The oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell has accepted a strongly worded shareholder resolution for debate at its 2006 Annual General Meeting. It has the backing of 130 shareholders representing almost 1 million shares.
The resolution was initiated by the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility and calls for a major improvement in Shells performance in terms of community and stakeholder consultation, risk analysis, and social and environmental impact analysis. It was delivered to the company at the end of February after weeks of building shareholder endorsement.
The motion, whose supporters include the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust in the UK and major faith-based fundholders in the USA, focuses on the social and environmental impacts of Shells activities in County Mayo in Ireland, the Niger Delta and Sakhalin Island in Russia.
ECCR will present the resolution at Shells AGM in The Hague on 16 May and is keen to build further support from registered shareholders to ensure a substantial AGM vote.
People who do not own Shell shares are being asked to lobby their insurance companies and pension providers, who almost certainly have holdings, to vote for the resolution.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Further details regarding the resolution are available on the ECCR website – www.eccr.org.uk – and from Christopher Hall, ECCR Oxford Group (firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +44 (0)1869 338 225), or Miles Litvinoff, ECCR Co-ordinator (email@example.com , tel. +44 (0)20 8965 9682).
Royal Dutch Shell Plcs 2006 AGM will take place on 16 May simultaneously in The Hague, Netherlands, and by live telelink at the Novotel London West Hotel and Convention Centre in Hammersmith, UK.
ECCR is an ecumenical organisation founded in 1989 to promote corporate responsibility in companies and in the churches. Its work arises from concern that companies should adopt worldwide operational standards for their environmental and ethical practices, and from the need for faith communities to monitor their own corporate responsibility through socially responsible investment of their financial resources in such a way that their faith credentials are respected.
ECCR has been engaged with Shell for the last 12 years. In 1997 it tabled a shareholder resolution which the Chemical Engineer said ‘could signal a change in the way multinational companies, many of which have Gross Domestic Products as large as a medium-sized country, do business throughout the world’. Four years later Sainsburys Environment Manager said that the ECCR resolution sent warning ripples throughout the corporate world and strengthened the arms of those who were working internally to get companies to clean up their act.