An anonymous group of CSR-crusaders are performing anti-investor relations for Royal Dutch Shell.
A database of the personal details of Shell employees and contractors has been leaked by environmental and human rights campaign groups. The document, confirmed as genuine but out of date by Shell, contains the personal details of 176,000 individuals. Released on the evening of February 11, it comes with a 170-page 'covering note' from the vigilantes including plans for a campaign to educate the company’s institutional investors.
The covering note claims that all of Shell's institutional investors are oblivious to the company's supposedly maleficent activities in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. As the Financial Times notes, these claims are already well-known and it is unlikely that they would be news to investors.
If institutional investors were not aware of Shell’s difficulties in Nigeria, they should not be surprised by the covering note’s call for a change in policy. ‘Petroleum giant accused of poor corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Africa’ is a well-worn story. Nor does the appeal to CSR appear to affect investor behavior. The company’s share price fell slightly with the news, hitting £17.26 on Friday, down from January’s high of £19.50, but has recovered today.