Shareholder motions demand Imperial Oil transparency on water risk, lobbying
Canadian geese sit on the St.Clair River near the Imperial Oil refinery in Sarnia, Ont., on Friday, Oct. 5, 2007. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, March 21, 2018 12:12PM EDT
CALGARY - Shareholders of Imperial Oil Ltd. are being asked to support motions to force it to be more transparent about its water-related risks from pollution and climate change, as well as its lobbying activities and expenditures.
The oil and gas company has placed the motions on the agenda for its annual general meeting in Calgary on April 27, but is recommending shareholders vote against both because it says it already provides enough transparency.
Laura Gosset, engagement analyst for the Shareholder Association for Research and Education or SHARE, says her organization was turned down when it asked Imperial to voluntarily adopt more transparent policies on water risk.
She says she's hoping strong shareholder support for the motion will encourage the company to reconsider and accept reporting practices that are being followed by many of its peers, including Cenovus Energy Inc. and Husky Energy Inc.
The water risk motion is officially sponsored by the $13.7-billion socially responsible investment firm, Fonds de Solidarite des Travailleurs du Quebec, while OceanRock Investments Inc., a $1.5-billion fund associated with Desjardins Group, is sponsoring the lobbying motion.
In a filing, Imperial says its public disclosures about water risk provide the "necessary transparency," and its compliance with lobbying laws means its activities are already reported publicly in associated lobbying registries.