Groups: IEA "Golden Rules" For Fracking Track Closely With Steps Already Called For By Investors

After outlining their own recommendations seven months ago for energy companies engaged in fracking, investors with about $1 trillion in assets under management are seeing much they can support in the International Energy Agency's "Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas" report released today.

On May 16, 2012, Boston Common Asset Management (Boston Common), the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) announced that 55 major investment organizations and institutional investors with nearly $1 trillion in assets under management had united in support of "best practices" for the fracking of shale gas.   The guidelines, "Extracting the Facts: An Investor Guide to Disclosing Risks from Hydraulic Fracturing Operations," are available online at

With the publication today of its "Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas" report – part of the World Energy Outlook series – the International Energy Agency outlines a number of recommendations in the same spirit as the IEHN/ICCR guidelines.

Steven Heim, managing director and director of ESG Research and Shareholder Engagement, Boston Common, said:  "Investors require full disclosure in accordance with IEA's golden rules  in order to make fully informed judgments about wise investments in the energy sector that take full account of companies' management of environmental risks and social impacts."

Richard Liroff, PhD., executive director, Investor Environmental Health Network, said:  "The substantial alignment between IEA's recommendations and 'Extracting the Facts' means that 'Extracting the Facts' provides companies with a practical tool for implementing the IEA recommendations."

Sister Nora Nash, director of corporate social responsibility, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, and member of the ICCR, said, "The IEA golden rules reinforce the core messages of the investor guidelines we put forth in "Extracting the Facts" that companies need to fully engage communities to secure their social license to operate, and a critical element of such engagement is responding to community concerns and reporting fully on operational practices."

"Extracting the Facts" was inspired by energy companies' requests, in dialogues with investors, for enhanced guidance on disclosure of risk management practices. The guide is organized around 12 core goals and supporting practices and indicators:

  • Manage risks transparently and at board level;
  • Reduce surface footprint;
  • Assure well integrity;
  • Reduce and disclose all toxic chemicals;
  • Protect water quality by rigorous monitoring;
  • Minimize fresh water use;
  • Prevent contamination from waste water;
  • Minimize and disclose air emissions;
  • Prevent contamination from solid waste and sludge residuals;
  • Assure best in class contractor performance;
  • Secure community consent; and
  • Disclose fines, penalties and litigation.


Boston Common Asset Management is an investment manager and a leader in global sustainability initiatives, specializing in long-only International equity, US equity, and US balanced strategies. Boston Common seeks sustainable, long-term capital appreciation by investing in diversified portfolios of what it believes are high-quality companies through rigorous analysis of financial, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. As shareowners, Boston Common urges companies to improve transparency, accountability, and attention to ESG issues. Boston Common is an independent, employee-owned firm and as of March 31, 2012, managed over $1.6 billion, including subadvised assets.

The Investor Environmental Health Network is a collaborative partnership of investment managers, advised by nongovernmental organizations, concerned about the financial and public health risks associated with corporate toxic chemicals policies. IEHN, through dialogue and shareholder resolutions, encourages companies to adopt policies to continually and systematically reduce and eliminate the toxic chemicals in their products and activities

Currently celebrating its 40th year, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility is the pioneer coalition of active shareholders who view the management of their investments as a catalyst for change.  Its 300 member organizations with over $100 billion in assets have an enduring record of corporate engagement that has demonstrated influence on policies promoting justice and sustainability in the world.


Boston Common Asset Management, Boston, MA; Investor Environmental Health Network, Falls Church, VA; and Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, NYC

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