Thursday, April 23, 2009

Talisman takes socially responsible step

Canadian mining company Talisman has agreed to prepare a report on how its operations affect indigenous peoples around the world, focused on the concepts of free, prior and informed consent.

The agreement was reached following discussions with Bâtirente, a Quebec-based non-profit organization created by the Confederation of National Trade Unions and Regroupement pour la responsabilité sociale et l’équité (RRSE), a network of religious communities, NGOs, private foundations and individuals which aims to promote corporate social responsibility through shareholder engagement. Bâtirente and RRSE members hold shares of Talisman Energy.

“Talisman will conduct research and develop a report that will define and assess the benefits of adopting and implementing policies and procedures for securing and maintaining free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) of indigenous communities impacted by Talisman’s operations,” Bâtirente said in a news release.

The report will focus on the concept of FPIC as it pertains to corporations engaging with indigenous communities in the various parts of the world where Talisman operates and will also examine current best practices in this area.

Gare Smith, a partner with business law firm Foley Hoag LLP and corporate social responsibility expert, will produce the report, which will also be reviewed by the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank that has published two reports on how FPIC can be implemented by extractive companies such as Talisman.

“By investigating the notion of FPIC and its implementation, Talisman is taking an important step in developing its community relations approach,” said François Meloche, Extra Financial Risk Manager with Bâtirente.

“We hope that this report will allow Talisman to lead the industry by demonstrating that FPIC can make business sense and be a key part of good community relations,” added Philippe Bélanger, analyst with RRSE.

The report will be available to shareholders and the public before Talisman’s annual shareholder meeting in 2010.

Talisman has a checkered history with social investors. The company was forced to sell its stake in a controversial oil project in Sudan after being threatened with sanctions and divestment.

No comments:

Post a Comment