Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ethical releases list of shareholder resolutions

Ethical Funds announced today that it has filed shareholder resolutions with a number of Canadian companies outlining a variety of concerns, including climate change, human rights, indigenous people’s rights and sweatshops.

Topping the list is Barrick Gold, which made headlines recently when it was expelled from the Norwegian government’s pension plan for environmental reasons. Ethical is asking Barrick’s board of directors to engage an independent third party to review the company’s engagement practices and performances, focusing on the Cortez Hill mine site in Nevada.

Ethical sent two analysts to Nevada last year to tour Barrick’s mines and meet with the indigenous Western Shoshone community. Subsequently, Ethical recommended that Barrick consider conducting a human rights impact assessment of that project, an idea rejected by Barrick.

Ethical is also asking Enbridge to provide a report assessing the costs and benefits of adopting a policy requiring the free, prior and informed consent of aboriginal communities as a necessary condition for proceeding with the construction of company projects.

Sherritt International, E-L Financial, Great West Lifeco and Saputo have all been asked to report on how they are assessing the impact of climate change on their corporations and how they plan to disclose this information to shareholders. If applicable, the four companies have also been asked to explain their rationale for not disclosing such information in the future, through reporting mechanisms such as the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Power's board of directors has been asked to issue a report describing how it evaluates investments according to its CSR statement and commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Power has investments in countries where human rights violations are of international concern, including Burma, Sudan and China.

The board of directors at Reitmans as been asked to publicly disclose a code of conduct for the company’s suppliers, including a credible compliance program with independent monitoring. According to Reitmans’ most recent Annual Information Form, the company sources 75% of its merchandise from countries where labour and human rights abuses are known to occur.

Please click here for the full text of the Ethical resolutions.

No comments:

Post a Comment