Of all insurers investing in Shell, VIVAT is the only company to recieve positive feedback in a report published today by the Fair Insurance Guide (Eerlijke Verzekeringswijzer). VIVAT voted at Shell’s shareholders meeting in favor of a climate resolution and deserves a compliment because of its transparent voting policy.
Shell, as the world’s second largest oil company, is responsible for an important contribution to global CO2 emissions. The shareholders, Shell’s co-owners, can influence the policy at the annual shareholders’ meeting (AVA).
During the AVA of May last, shareholders could vote on a resolution that would force the oil company to formulate clear targets for its own CO2 emissions, generated in its own resources, by the energy used within the company and by the final products it supplies to consumers.
Only one of the insurers, VIVAT, voted in favor of the resolution and has a clear voting policy to improve the oil and gas sector, according to the research report. Shell itself – despite disappointment of the Fair Insurance Guide – gave a negative voting advice. The resolution not being adopted (only 6% of shareholders voted in favor of the resolution) was therefore not a surprise.
Not for show
According to Maxime Molenaar of ACTIAM, responsible for the theme of climate, it is exceptional if a shareholders proposal is adopted when the board advises to oppose. Nevertheless, ACTIAM does not stop supporting or submitting such proposals (along with other investors). “There is often consultation between investors and the company in question. During those conversations companies sometimes promise to make improvements, in which case the item can be deleted from the calendar. Therefore, a proposal does not necessarily require support from the majority of shareholders to be effective.”
In the case of Shell there were also consultations with other investors prior to the voting. Maxime Molenaar: “That has not affected our choice. We have an extensive voting policy in which we are transparent about how we vote in the case of shareholder resolutions. This voice is in line with our policies.”