The BCGEU is leading the way in the labour movement when it comes to responsible investing. Ahead of the 2015 global oil price crash, the union divested its strike fund and general reserves from fossil fuel equities and not only preserved, but increased the value of its holdings. Now, the BCGEU has partnered with non-profit organization SumOfUs to advocate for greater corporate responsibility among companies in its portfolio to further improve the value and sustainability of those investments.
"As a union we need to make sure that funds our members count on, such as the strike fund, are financially healthy and this requires careful and responsible investment decisions," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "Calling for greater corporate responsibility as a shareholder is not only financially prudent, but it allows us to pursue our values as a labour union as well."
On behalf of the BCGEU, SumOfUs will file several proposals over the summer for a vote by shareholders at Annual General Meetings of Canadian companies. These proposals will call for greater fairness in corporate governance and increased scrutiny around human rights and labour practices as well as the impacts of deforestation.
SumOfUs is a global non-profit organization that engages an online community of 14 million people to hold big corporations accountable on issues such as climate change, workers' rights, discrimination, human rights, animal rights and corruption.
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BCGEU Headquarters is on the unceded and shared traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skxwú7mesh (Squamish) & Səlí̓ lwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.