CalSTRS Urges Support of Sustainability Resolution at Chesapeake Energy
Two key proxy advisor firms support call for sustainability report by directors at Chesapeake Energy.
WEST SACRAMENTO, CA– A resolution proposed by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) calls on Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK) to issue a sustainability report on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, focusing on greenhouse gas emissions and its plans to manage emissions. It is the first shareholder resolution on sustainability reporting submitted for consideration at Chesapeake.
Two leading proxy advisor firms, RiskMetrics and Glass Lewis, each recommend a FOR vote in support of the CalSTRS resolution. If enacted at Chesapeake’s annual meeting on June 11 in Oklahoma City, OK, it would call for a company-wide review of policies, practices and measurements related to environmental, social and governance related issues by November 30, 2010.
RiskMetrics’ analysis states that “beyond existing disclosure, the company does not disclose comprehensive environmental and social sustainability-related metrics and goals. The potential cost and burden of producing such a report may be outweighed by benefits that could be realized by the company through the evaluation of potential risks.”
Glass Lewis said that Chesapeake operates “in an industry that will likely be affected by legislation anticipated to lower the energy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. The production of such a report would provide shareholders with valuable information regarding the risks and opportunities associated with operating in the increasingly dynamic energy industry.”
“Reporting on ESG practices helps companies become more responsive to the global business environment and allows them to realize value from their current corporate social responsibility efforts,” said Jack Ehnes, CalSTRS chief executive officer. “Transparency on climate change is particularly important because it is one of the most financially significant environmental risks facing investors.”
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which owns more than 2.2 million shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp., has a $138 billion portfolio and is the second largest public pension fund in the United States. It administers retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California’s 848,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,400 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.