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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 shareholder proposals 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 for shareholder consideration and public review. 

Important update: On March 22, 2021 the SEC ruled in favor of Newground and against Chevron's legal maneuver to have the two shareholder proposals omitted from the 2021 proxy.  Newground's vigorous defense of the proposals was successful in defending them before an SEC tribunal that evaluates and rules on corporate challenges like Chevron's.

In 2020, three prominent public figures – Alec Baldwin, Jody Williams, and Roger Waters – volunteered to speak for Newground on behalf of these proposals at the virtual-only shareholder meeting.  These are their recordings: 

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.

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. 

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."

Nobel Laureates Statement

29 Nobel Prize Laureates challenge Chevron's action against attorney who defends Ecuadorian pollution victims.

Nobel | Download

shareholder proposal | S.M.

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

Res S.M. | Download

shareholder proposal | I.C.

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

Res I.C. | Download

Press Release

Newground's announcement
of presenters and issues for
the 2020 Chevron annual
shareholder meeting. 

Press | Download

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