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Shareholder Engagement in Action

Chevron & its Ecuador Problem

Using shareowner rights to promote fairness, justice & resilience.

Chevron has ignored shareholder concerns about its liability for significant dumping of toxic oil waste in the Amazon region of Ecuador, dumping that has sickened tens of thousands of indigenous people and poisoned rivers and streams.  

Since 2013 Newground has placed a shareholder proposal in Chevron’s proxy, and since 2019 has filed two proposals each year.  These proposals call for common-sense governance reforms designed to make the company more accountable, responsive, and transparent – as a means of bringing its Ecuador issues to resolution, addressing lack of appropriate climate change planning, and to prevent future human rights and Superfund-type liabilities around the globe.  

In 2021 Chevron challenged both proposals before the SEC, seeking to have them 'omitted' and blocked from appearing in the proxy, but the SEC ruled in favor of Newground and against Chevron's legal maneuvers. 

A host of prominent people – young leaders of the Economy of Francesco (chartered by Pope Francis in 2019), exiled Burmese human rights activist Khin Ohmar, and actress / activist Susan Sarandon – volunteered to speak for Newground on behalf of these proposals at the virtual-only shareholder meeting.  These are their voices:

Voices of the World to Chevron

The Economy of Francesco

Chartered by Pope Francis in 2019

"Voices of the World to Chevron" details 1 of 2 shareholder proposals to the oil giant in 2021 that address Climate Change, Rainforest Pollution in Ecuador, and the Company's support of a Genocidal Military Government in Myanmar.

Burmese Human Rights Activist Addresses Chevron

Khin Ohmar, Progressive Voices Myanmar

Exiled Burmese Human Rights Activist

Ohmar details Chevron's deadly support of a genocidal Military Government in Myanmar, Rainforest Pollution in Ecuador, and Judicial Abuse of the Ecuadorians' attorney Steven Donziger.

Susan Sarandon Challenges Chevron

Susan Sarandon

Actress & Activist

Susan challenges Chevron to address Climate Change, Rainforest Destruction in Ecuador, the Company's support of a Genocidal Military Government in Myanmar, and judicial abuse of the Ecuadorians' attorney Steven Donziger.

Earlier, and still relevant to 2021:

Three prominent figures – actor Alec Baldwin, Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams, and musician Roger Waters (co-founder Pink Floyd) – volunteered to speak for Newground on behalf of these proposals at the 2020 virtual-only shareholder meeting.  These are their voices: 

The Harvey Weinstein of Petroleum Companies

Alec Baldwin

Actor and Producer

Calling Chevron "the Harvey Weinstein of petroleum companies" Alec details why Chevron’s controversial RICO victory against human rights lawyer Steven Donziger does not protect it from liability.

Nobel Laureates Challenge "The Chevron Way"

Jody Williams

Nobel Peace Laureate (1997)

Joins 28 other Nobel Laureates to call on Chevron to address its pollution in Ecuador, commenting on the stark variance between company actions and its Chevron Way code of conduct. 

Do The Right Thing

Roger Waters

Musician, co-founder Pink Floyd

Visited the Ecuadorian Amazon in 2018, observed firsthand the Chevron-Texaco waste pits which leach deadly chemicals into the local drinking water, and calls on Chevron to "do the right thing."

Congressional Letter to U.S. Attorney General

6 members of Congress wrote to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to express “Deep Concern” that Steven Donziger’s house arrest is tied to his successful work against Chevron.  They request that the Justice Department investigate and take over the case of Cheveron vs Donziger.  Full letter linked in button below, here is the Congressional press release.

Congressional Letter

special meeting (S.M.) proposal 2021

The Special Meeting proposal discusses the risk of Ecuadorian liability and the need for greater shareholder voice.

S.M. Reso | Download

independent chair (I.C.) proposal 2021

The Independent Chair proposal highlights how lack of independent oversight may contribute to the Ecuador crisis & climate risk.

I.C. Reso | Download

Press Release

Newground's announcement
of actions & outcomes
at Chevron's 2021 annual
shareholder meeting. 

P.R. | Download

Nobel Laureates Statement

68 Nobel Prize Laureates wrote the U.S. Attorney General to challenge Chevron's action against Steven Donziger, who successfully represented victims of the company's Ecuadorian rainforest pollution.

Open Nobel Letter

With special thanks to:

Leif Utne
Nick Gatti

for your consummate expertise
and for stepping up
when deadlines were close 

What makes Newground different?

NPR-KUOW feature on Newground: 

"Getting McDonald's to the Table"

A sophisticated ESG* approach that emphasizes shareholder engagement.

Nationally recognized for our unique brand of responsible impact investing, Newground appreciates and supports a client’s values – as expressed through selective ESG portfolio management, community investment, and shareholder engagement.

ESG Portfolio Management seeks companies with responsible environmental, social, and governance practices, while avoiding companies whose questionable practices create material portfolio risk.

Community Investment changes lives on the ground by providing necessary capital and banking services to people and communities who are routinely underserved, if not excluded.

Shareholder Engagement, which few advisors do, uses active shareholder ownership to call on companies to embrace transparency, equity, and inclusion – which transforms corporate behavior over time.

* ESG = Environmental, Social & Governance strategies