Fairmount Santrol (NYSE:FMSA) is pleased to announce the release of its twelfth annual Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report, Do Good. Do Well. Always. The 2017 report was prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards: Core Option. To meet these guidelines, in 2014 and again in 2017, the Company conducted an assessment and engaged internal and external stakeholders to identify and prioritize Fairmount Santrol’s most significant sustainability-related impacts, risks and opportunities.
The theme of this year’s report, Do Good. Do Well. Always. highlights the Company’s commitment to Sustainable Development (SD), as well as the many accomplishments achieved by Fairmount Santrol Family Members in 2017. This report also demonstrates the Company’s ability to focus on long-term value creation, and commitment to remain as an employer and business partner of choice.
Selected highlights include:
Family Members achieved 96 percent of the 2017 SD Team goals, including donating over 12,000 hours of volunteer time and assisting in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
Temporarily shifting job responsibilities to quickly reopen four idled mines enabled the Company to capture market opportunities, demonstrating our productivity and agility.
Increasing the amount of sand shipped via unit trains – single-product trains that are given priority handling – significantly reducing delivery time, fuel consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and shipping costs.
Funding and/or participating in the planting of more than 99,400 trees to offset greenhouse gas emissions.
Constructing a new in-basin facility in West Texas to capture market opportunities, while leveraging the Company’s unique culture and commitment to SD initiatives to attract local new hires.
Successfully testing and launching several new value-added products including, but not limited to, Accel™ dust-preventing polymeric sand, which reduces on-site dust and haze up to 90 percent compared with traditional polymeric sand.
“Our commitment to Sustainable Development – to Do Good. Do Well. - continues to be a key part of our unique culture, driving value for our people, the business, and our valued partners. As we continue to grow, we’re reminded that our sustained success comes from our dedication to all three pillars: People, Planet and Prosperity. Our Family Members are living by these values every day, Always.” said Jenniffer Deckard, President and Chief Executive Officer.
About Fairmount Santrol
Fairmount Santrol is a leading provider of high-performance sand and sand-based product solutions used by oil and gas exploration and production companies to enhance the productivity of their wells. The Company also provides high-quality products, strong technical leadership and applications knowledge to end users in the foundry, building products, water filtration, glass, and sports and recreation markets. Its expansive logistics capabilities include a wide-ranging network of distribution terminals and thousands of rail cars that allow the Company to effectively serve customers wherever they operate. As one of the nation’s longest continuously operating mining organizations, Fairmount Santrol has developed a strong commitment to all three pillars of sustainable development, People, Planet and Prosperity. Correspondingly, the Company’s motto and action orientation is: “Do Good. Do Well.” For more information, visit FairmountSantrol.com.
This press release contains statements which, to the extent they are not statements of historical or present fact, constitute “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or implied in forward-looking statements are described in Fairmount Santrol’s Form 10-K under the heading “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information,” as well as the information included in Fairmount Santrol’s Current Reports on Form 8-K and other factors that are set forth in management’s discussion and analysis of Fairmount Santrol’s most recently filed reports with the SEC. Additional important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: the merger not being timely completed, if completed at all; if the merger is completed, the impact of any undertakings required by the parties in order to obtain regulatory approvals; prior to the completion of the merger, Fairmount Santrol’s and/or Unimin’s respective businesses experiencing disruptions due to transaction-related uncertainty or other factors making it more difficult to maintain relationships with employees, business partners or governmental entities; the industry may be subject to future regulatory or legislative actions that could adversely affect Fairmount Santrol’s and/or Unimin’s respective businesses; and the parties being unable to successfully implement integration strategies. While Fairmount Santrol and/or Unimin may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Fairmount Santrol and Unimin specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if estimates change and, therefore, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to today.
