Shell to submit to climate pressure of large investors
Shell is one of the first large oil companies that is making a connection between top salaries and CO2 emissions. It’s a promise the company made to action group Climate Action 100+, a group of several institutional investors, like BNP Paribas, Robeco and the Dutch ABP. Together they are using their financial power to bring 100 listed and most emitting ‘climate sinners’ to a better understanding.
The investors try to get the companies’ commitment to formulate a climate policy, to reduce greenhouse gases and to communicate openly about the taken measures via discrete conversations with management and the company board.
One year after the introduction of Climate Action 100+ there are current negotiations with all companies on the list, according to a spokesperson of the initiative. “We’re not working with personal goals or deadlines but when we notice that a company is not adopting a constructive attitude, we will propose a resolution to the shareholders’ meeting.”
Shell has submitted to the pressure of the large investors’ group and the company is committed to change its vague promise of halving its CO2 emissions by 2050 into more short-term targets within three to five years, starting from 2020.
Shell is going to make top salaries dependent on achieving the set targets. According to Shell, the measure concerns the salary of possibly 1.200 top employees.
“This is giving us a leverage to bring other companies to action”, says Climate Action 100+. Other sectors involved, besides oil companies, are multinationals in the automotive, steel and chemical industry.
According to a spokesperson, the members of Climate Action 100+ feel it’s their fiducial duty – and their moral obligation – to have an eye for long-term return. “Clients, people and organizations have a growing consciousness, they want to invest their money in an ethically justified way.”