Letter to our Stakeholders Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline
January 30, 2017 10:30 AM
To our customers, investors and other concerned stakeholders:
As a lender to the Dakota Access Pipeline, we continue to engage with the project sponsors, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and Sunoco Logistics, to understand the situation on the ground and express our concerns. We understand that many stakeholders believe that banks should withdraw the project loan. However, we have signed a contract to provide the loan and cannot terminate this contract unilaterally.
We want to take this opportunity to underscore that Citi continues to be very concerned about the situation on the ground in North Dakota, and that this issue has the attention and focus of our senior executives. We have had extensive conversations with numerous stakeholders from the non-governmental organization, human rights, academic, socially responsible investor, and tribal communities to understand different perspectives on this rapidly evolving situation. We have also met directly with members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Over the past five months, we have continuously engaged with ETP and Sunoco Logistics to discuss our concerns and to advocate for careful use of security to ensure everyone’s safety and for constructive dialogue with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. In addition, Foley Hoag LLP, an independent human rights expert, has been retained to advise the lenders to the Dakota Access Pipeline on recommended improvements ETP and Sunoco Logistics can make to enhance their social policies and procedures. We plan to use this information to enhance our due diligence going forward.
Citi has spent the last decade and a half promoting sustainable progress and growing our sustainable finance business. We will continue to invest in innovative solutions that enable progress, including the adoption of clean and renewable energy sources to combat climate change. As those solutions continue to evolve, we will also continue to support affordable and accessible sources of energy, while helping our clients responsibly manage associated risks and opportunities.
Citi also has a longstanding commitment to sustainability and human rights, and we have publicly stated our support for the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other international frameworks in our Statement on Human Rights. As a co-founder and steering committee member of The Equator Principles, a risk management framework adopted by over 80 financial institutions, we continue to be very focused on assessing and managing environmental and social risk in projects. The Equator Principles social risks working group organized a webinar recently on Indigenous Peoples due diligence to help all of the member banks learn from constantly evolving best practice in this area.
Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline, we strongly reiterate our primary concern that all parties work to establish and maintain a safe and respectful environment for both the protestors and pipeline workers.
Thank you for the opportunity for us to provide our perspective.