FAIRMOUNT SANTROL STOCKHOLDERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO READ THE UNIMIN REGISTRATION STATEMENT AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC, INCLUDING THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS THAT IS PART OF THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE MERGER. The final proxy statement/prospectus will be mailed to the record holders. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain the documents free of charge at the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov, or from Fairmount Santrol at its web-site, FairmountSantrol.com.
Participants in Solicitation
Fairmount Santrol and its respective directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the Merger. Information concerning Fairmount Santrol’s participants is set forth in the proxy statement, dated April 6, 2017, for Fairmount Santrol’s 2017 Annual Meeting of stockholders as filed with the SEC on Schedule 14A. Additional information regarding the interests of such participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the Merger is included in the Registration Statement and proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials filed with the SEC.
Over the past 10 years, more than 6,000 executives from leading organizations including NASA, Coca-Cola, Walmart, Timberland, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Microsoft, L’Oréal, Chevron, Cigna, PWC, T–Mobile, Procter & Gamble, and Macy’s were certified as sustainability professionals.
CSE successfully delivered on the 8th and 9th of March in Atlanta and on 26th and 27th in Toronto the Advanced Version 2018 of the Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program. These high level professional trainings were fully booked, and once again CSE brought together professionals from different countries, fields and companies who joined this two-day workshop, eager to further develop and enhance their business strategies through CSR frameworks.
“The workshop was delivered by dynamic and knowledgeable instructors. It was a very comprehensive and practical training, attended by participants from all sectors of the economy,” says Prof. Stephan Vachon, who attended the Toronto training. Vachon is chair of the Masters of Environment and Sustainability program at the Ivey Business School, the #1MBA program in Canada, and top-ranked globally. “I recommend it to anyone who wants a thorough and up-to-date overview of sustainability aspects in businesses.”
Additionally, professionals from 3 continents, North America, Europe and the Middle East, are participating in the quickly approaching global event in NYC this June 11-12, in order to become certified and recognized as Sustainability CSR-P Practitioners by CSE and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
CSE is in preparations for this third in a row Global Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program (CMI Approved) in North America. For its fourth training in Houston on the 27th and 28th of September, the advanced training will focus on the UN SDGs, GRI Standards, sustainability reporting trends according to CSE research, national and international legislation and other key challenges in sustainability. Stay tuned for the promising event in Houston!
CSE North America
CyberGrants, corporate social responsibility and grantmaking software providers released a new, customizable CSR planner for download. Based in Google Drive, this planner is meant to help track and organize CSR initiatives for organizations of all sizes in 2018. The customizable planner includes daily, weekly, and monthly observations as well as resources and reminders for CSR planning.
The planner also includes:
Built-in Checklists: Each checklist is editable so organizers can include any company-specific or personal tasks. Checklists come with strategic insights from the CyberGrants team to help along with the planning process.
Google Drive Enabled: Built right into Google Drive’s Spreadsheet Application so planners can be shared, viewed, and edited via mobile. Google Drive includes auto-saving so no changes go unsaved.
Daily, Weekly, & Monthly Holidays: The most important national observances are built into the calendar to help encourage planning efforts throughout the year. Monthly resources are included along each of these monthly formatted reminders.
“We are always trying to improve our services to those who are taking initiative to do good things in their communities. While CyberGrants has excellent consulting teams, it helps to have a little digital reminder to support you throughout the week and keep all CSR events organized,” said Nita Kirby, Director of Client Strategy at CyberGrants.
Downloads are available for free access via: http://offers.cybergrants.com/2018-csr-planner.
To learn more about CyberGrants and the services they provide, please visit the support center to speak with a representative: http://www.cybergrants.com/speak-with-an-expert/.
CyberGrants is a leading provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for corporate social responsibility management. CyberGrants’ mission is to provide innovative software and services in the most secure and efficient way. With nearly 20 years experience, CyberGrants has delivered grants management software and corporate philanthropy program software to many of the largest companies and foundations in the world, including more than 50% of the Fortune 100. For additional information on CyberGrants, visit www.cybergrants.com.
