By Oliver Griffin
BHP Group PLC (BHP.LN) on Thursday said it didn't endorse resolutions proposed by shareholders which called for it to suspend its membership of industry lobby groups that advocate for policies at odds with the Paris climate change agreement.
On Tuesday, the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, a nonprofit group that promotes ethical investment, filed a resolution backed by investors including the Church of England Pensions Board and Grok Ventures, that called on BHP, the world's biggest miner by value, to stop funding aggressive lobby groups for the coal industry.
The ACCR had filed a special resolution to amend BHP's constitution so that it will be able to file the second ordinary resolution that calls for the company to abandon its support of coal lobbyists.
A special resolution needs at least 75% of shareholder votes to pass and, if it fails, the ordinary resolution won't be valid. However, in most cases, corporations will still publish the voting results for the second resolution regardless of whether the special resolution passes or not.
BHP said it didn't endorse either resolution. It said the ordinary resolution makes no reference to the broader benefits that industry associations can provide and said its membership in certain groups allows it to lead, influence and strengthen standards in a number of areas including environmental protection.
As such, the company recommended that shareholders vote against both of the proposed resolutions.
The company said it is currently reviewing its industry associations and will publish the outcome of the review. It argued that the ordinary resolution incorporates actions it has performed since 2017.
Responding to global warming remains a priority governance and strategic issue for BHP and the company will continue to take action, the miner said.
Write to Oliver Griffin at email@example.com; @OliGGriffin