US, UK and other global investors in BP, among whom Ethos, have agreed to work together to hold BP accountable following last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As a result and to give BP more time to address investor concerns a planned shareholder resolution seeking increased disclosure of the company's efforts to mitigate risk across operations will not be filed at the 2011 annual general meeting. If progress is not seen, the resolution will be filed in 2012.
The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon platform in April 2010 and the oil spill that followed in the Gulf of Mexico created a major human and ecological disaster. Given the risks entailed by BP's operations, Ethos joined a diverse coalition of investors, led by members of the US-based Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility in order to file a shareholder resolution seeking increased disclosure of the company's efforts to mitigate risk across operations.
On 25 January 2011, the coalition announced the withdrawal of the resolution this year in favour of an historic agreement with institutional investors in the UK. The agreement gives BP more time to address investor concerns but holds out the possible return to a resolution in 2012 if progress is not seen. The new partnership, with over 64 billion dollars in assets and nine million shares led by the secretariat for the UK Church Investors Group and Christian Brothers Investment Services in the US, the main filer of the resolution, will seek to strengthen shareholder engagement as well as disclosure on critical issues affecting the future of the company. By way of information, filing a shareholder resolution in the UK requires holding five percent of the company's capital or one hundred shareholders.