Benevity, Inc., the global leader in corporate social responsibility and employee engagement software, today announced that electronic payments made to charities and nonprofit organizations through its platform have reached an all-time high—a direct result of the company’s leadership in making corporate giving more democratic, simple and streamlined on a global scale. 87 percent of total employee and corporate donations processed through Benevity are sent electronically, providing charities and nonprofits with the most accurate, reliable, efficient and cost-effective way of receiving funds. Benevity’s rate of electronic disbursements leads the industry by more than two times and has become a benchmark of scalability for vendors in the corporate giving space.
For the past 10 years, part of Benevity’s social mission has been to bring much-needed scale and efficiency to the charitable landscape through best-in-class technology that modernizes the way charities process and receive donations. By aggregating monthly payments to each charity across all clients and donors, and automating essential but non-strategic tasks like tax receipting and reporting, Benevity minimizes manual administration associated with processing paper checks and issues that lead to lost checks, delays in receiving funds, and inaccuracies—all of which can have reputational risk for companies, threaten funding for charities and reduce the amount of funding that can be applied toward the social issues being addressed. Electronic payments play a key role in this mission, enabling donors to easily give to causes around the world—including countries that no longer accept checks—and to verify that funds have been disbursed to the intended recipient in a timely and accurate way.
For example, when there was a dramatic increase in the level of giving in response to disaster relief efforts in the fall of 2017, Benevity bundled close to 100,000 individual transactions into a single $9.65 million dollar disbursement to the world’s leading humanitarian organization, allowing them to further their mission of caring for those in need while minimizing their backend office administration.
“The CSR space is one of the few industries that has continued to rely on checks as the primary means of distributing funds. This has reduced both the number of charities that can benefit from a program, as well as the accuracy and timeliness of payment—hampering companies’ ability to scale their Goodness programs,” said Bryan de Lottinville, Benevity Founder and CEO. “When corporations embrace a platform approach, they can open up their giving, matching, volunteering and grantmaking programs to include more causes from around the world, helping to build a more inclusive, authentic and purpose-driven company culture and brand.”
The Benevity Causes Portal includes a global database of almost 2 million charities and nonprofits. Benevity leads the industry in disbursing funds electronically. Currently, 100 percent of international donations and 87 percent of total donations processed through the company’s platform are sent electronically.
In addition to automating and aggregating fund disbursement, tax receipting, tracking and reporting, Benevity also provides charities with donor reporting, and the ability to publish targeted content to Benevity’s client giving sites, which corporations use to engage their employees in charitable campaigns, events and projects.
"There are many third-party giving platforms out there, but in my experience, Benevity is one of the best,” said Trina Jones, Managing Director, Health in Harmony. “Benevity makes everything easy with disbursement notifications, clear reporting with donor and contact information, and more. After working with the Benevity team, I know that they are receptive and truly want to create the best experience for nonprofits and companies. Plus, our corporate partners clearly have a lot of trust in Benevity’s platform, which in turn allows us to tap into corporate giving programs—like those that offer employee matching—on a much larger scale.”
Charitable organizations and nonprofits interested in more information about Benevity can visit https://causes.benevity.org/.
Benevity, Inc., a B Corporation, is the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and community investment software. Many of the world’s most iconic brands rely on Benevity’s award-winning cloud solutions to power corporate “Goodness” programs that attract, retain and engage today’s diverse workforce by connecting people to the causes that matter to them. With software that is available in 17 languages, to more than four million users around the world, Benevity has processed over 2 billion dollars in donations and 10 million hours of volunteering time this year to almost 150,000 charities worldwide.
SC Johnson Central America has been recognized as the top 2018 Best Workplace by the Great Place to Work® Institute, ranking No. 1 on this year’s list of companies. This is the 11thconsecutive appearance in the rankings for SC Johnson Central America, and the third consecutive year being ranked No. 1.
