Controversial mining firm added to Dow Jones sustainability index

Swedish and Canadian pension funds had targeted Goldcorp over Guatemala operations

by Daniel Brooksbank | November 4th, 2010

Goldcorp’s Marlin Mine in Guatemala

Goldcorp Inc., the Vancouver-based global mining group targeted by investors over alleged human rights abuses in Guatemala, has been added to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America.
The addition is the result of a total of 26 changes made by Dow Jones’ index partner SAM to its sustainability scores following a software glitch that emerged last month.

Goldcorp has faced pressure from Swedish buffer funds AP1 and AP4 and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Staff Pension Fund and the Ethical Funds Co. over its operations at the Marlin mine.

In early 2008 investor representatives visited the mine and found a “highly complex” situation with a serious risk for rising tensions and violation of human rights. The investors subsequently filed a motion ahead of Goldcorp’s annual shareholder meeting demanding an independent Human Rights Impact Assessment – which the company accepted.

The committee commissioned a report, released inJune this year, which found that Goldcorp had “not provided an adequate foundation upon which to respect human rights, particularly in the areas of indigenous people’s rights, labour rights and for the risks associated with mine closure”.

Robeco-owned sustainable investment boutique SAM announced in October that it had identified a software fault and that it would have to recalculate the scores used as the basis for its suite of indices. “We broke it, we fixed it,” said a company spokesman.
The scores are used to determine a company’s eligibility for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI). There have been eight additions to and three deletions from the initial 318 components in the 2010 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. DJSI Europe has eight additions and two removals. DJSI North America has two additions and one removal. There are two additions to the DJSI Asia Pacific. All changes will take effect at the close of trading on December 17. Full details here (registration needed)

http://www.responsible-investor.com/home/article/controversial_mining_firm_added/

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