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Shareholders Dissatisfied with Chevron Racial Equity Audit

Oil and gas major Chevron has published the findings of its racial equity audit (REA) following investor pressure last year, but shareholders say it fails to address their key concerns on environmental racism and discrimination. Faith-based investor members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) filed a shareholder proposal last year asking Chevron to consult with impacted workers, community members and customers, and conduct an REA assessing the impacts of its operations and policies on communities of colour. It received support from 48% of shareholders. “Like many fossil fuel companies, Chevron’s operations have a legacy of disproportionate harm to communities of colour around the globe,” said Paul Paz y Miño, Associate Director at Amazon Watch. “But unlike others, Chevron has distinguished itself by the deliberate acts it has taken against those communities when they speak up in defence of their rights and against Chevron’s harmful practices.” Chevron did not communicate or consult with the lead proponent of co-filers about its plans to conduct an REA, shareholders have said, which is a standard practice when companies are responding to shareholder requests. Investors are also questioning the integrity and independence of the report, noting that it was conducted by Paul Weiss, a firm that has regularly served as Chevron’s legal advisor and has itself been scrutinised for fuelling climate denialism. More disclosure is needed on how the company is managing material risks connected to policies and practices that further racist, discriminatory or unequitable impacts, shareholders added. Dave Moore, Director of Investments at American Baptist Home Mission Society, said: “This is an attempt by Chevron to circumvent real progress on racial equity and stifle shareholder support for the proposal.” 

 

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