If you own shares in a company then you can have a say in what that company does.
We want Australian companies to improve their response to human rights abuses and labour exploitation in their supply chains. We’re also sick of companies saying one thing and doing another on climate, like having a public commitment to sensible climate and energy policies while paying for membership of industry bodies lobbying against such policies.
With your help we will put these issues on the agenda at the Annual General Meetings (AGM) of some of Australia’s biggest companies in November.
More About the Issues:
Our soon-to-be-launched benchmark report on Human Rights and Australian Listed Companies found that many Australian companies have a long way to go when it comes to identifying, addressing and disclosing human rights-related risks.
Our first targets will be Woolworths and Wesfarmers, which both performed poorly in our survey of the policies and procedures aimed at ensuring people’s human rights aren’t violated within company supply chains. Woolworths and Wesfarmers complex and extensive agricultural supply chains expose them to significant risks: recently we’ve seen reports of extreme labour exploitation on Australian farms, not to mention the slave-like conditions people work in, in other parts of the globe, to produce products which end up on these companies’ shelves.
Both Woolworths and Wesfarmers scored under 20% in our survey.
Put simply, both companies can and should do a lot better.
Climate Change Policy
Mining company BHP’s position on a variety of climate change policy issues is starkly inconsistent with lobbying positions taken by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), a body that represents Australia’s exploration, mining and minerals processing industry. For example, the MCA recently sought to undermine key aspects of the Finkel review’s recommendations, and lobbied the government to provide financial support for new coal-fired power generation. This simply doesn’t align with BHP’s response to the Finkel recommendations.
The thing is, as well as being a paid-up member of the MCA, BHP also has representation on the MCA’s board.
The MCA’S obstructive climate lobbying activities undermine the possibility of realising the policy outcomes sought by BHP. We think that the MCA’s activities will, over time, have a negative effect on shareholder value.
We plan to put forward a resolution addressing BHP’s membership of the MCA and representation on its board.
Read our draft resolution here.
In Australia it takes 100 or more shareholders to lodge a resolution at a company AGM. Can you join us as one of the 100? Follow the links to see the resolutions we propose to put forward addressing each human rights risks and climate change policy.
If you have any questions about the forms click here.