Track Ninja now offers socially responsible investing. Make a positive change with your investments. Kevin McNab, our founder, writes about socially responsible investing in ColoradoBiz Magazine.
PetroChina Company Limited is the largest oil producer in China and has one of the largest market capitalizations of any company in the world. PetroChina’s stock is traded on multiple exchanges including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: Symbol PTR). The massive company appears in many mutual funds. As a result, it may be part of your portfolio without your knowledge. Why should you care?
Throughout the last decade and a half, PetroChina has been the focus of many activists and has proven that the company will stop at nothing to produce a profit.
PetroChina’s parent company, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), is helping the Sudanese government explore and drill for oil. China National Petroleum Corporation owns a majority share of Petrodar Operating Company Ltd. Petrodar is an oil company that explores, develops and produces oil in Sudan. According to many advocacy groups, the oil-dependent Sudanese government uses a large percentage of its oil revenues generated through foreign direct investment to fund militias accused of killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the Darfur region of Sudan. In 2005, President George W. Bush declared the killings in the Darfur Region genocide.
The spotty environmental track record of PetroChina includes chemical spills and a controversial pipeline project. In November 2005, one of the company’s plants exploded in Jilin, China resulting in 100 tons of benzene pouring into the Songhua River injuring 60 people, killing five, while causing an environmental disaster. More recently (2014), a subsidiary of the company was responsible for ethylene and ammonia leaks which contaminated water supplies in Lanzhou. The company is also sponsoring the building of an oil pipeline across Tibet which has been criticized by many environmentalists due to the potential effect on the environment and wildlife in the region.
This is just one example of a company many investors may hope to recognize and avoid through socially responsible investing (SRI). Socially responsible investing is a very broad term. Of course, core values are going to be vastly different for individuals and organizations. For some, green or environmental issues may be extremely important while faith-based values may be important for others.