Orica (ASX: ORI) will defend court charges relating to 279 offences, including the release of contaminants from its sodium cyanide plant in Queensland, brought by the minister for environment and heritage protection Andrew Powell.
The alleged offending conduct contravened the Environmental Protection Act and includes: releasing contaminants in excess of licence limits; failing to notify the department upon becoming aware of contraventions; and failing to test for contaminants prior to releasing effluent. “Both the department and myself have taken a particular interest in any behaviour that may affect the Gladstone Harbour environment or have a detrimental effect on the Great Barrier Reef,” Powell said.
It is alleged that Orica was aware of the licence conditions but elected to ignore some of the requirements for an extended period. Powell said Orica had a history of environmental non-compliance, having previously been the subject of multiple statutory enforcement tools.
The Company intends to defend the complaints relating to Orica’s sodium cyanide facility in Yarwun, Queensland. Orica announced there has been no environmental harm or risk to human health from these alleged complaints, and quoted public statements from the then Department of Environment and Resource Management supporting this view.
Source: Ross Kendall, 20/06/12, Ethical Investor (see: http://www.ethicalinvestor.com.au/)
You may have seen campaigns to protect the Great Barrier Reef by Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). However - are you unwittingly investing in companies like Orica, through your Super/ Pension fund? Many of JustInvest’s ‘Super Ethical Health Checks’ find that this is the case, to the surprise of many of our clients.
JustInvest’s Super Ethical Health Check – Background
Responsible investment is a term used to describe an investment process which takes your ethical considerations into account. At JustInvest we believe that this process is an important addition to the usual investment selection and management process – and should not be ignored.
JustInvest’s Super Ethical Health Check gives an ethical rating based on the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) values of your portfolio. This report utilises both publicly available information and information sourced from a range of independent research providers.
Whoever manages your money, whether it’s your financial adviser, your bank, or your super fund, they should be able to tell you how they manage ESG factors within your portfolio. If that information isn’t provided in their reports or on their website, the best thing to do is ask for more transparency. These issues are not just a reflection of your personal values, but increasingly they play a major part in the risk and return on your investments. Believe it or not, your question can make a difference and encourage action within the organisations you already deal with.
Please note that each individuals’ ethical criteria for investment will be different, and as such your view on the rating may differ from that of JustInvest. As part of our advice process, JustInvest offers a Responsible Investment profiling tool, which accurately measures your ethical guidelines (we can provide you with more details on request).
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