an industry leader in human rights,” said John Kleiderer, policy director for the Jesuit Conference of the United States. Adding, “We invite other shareholders to join us in sending Chevron a message and look forward to working with company management on creating an effective policy.” The possibility exists for a model program respecting both social responsibility and shareholder value. Thirty-six institutional investors affiliated with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, led by the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus, filed the stockholder proposal asking Chevron to adopt a comprehensive, transparent and verifiable human rights policy. The Jesuit Conference of the United States represents the more than 3,000 American priests and brothers in the Society of Jesus, one of the largest religious orders in the Roman Catholic Church.
Link (here) to the full public relations piece.

1 comment:

TonyD said...

We should demand that Corporations reflect the values of our society. The first priority of investors is share profit. It is sufficient that the investors request more respect for human rights in order to protect their share value, but it is not sufficient that a Corporation is held to such minimal standards.