NETHERLANDS – Asset manager PGGM has withdrawn its investments in Indian mining company Vedanta Resources for "persistently ignoring" the environment and human rights.
Despite a two-year dialogue concerning Vedanta's mining activities in the state of Orissa, the company made no concrete improvements, PGGM said.
The asset manager said Vedanta's lack of improvement and refusal to co-operate on environmental and human rights issues had increasingly put the company's reputation at risk, which, PGGM felt, had translated into a financial risk.
PGGM, which manages the €91bn healthcare scheme PFZW, said it had exchanged letters and held numerous talks with the company over the last two years.
It also aimed to step up pressure on Vedanta by involving a number of international institutional investors in talks.
But PGGM said Vedanta declined to participate in a roundtable meeting with experts – initiated by the group of investors – to discuss possible solutions for problems in Orissa.
Consequently, PGGM has disinvested its €13m stake in the company, including Vedanta's subsidiaries Sterlite Industries, Hindustan Zinc and Sesa Goa.
Source: Investment & Pensions Europe, 6 July 2010