International faith coalition of investors press BP on corporate accountability

By staff writers
January 26, 2011

US, UK and other global investors in BP have agreed to work together to hold BP accountable following last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

A diverse coalition of investors, led by members of the US-based Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) have announced a historic agreement with institutional investors of the Church Investor Group (CIG) in the UK.

In the UK, both the Methodist Church and Chuch of England have some of their largest shareholdings in the oil company, valued at more than £100 million.

The new partnership, led by CCLA, acting as secretariat for the CIG, and Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc., a prominent member of ICCR, will seek to strengthen shareholder engagement as well as disclosure on critical issues affecting the future of the company.

By combining their strengths and styles, US, UK and other investors across Europe are providing BP additional time to demonstrate that they are systematically addressing operational risks in the run up to the first anniversary of Bob Dudley's appointment as CEO in October.

Julie Tanner, Assistant Director of Socially Responsible Investing at Christian Brothers Investment Services said: "We're looking for more open and substantive communications related to risk, increased board oversight and evidence of continued improvement in risk management procedures. If BP fails to disclose adequately on operational risk and safety issues by the fall, there will be an ICCR/CIG-led shareholder resolution in 2012."

Bill Seddon, CIG Vice Chair and CEO of the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church, said: "This historic cross-border collaboration will result in innovative ways for CIG and ICCR members to hold multi-nationals to account."

The churches hold shares in BP whilst simultaneously running campaigns to combat climate change, and cut down on fossil fuel consumption.

The Methodist Church announced in 2009, before the BP oil spill, that it was 'greening' its investments but that this would not involve selling its shares in BP or other oil and mining companies.


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