Strong Support from Chevron Shareholders for Proposal Co-Filed by Trillium
STRONG SUPPORT FROM CHEVRON SHAREHOLDERS FOR PROPOSAL TO STRENGTHEN DIRECTORS’ ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTISE
May 26, 2010, Houston – The proponents of a stockholder proposal at Chevron Corporation seeking greater board environmental expertise hailed the 27% in support it received, according to preliminary results released by the company.
“As a businessman and investor, I know how important it is to have the right leadership in a firm,” said Rob McCord, Pennsylvania’s independently-elected State Treasurer. “The recent and tragic Gulf disaster should remind all executives and investors that trust matters — and so do contingency plans. This awareness should prompt Chevron to improve all its planning and its preparedness, and one step is to recruit directors with substantial environmental expertise,” McCord added. “Without this, shareholders face significant and unacceptable legal, regulatory, and market risk. And they will — justifiably –lack trust.”
“The high level of investors support for this resolution is indicative of rising frustration with Chevron’s environmental performance, domestically and internationally,” said Shelley Alpern, vice president at Trillium Asset Management Corporation, the lead proponent of the proposal who represented the proponents at the shareholder meeting.
“We are confident that this sends a message that management cannot ignore,” said Patrick Doherty, a spokesperson for the New York State Common Retirement Fund, which supported the proposal.
At today’s lively meeting, shareholders also expressed high level of support (25%) for a resolution questioning the company’s country selection guidelines in light of its ongoing operations in Burma. In addition, Chevron denied admission to the annual meeting to 30 legal proxy holders, giving no reasons for not allowing then to enter. Three legal proxy holders were arrested. Trillium’s Shelley Alpern told board inside of meeting that “This is outrageous and reflects very poorly on our company’s respect for the laws that govern our proxy process in the United States.”
The proposal points to Chevron’s controversial operations in Ecuador, Nigeria and Kazakhstan, stating “We believe that these controversies have the potential to damage shareholder value and that the company must respond to environmental challenges in an effective, strategic and transparent manner in order to restore trust and minimize the adverse impact of its operations.” It called for Chevron to add an independent director to the board who has a “high level of expertise and experience in environmental matters relevant to hydrocarbon exploration and production and is widely recognized in the business and environmental communities as an authority in such field,” as board openings arise. Chevron’s board membership criteria make no mention of environmental expertise. Current board members’ profiles indicate no specific expertise in environmental issues relevant to the oil and gas sector.
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About the proponents
Trillium Asset Management Corporation is a Boston-based, independent investment management firm devoted exclusively to sustainable and responsible investing.
As chief executive of the Pennsylvania Treasury, Treasurer Rob McCord directly invests more than $11 billion per year, and oversees Treasury’s role as the Commonwealth’s checkbook – last year alone, Treasury processed over 60 million disbursements totaling more than $70 billion. The Pennsylvania Treasury is an independent executive office created by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The State Treasurer is the custodian of the funds of virtually all state agencies, with the responsibility for monitoring and safeguarding money and securities.
Amnesty International USA is a Nobel Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with over 1.8 million members worldwide. Amnesty International undertakes research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights. Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is the U.S. Section of Amnesty International.