April 30, 2023
Proposal is the first of its kind for a large Canadian public sector pension investment manager
Victoria, British Columbia – British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) filed a shareholder proposal calling for Imperial Oil Limited (Imperial Oil) to increase disclosure on climate risk. This is the first climate-related shareholder proposal filed by a large Canadian public sector pension investment manager going to a vote at a Canadian company. BCI is the sole filer on the proposal, which will be presented at Imperial Oil’s annual general meeting on May 2, 2023.
“Disclosure of accounting assumptions related to climate change and the energy transition is a fast-emerging shareholder expectation,” says Jennifer Coulson, senior managing director & global head, ESG. “We require transparent accounting disclosure in financial statements to make informed investment decisions, including visibility over off-balance sheet liabilities, and Imperial Oil has not provided sufficient information.”
The proposal requests that Imperial Oil’s Board of Directors provide an audited report estimating the impacts of the International Energy Agency Net Zero by 2050 pathway on all asset retirement obligations by February 2024. Asset retirement obligations are the costs associated with the regulatory requirement to decommission assets at the end of their life. Companies account for certain future costs through financial statements, and we expect to have visibility of current off-balance sheet liabilities of assets with indefinite useful lives.
In addition to the shareholder proposal, BCI has voted against key directors at the upcoming meeting. These votes are based on our assessment that the company’s lack of risk oversight has led to major controversies related to tailings integrity and insufficient Indigenous engagement.
Taking action on climate change for more than 20 years, BCI has supported the Climate Action 100+ collaborative engagements with Imperial Oil and its majority shareholder Exxon Mobil Corporation (ExxonMobil) since 2017. BCI has co-filed a similar proposal at ExxonMobil. These actions reflect an escalation of our engagement efforts and align with the expectations and goals of Climate Action 100+.
More information is available on the Climate Action 100+ website.
Director, External Stakeholder Engagement
British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) is amongst the largest institutional investors in Canada with C$211.1 billion under management, as of March 31, 2022. Based in Victoria, British Columbia, with offices in Vancouver, New York City, and London, U.K., BCI is invested in: fixed income and private debt; public and private equity; infrastructure and renewable resources; as well as real estate equity and real estate debt through our independently operated platform company QuadReal Property Group. With our global outlook, we seek investment opportunities that convert savings into productive capital that will meet our clients’ risk and return requirements over time. This compels us to integrate long-term ESG matters into all investment decisions and activities. BCI’s clients include pension plans representing over 715,000 plan members, insurance funds providing more than three million Autoplan insurance policies annually, benefits coverage to more than two million workers and 225,000 companies, and special purpose funds within British Columbia’s public sector. Founded in 1999, BCI is a statutory corporation created by the Public Sector Pension Plans Act.