U.S. Investor Coalition Partnered with Norwegian Investors and Activists to Urge Statoil to Withdraw from Oil Sands
BOSTON, MA – Norway’s Statoil ASA has “shelved a multibillion-dollar oil sands project” called Corner for the next three years, reports a recent article in The Globe and Mail. The company cites rising construction costs and delays in new export pipelines as reasons to suspend the project.
“We commend Statoil’s decision to halt its steam-driven oil sands project in northern Alberta,” said Geeta Aiyer, Founder and President of Boston Common Asset Management. “It is an important first step toward divestment of Statoil’s oil sands assets.”
In a model of trans-Atlantic collaboration, Boston Common Asset Management led a coalition of investors that amplified the efforts of Norwegian investors, such as Storebrand, and activists, such as Greenpeace Norway and World Wildlife Fund Norway, urging Statoil to withdraw from excessively resource-intensive forms of extraction with high greenhouse gas emissions. Using their collective voice as shareholders, Investors focused Statoil’s attention on capital expenditures the prudent deployment of shareholder capital and corporate resources.
In a recent shareholder letter to Statoil, Steven Heim, Director of ESG Research and Shareowner Engagement at Boston Common writes on behalf of a coalition of 35 investors: “We are concerned about the potential economic and reputational risks associated with the company’s Canadian oil sands investments…We see additional threats in the negative externalities of oil sands projects: future carbon regulation, water scarcity, local environmental damage, and impairment to traditional livelihoods.”