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January 25, 2011
Investor Coalition Withdraws Resolution at BP
    by Robert Kropp

The resolution, which called for improved risk management and disclosure by the company responsible for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, is withdrawn to give BP more time to demonstrate improvement.


In December, a coalition of investors led by Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) and other members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) prepared a shareowner resolution with BP, whose responsibility for the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill led to the loss of half of the value of its stock and charges of an industry-wide systemic failure from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

Frustrated with the repeated health and safety violations by BP, and the company's poor disclosure of risk assessment and management procedures, the resolution directed the company's board of directors "to conduct a review of the company's current risk assessments and risk management plans for BP's major North American operations, and to report to shareholders on its assessment of those risks and how they will be managed."

Today, the coalition announced that it had withdrawn the resolution, to give "BP additional time to demonstrate that they are systematically addressing operational risks in the run up to the first anniversary of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," according to a
press release.

The resolution was withdrawn following "an historic agreement" with the UK-based
Church Investors Group (CIG), an investor group with $20 billion in assets under management. In the UK and elsewhere in Europe, it has been customary to emphasize engagement over the more confrontational shareowner action increasingly common in the US.

In an email to SocialFunds.com, Julie Tanner, Assistant Director of socially responsible investing (SRI) at CBIS, wrote, "CIG brings unique attributes to the investor coalition, including a long history of engagement with BP at the highest levels and influence with other institutional investors."

Tanner continued, "We will be asking BP to work throughout 2011 to provide shareholders with robust and substantive information related to risk, climate change, and long-term strategic direction in order to measure progress and to demonstrate that the lessons from The Gulf Oil Spill have been fully incorporated into its operations around the world."

"If improvement is not made on these issues, CIG-ICCR and the co-filer group will file a resolution at BP in 2012," Tanner added.

 

 
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