Guest AEUHHH???? by David Middleton
Jun 24, 2019
A Family Divesting From Fossil Fuels To Invest In A Green Future
Bonnie Chiu Contributor
I write about gender and diversity in the emerging world.
Oil and gas companies have been up for a bumpy ride as more investment funds divest from fossil fuels. It is not only institutional investors such as the Norwegian sovereign fund doing so, but also families and individuals. One such family is certain descendants of Lauren J. Drake, past president of Standard Oil of New Jersey, which eventually merged into ExxonMobil. These descendants have sold off their inherited shares, a healthy six-figure sum, on the basis of environmentalism.
Divestment started four generations down from Lauren J. Drake, and he was a prominent individual in the oil and gas industry. An oil tanker was named after him, and it was used in World War Two to transport oil to the allied forces. Some families may find it difficult to emotionally disassociate themselves from the origin of family wealth, but Jamison Suter, great-great-grandson of Lauren J. Drake, said that one should not be sentimental about an investment: “Be grateful you received it, but if it is doing something wrong, try to change the company.”
Jamison, with his background in cultural anthropology and environmental science, started engaging in shareholder activism in the early 2000s. He read the resolutions put to ExxonMobil’s BoD and voted on them with his conscience, but he felt that his action “was a useless drop in the ocean.” He started selling off his shares in 2017 and by now has already sold all of them. “If you cannot change the companies, dump the investment as loudly as you can,” explained Jamison. His aunt, his brother, and sister have all done the same.
Bonnie Chiu Contributor
I am a Forbes 30 Under 30 social entrepreneur, a gender equality advocate and a social impact consultant. I am the Founder and CEO of Lensational, empowering marginalised women in 20 countries in Asia and Africa through photography training and platforms to sell their work. I also serve as the Managing Director of The Social Investment Consultancy, an internationally impact advisory firm, with a focus on gender and diversity within impact investing. A recognised advocate for gender equality, I was profiled the Ambassador for Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Achieve Gender Equality — in the Lavazza Calendar. A global citizen, I have roots in Hong Kong and Indonesia, and have lived in the US, Singapore, Pakistan, Denmark, Germany and currently I am based in the UK.Forbes
Does anyone else out there wonder if the “under 30 social entrepreneur, gender equality advocate and a social impact consultant” author of this article realizes that this divestment could only have occurred if there were investors willing to sink “a healthy six-figure sum” into ExxonMobil “on the basis of” capitalism?
One such family is certain descendants of Lauren J. Drake, past president of Standard Oil of New Jersey, which eventually merged into ExxonMobil. These descendants have sold off their inherited shares, a healthy six-figure sum, on the basis of environmentalism.Under 30 social entrepreneur, a gender equality advocate and a social impact consultant
As the great Time Allen would say…
Until reality comes to an end…
The fossil fuel divestment movement will remain “a really futile and stupid gesture”…