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Governance

Shareholders support proposals for Kinder Morgan to create climate change, sustainability reports

A worker at the Kinder Morgan Inc. Trans Mountain pipeline expansion site in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Shareholder proposals calling on Kinder Morgan Inc. to produce climate change and sustainability reports were supported by a majority of shareholders at the company's annual meeting Wednesday, said a news release from Ceres, a non-profit organization focused on sustainability.

Members of Ceres' investor network filed the shareholder proposals.

Exact vote tallies were not immediately available.

The climate change proposal — filed by Zevin Asset Management — called on the energy infrastructure company to prepare a report of the long-term impacts on the company's portfolio under the 2-degrees scenario, the concept of limiting the average global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.

Last year, a majority of Exxon Mobil Corp., Occidental Petroleum Corp., and PPL Corp. shareholders supported similar climate change proposals.

The sustainability proposal — filed by the $209.1 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany — asked Kinder Morgan to prepare "an annual sustainability report describing the company's analysis of, and short- and long-term responses to, the ESG-related issues that are most important to the company."

Large pension funds that supported both proposals included the $351 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento; $222.5 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento; $146 billion Texas Teacher Retirement System, Austin; $204.9 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee; C$189.5 billion ($147.6 billion) Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Toronto; and C$337.1 billion Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto.

"Investors have significant concerns about how Kinder Morgan is — or is not — positioning itself for resilience consistent with clean energy transition," said Sue Reid, vice president of climate and energy at Ceres, in a news release. Wednesday's "majority votes send a strong message that investors expect the company to evaluate and disclose how its business and investment plans address risks and opportunities in a world committed to shifting from high-carbon to clean energy."

"This is a resounding victory for shareholders and others concerned about the company's lack of reporting on environmental, social and corporate governance issues," said New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, in an emailed statement on the sustainability proposal. "Long-term investors want Kinder Morgan to be transparent and accountable about the risks in its operations; that includes the controversy that arose over the Trans Mountain Pipeline." Mr. DiNapoli is sole trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund.

A Kinder Morgan spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.