Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources sell shares of their company to the public at large via stock exchanges. Those shares can be purchased by individuals or private and public financial institutions that manage mutual funds and pension funds. Therefore, the shareholders invest in capital that they hope will grow in mining companies; they become holders of a small part of the company, assuming both the financial risk and the possibility for profits. On their end, the mining companies find the capital – i.e. colossal amounts – necessary to open and operate a mining project.
That capital is comprised of the savings or contributions of clients or contributors of those institutions, whether they are aware or not of the route their pennies are taking. The Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec invests the contributions made to the Régie des Rentes du Québec of nearly 4 million Quebeckers. As for the Canada Pension Plan, it collects and invests the contributions of some 18 million Canadians, via its Investment Board.Hence, that means that via these two public pension funds, the very vast majority of Canadians and Quebeckers have money invested in Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources. Many of us also invest in these companies via other financial institutions who buy shares of these two mining companies, for example Royal Bank, National Bank, ING Direct, or AGF Investments.
However, some of these financial institutions have adopted ethical principles that guide their investments and assure us that our assets will not be used to fund wars or companies presumed guilty of serious abuse and unscrupulous environmental destruction. That is particularly the case with the Caisse de Dépôt et de Placement du Québec, the Canada Pension Fund, and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund, managing the savings of millions of Canadians! In addition to the principles that they adopted themselves, these three institutions also signed the Principles for Responsible Investment initiative of their own free will. This UN initiative commits private and public financial institutions to take into account ethical principles related to human rights and the environment such that they make investment decisions that are not only profitable, but also responsible.
- Ken Neumann, United Steel Workers National Director, 2013
As direct and indirect investors, we can play a key role in favour of the respect of human rights and the environment in Guatemala! Participating in this divestment campaign is a committed, responsible act within everyone’s reach that can make a positive difference. Companies are aware of the pressure exerted by the public, particularly by its investors. We can show our opposition to the investments made using our money by questioning the managers of our pension funds, by calling our bank and by calling to order Quebec and Canada’s public investment fund, which are violating their own ethics principles by investing in Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources.
By incorporating environmental and social considerations in their criteria, investment companies recognize that a company’s performance is not based solely on financial criteria. Natural resources mining projects, when they are unsustainable on the environmental and human level, are also financially unsustainable in the long term. The investment risk is increased by social tension, legal decisions and international warnings associated with mining projects; the investors’ reputation is called into question as is that of the companies; the resources freely used and deteriorated by the companies (water, agricultural soil, mountains) have a real cost and irreversible consequences for humanity as a whole.
|Investor (public or private institution holding shares in the company)||Value of investments in Goldcorp Inc. (in $US)||Value of investments in Tahoe Resources Inc. (in $US)|
|Caisse de Dépôt et de Placement du Québec||More than $246 million||—|
|Canada Pension Plan Investment Board||More than $217 million||Almost $54 million|
|Ontario’ Teachers Pension Plan||More than $175 million||—|
|Public Sector Pension Investment Board||$80 million||$12.5 million|
|Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)||$464 million||$30 million|
|Bank of Montreal (BMO)||$382 million||$19 million|
|Desjardins Group (Equity Growth and Environment funds)||$28.6 million||—|
|CIBC (CIBC World Markets and CIBC Global Asset Management)||$427 million||$4 million|
|National Bank of Canada||$5.7 million||—|
|Fidelity Investments||$373.5 million||$128 million|
|Empire Life||$8.7 million||—|
|Standard Life||$7.6 million||$322,800|
|AGF Investments||$67.5 million||$69 million|
|Industrial Alliance||$56 million||—|
|Manulife Financial||$30 million||$388,000|
|*GOLDCORP INC.||—||Almost $937 million (40% des parts)|
The list of shareholders in this table is by no means exhaustive. Institutions investing in the two mining companies have been identified by monitoring their financial holdings via the financial sites LesAffaires.com and Morningstar.com, consulted between November 2013 and January 2013, the annual report of the Caisse de Dépôt et placement du Québec and the Comprehensive Ownership Detail Reports of Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources. The figures listed in the table were taken on September 30, 2013, unless otherwise specified. The purpose of this table is not to assign a precise, up-to-date investment value, but rather to simply give an idea of the extent of the investment of each financial institution identified.