At its 2019 annual meeting, BHP Group Limited (BHP) received a shareholder proposal asking the company to suspend its membership in trade organizations that have positions on climate change which are inconsistent with BHP’s publicly stated positions. Prior to BHP’s annual meeting, we engaged with the shareholder proponents as well as BHP’s Chairperson to evaluate whether the board understands and is effectively managing the risks.
BHP outlined how the firm is providing oversight of the reputational risk associated with trade associations. Furthermore, the company committed to taking further action on the issue by updating and enhancing the disclosure of its “2017 Industry Association Review,” which lists the company’s memberships in trade associations and provides a gap analysis of alignment with BHP’s climate positions. Based on our engagements and our analysis of BHP’s existing disclosure, we voted against the shareholder proposal.