Occidental Petroleum Company
Statement for the Annual Meeting May 6, 2005
Topic: Human Rights
Presented by: Doris Gormley,
California Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
Good Morning Mr. Chairman, Board Members and Shareholders:
My name is Sr. Doris Gormley. I represent the California Province of the Society of Jesus commonly referred to as the Jesuits. I also represent the 9 other US Jesuit provinces and the Jesuit Province of Upper Canada and several other faith-based institutional investors all of whom are members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. The combined portfolios of ICCR's 275 members are valued in excess of $110 billion dollars and Occidental is well represented there.
More than a year ago, faith-based investors, led by the California Jesuits, began a collaborative relationship with Occidental, which resulted in the development of a company specific human rights policy. The Board of Directors approved this policy in December 2004. We commend you for engaging with faith-based investors in this work and for the focus and resources you brought to policy development. However, we have only just begun!
Now, your commitment to human rights will be further validated through the difficult processes of policy implementation. Your decision to post the policy on your website rather than merely referencing it in your Code of Conduct is further evidence of your willingness to be held accountable. We applaud that decision.
Attending with respect, fairness and integrity to the conflicting demands of all stakeholders is always a formidable task. Implementation of this policy with be especially challenging in difficult environments like Colombia and Ecuador. This work will be compounded since we both know that this policy is documentation of your commitment to human rights and not mere window dressing.
The Corporate Governance, Nominating and Social Responsibility Committee has been charged with the oversight of this human rights policy. Ms Tomich, we urge you and your committee to begin to evaluate vigorously all options and protocols for independent verification of policy compliance. Internal self-evaluation, alone, can dilute the Company's credibility and dilute the potential impact of your precedent setting behavior within your industry. Also, without assertive implementation and independent verification, the multiple risks to shareholder value may well be compounded rather than curtailed.
We look forward to supporting you in your efforts to fully implement and verify
the effectiveness of this policy. Thank You.