Steven Heim, Managing Director at Boston Common Asset Management, LLC, attended the 2012 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of ConocoPhillips Company (COP), marking his seventh year in attendance. At the meeting, Steven publicly addressed COP Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance to ask whether the company would implement independent verification of its 2011 commitment to follow the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples across its operations.
Boston Common leads a group of institutional investors that have engaged ConocoPhillips on the impact of its operations in the Amazon since 2006. In that time, COP has committed to respect Indigenous communities in keeping with the United Nations Declaration, and has divested from areas in Peru where oil exploration put Indigenous People living in voluntary isolation at risk. At the 2012 AGM, Steven commended the company for revising its global human rights policy to recognize the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and for excluding its activities from the Amazon’s ecologically sensitive Pucacuro Nature Reserve.
Since 1998, Steven has led and participated in shareholder engagements related to Indigenous Peoples issues with over a dozen companies. Boston Common-led advocacy in Ecuador was featured as a case study in “The Corporate Boomerang: Shareholder Transnational Advocacy Networks Targeting Oil Companies in the Ecuadorian Amazon,” [Global Environmental Politics – Volume 9, Number 1, February 2009].
Listen to the recording from the AGM here
(Begin listening at 52:40 for Steven’s comments and at 56:05 for the response from Chairman Lance. Email address entry required).