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  • Tim Goodman
    Wells Fargo & Company announced regulatory and legal settlements in 2016 relating to its retail banking sales practices, which harmed customers.
  • 05/02/2018
    Stewardship
    Tim Goodman
    Some companies often fail to engage meaningfully with indigenous peoples, or worse still, make insufficient effort to establish a mutually beneficial agreement through Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). This failure can be detrimental to their cultures and livelihoods. Tim Goodman, Director of Engagement at Hermes Investment Management, explores where companies can fall short and the steps that should be taken to ensure a respectful engagement between all parties using a number of case studies.
  • 29/01/2018
    Stewardship
    Tim Goodman
    So said Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, the Chair of the United Nations indigenous body UNPFII, as the UN General Assembly marked the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2017. Indeed, indigenous peoples are facing even greater struggles and rights violations than they did 10 years ago. And the implications of such human rights abuses will be far-reaching not just for companies, but investors too. In the last decade, the time taken to bring oil projects online has doubled, with 73% of delays due to non-technical problems – including resistance from indigenous stakeholders. According to the UN, there has been an increase in the number of indigenous people denouncing the lack of compliance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), particularly with companies not obtaining their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) before enacting projects on their land. Such tumult has prompted investors to engage with companies about FPIC. FPIC is a specific right that pertains to indigenous peoples in UNDRIP. It is supported by the Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework for human rights (as discussed later under Indigenous rights, human rights and international law). In brief, consent should be sought by companies – and authorities – before any project, plan or action takes place (prior), it should be given voluntarily without coercion, intimidation or manipulation (free) and based on accurate, objective, and timely information, provided in a culturally appropriate way (informed) for it to be considered a reasonable outcome of a collective decision-making process.
  • Tim Goodman
    US multinational Citigroup is one of the world’s systemically important financial institutions. Background : In the aftermath of the financial crisis, we began engaging intensively with the systemically important financial institutions. This was not only because of destruction in value at those companies as a result of the crisis. It is also because their financial health and good behaviour towards their clients and customers is vital to minimise the risks of a similar profound shock to the global economy and to wider economic prosperity. As one of the world’s largest banks, Citigroup (Citi) falls into this group.
  • Tim Goodman
    China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, also known as Sinopec, is one of the major oil and gas companies in China. The company is a majority-owned subsidiary of the state-owned Sinopec Group. Its operations include the exploration, production, storage and transportation of petroleum and natural gas.
  • Tim Goodman
    Duke Energy is one of the largest electricity generators in the US. Background Our engagement with the company began in earnest in the aftermath of the serious spill of coal ash at one of the company’s disused sites in early 2014. The incident highlighted in our view that the board needed some refreshment, as it included some long-tenured directors who did not have the obvious skills to steward the company during this difficult period. However, as it is one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world, climate change has become an increasing focus of our engagement.
  • Tim Goodman
    One of the largest companies in the world, Microsoft is a global leader in software, services, devices and solutions that aim to help, in the words of its mission statement, to “empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more”. With such a bold purpose, we are pleased that the company seems to take its human rights obligations seriously.
  • Tim Goodman
    Energy transition before 1914 The mews houses in picturesque London streets that now command astronomic prices once were the stables for the horses owned by the residents of nearby mansions. However, the arrival of the internal combustion engine at the start of the 20th century led to the collapse of London’s horse population within a decade. The world’s oldest oil companies have their foundations in this energy transition from horse to engine power in the past century
  • Tim Goodman
    Engagement objectivernrnEnvironmental: Low carbon economy – Articulation of how the company’s long-term strategy takes account of climate change, oil and gas demand and public policy scenarios and how it stress-tests assumptions and develops contingency plans.rnrnExxon Mobil is the largest publicly quoted oil company in the world. This makes it one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters globally. Moreover, the use of its products is responsible for substantially more greenhouse gas emissions than its own direct activities. It is therefore a very important actor in the battle against climate change.rnrnOur engagement on climate changernIn the past few years Hermes EOS has encouraged the company to explain its climate change strategy more clearly and we are pleased with the company’s considerable efforts to address this.
  • 05/10/2015
    Environment
    Tim Goodman
    After spending billions of dollars on its two drilling seasons off Alaska, Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it is withdrawing from its Arctic drilling programme. The company is now writing off its investment, blaming its failure to find meaningful oil and gas reserves and the uncertain regulatory climate in the US for the aborted mission.
  • Tim Goodman
    Alaska is more than twice the size of Texas, making it the biggest state in the US. Its population, however, is just 700,000. As we flew to Barrow in the Arctic Circle these facts came to life as very quickly any sign of human activity disappeared out of the window, leaving just mountains and eventually, bleak, flat, treeless tundra. Fragile wilderness. This was the first lesson of our trip to visit Shell in Alaska. Sitting at a desk one can intellectualise over the challenges that the remoteness of the Arctic presents to oil and gas exploration and production but until you see and feel the emptiness of the state you do not realise what this really entails.
  • Tim Goodman
    To date, the efforts made by companies across many industries to combat climate change have been insufficient. It has therefore been clear for some time that public policy action is needed to accelerate those efforts. In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of 2015, Hermes EOS has been encouraging the bold public steps needed to help move the world towards a low-carbon economy.