SWEDEN – Forsta AP-fonden, the €17bn Swedish buffer fund, is to back environmental resolutions at US industrial giants General Electric and ChevronTexaco at their annual general meetings tomorrow.
“The resolutions have been filed by major US investors, among them the New York State Common Retirement Fund,” AP1 said, adding that its voting is based on advice from GES Investment Services.
Swedish national schemes are bound by Parliament to take ethical and environmental considerations in account.
GE is being urged to report on how much it has spent trying to avoid responsibility for the consequences of discharges pollution into the Hudson River in New York.
And ChevronTexaco’s shareholders will vote on a resolution from New York State Common Retirement Fund, requesting it to address the environmental consequences of its activities in Ecuador.
Both companies defend their positions in the various areas. ChevronTexaco says there has been “misinformation” about its Ecuadorian operations. And GE says it has worked for more than 25 years to address environmental issues on the Hudson.
”Corporate governance issues are managed in different ways in North America and Europe,” said Nadine Viel Lamare, AP1’s head of corporate communications.
“It is less common for US companies to conduct a direct dialogue with its investors. This makes the annual meeting more important as a forum for communication between the company and its shareholders.
“Therefore, it is momentous for AP1 to exercise its right to vote in order to underline the importance of corporate social responsibility.”
AP1 will vote over the Internet.