Statement from Trillium Asset Management, LLC and Calvert Investments on Rio Tinto’s withdrawal from the Pebble Mine Project
April 9, 2014: Rio Tinto plc (LON: RIO) has announced that it is withdrawing from the proposed Pebble Mine Project in Bristol Bay Alaska. This action, which casts a cloud of deep uncertainty over the project’s future, follows years of widespread opposition to the proposed open pit mine from Native Alaskans, sport and commercial fishing groups, environmental organizations, and retail grocers, along with other businesses and investors. In March, Trillium Asset Management (Trillium) and Calvert Investment Management, Inc. (Calvert) specifically requested that Rio Tinto re-examine its participation in the project.
Rio Tinto’s withdrawal also follows Anglo American’s (LON: AAL) withdrawal from the Project in September 2013 and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s February 2014 decision to initiate a Clean Water Act 404(c) review of the project. This most recent development is yet another clear signal that the proposed Pebble Mine is the wrong mine in the wrong place.
The Bristol Bay region of Alaska, where the colossal open pit mine is proposed, is the home of the largest wild sockeye salmon fishery in the world, which is sustainably managed and central to the life of the Alaska Natives and non-natives in the region.
Groups of investors, representing tens of billions of dollars, have, for years, expressed deep concern about the proposed mine. In letters to the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011, 2012 and 2013 investors shared their concerns about the Bristol Bay ecosystem, responsible mineral development, sustainable fishery management, Alaska Native culture, and the associated risks.
Trillium, Calvert and other concerned investors believe that this controversy serves as an important example of how environmental, social, government policy, and financial risk factors must be addressed in an integrated manner.
We believe that Rio Tinto reached a similar conclusion after its strategic review, which led to the company’s decision to withdraw from the project.
We will be working with fellow investors in the next few weeks to communicate our ongoing concerns to the EPA as it accepts comments on its Clean Water Act review.
The investor group led by Trillium Asset Management LLC and Calvert Investment Management Inc., includes Christopher Reynolds Foundation, Clean Yield Asset Management, First Affirmative Financial Network, Green Century Capital Management, Inc., Investor Voice, SPC, Maryknoll Sisters, Newground Social Investment, SPC, Pax World Management LLC, Sierra Club Foundation, The Sustainability Group of Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge, Walden Asset Management, and Zevin Asset Management LLC.
Trillium Asset Management, LLCis the oldest independent investment advisor devoted exclusively to sustainable and responsible investing. With over $1.5 billion in assets under management, Trillium has been managing equity and fixed income investments for high net worth individuals, foundations, endowments, religious institutions, and other nonprofits, since 1982. A leader in shareholder advocacy and public policy work, Trillium’s goal is to deliver both impact and performance to its investors.
Calvert Investment Management, Inc is an investment management company that offers mutual funds and separate accounts to institutional investors, retirement plans, financial intermediaries, and their clients. By combining rigorous analysis with independent thinking, our disciplined approach to money management goes beyond traditional factors in order to manage risk and to identify investment opportunities with greater long-term potential. We offer more than 40 equity, bond, cash, and asset allocation investment strategies, many of which feature integrated corporate sustainability and responsibility research.
For More Information:
Jonas Kron, Trillium Asset Management, (503) 592-0864, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stu Dalheim, Calvert Investments, (301) 961-4762, Stu.Dalheim@Calvert.com