News, Opportunities

Churches Promoting Climate Justice and Corporate Responsibility through Shareholder Action in 2008

Here’s one approach to getting involved concretely in working for justice:

The shareholder action season is upon us again!

Faith-based investors like yourselves can put your values into action this year by supporting several important shareholder proposals that promote justice, human rights and environmental sustainability.

KAIROS has prepared the attached list of 2008 shareholder proposals that deal with two issues of major concern to Canadian churches: climate change and corporate responsibility in the extractive industries (e.g. mining, oil and gas).

Some examples of shareholder proposals filed in 2008 include:

*  The Sisters of Ste-Anne of Montreal have filed a resolution with the world’s largest gold producer, Barrick Gold, whose massive Pascua Lama mining project on the Chile-Argentina border presents potentially serious environmental risks to both countries.

EnCana, Canada’s largest independent oil and gas producer, is being asked by one of its shareholders to incorporate the cost of carbon emissions into its business strategy.

*  Major Canadian airlines – including Air Canada, WestJet and Trans AT – have been asked to prepare annual sustainability reports, which would involve in part discussing how they are responding to and managing their impacts on climate change.

Proxy voting is an important part of your stewardship of God’s resources.  KAIROS hopes you will take a moment to review your church’s investment portfolio and join other faith-based investors who will be supporting these resolutions.  Depending on how your investments are managed, you may have to contact your investment manager and request votes to be cast in support of shareholder proposals that reflect your values and concerns as an investor.

At KAIROS, we attempt to track faith-based investor actions in Canada and we’d love to hear from you.  Please contact me at ithomson@kairoscanada.org, or by phone at 1-877-403-8933 or 416-463-5312 ext. 229, if your church or religious congregation holds shares in these companies and you will be supporting some or all of these proposals.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Ian Thomson, CSR Program Coordinator, KAIROS