“Promoting a culture of respect, inclusion and engagement is incredibly important to us, and SC Johnson Central America embodies those values,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “I congratulate the people of SC Johnson Central America for this well-deserved recognition.”
SC Johnson Central America received the highest score on the Great Place to Work® Institute’s culture audit, which evaluates a company’s unique values. The Best Workplaces list is the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence. The ranking is determined by the results of an employee opinion survey and information provided about company culture, programs and policies.
The Central America team joins SC Johnson Italy, Venezuela, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Mexico and Canada on the 2018 list of Best Workplaces.
In the United States, SC Johnson has been included 29 times in Working Mother magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for its programs and benefits that support working parents including paid family leave, schedule flexibility and advancement of women.
Also in 2017, the company received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. This HRC honor marked the 13th time the company earned a perfect score and its 16th year of recognition on the workplace equality list.
About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 132-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com
In the Summer of 2017, the Recovery Center of Medina County opened with the goal of strengthening communities through supporting those in recovery. The organization quickly grew and expanded to offer a variety of resources for not only those in recovery, but also their family members, caregivers and more. After partnering with EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute, RCMC began offering advanced services, classes and cutting edge programming to expand their reach in the community.
RCMC is dedicated to serving those in need of recovery resources by providing access to peer support counseling, meetings, life skills and coaching, legal aid, help with locating sober homes and detox facilities, housing and job placement.
The center is not only a place for recovering from substance abuse issues but is also committed to providing the tools necessary to succeed in long-term recovery. The main goal of the Recovery Center is to become a one stop shop for addiction, recovery referrals and resources. It seeks to train, employ and empower those in recovery.
Four years ago, Chef Brandon Chrostowski, Chef Gilbert Brenot and General Manager Michael Flaherty opened EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute: a non-profit French fine dining restaurant geared at teaching and mentoring previously incarcerated individuals and recovering addicts to learn and gain a career in culinary & hospitality. The program has had immense success and critical acclaim in the rehabilitation and recovery community, and Brandon himself was recognized as one of CNN’s “Heroes” in 2016.
This spring marked one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year: Sérénité Restaurant. Working in conjunction with the Recovery Center of Medina County and open to anyone in the recovery community wishing to learn the techniques of classic French cuisine and service while earning a living, assistance with job placement, all within an environment of strength and support.
Students will be paid to attend, just like they would be a normal restaurant job, however, over the course of 8 months they will learn every position of the restaurant, complete a short apprenticeship at another fine restaurant, as well as help with job placement upon completion. Students will also have full access to all of our resources and support that is being built through the Recovery Center of Medina County, including peer support, life skills & coaching, recovery support & sponsorship, legal aid, team building exercises & events, and mentorship.
"We have many programs and events to support the recovery community and we are always looking for volunteers to help out at the center. iCause is the perfect fit for our organization because it allows us to manage events and volunteers in one place. iCause's concept of strengthening and building communities also ties in well with our mission to connect and empower those in recovery." Jessica Hazeltine, Administrative Manager
iCause is a global marketplace for cause with a focus on making an impact and building communities. Nonprofit sustainability is the main goal with engagement and incentives for individuals, nonprofits, educational institutions, CSR companies, and philanthropists.
This partnership is the one of many on the road to increasing cause engagement!
Learn more about the Recovery Center of Medina County: medinarecoverycenter.org
Learn more about iCause: events.icause.com
Name: Brandy Bright, Director of PR & Media, iCause PBC
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Disclaimer: iCause PBC is the source of this content.
Growing interest in high efficiency, pollution-reducing transit options is propelling investment in new electrified mass transit projects across the United States. Reflecting this trend, Black & Veatch announced it has completed the charging station infrastructure that powers Washington, D.C.’s new electrified mass transit project – the latest move by U.S. cities to reimagine how to sustainably move people across urban landscapes and experience the benefits of clean transportation, both on and off the bus.
The Washington D.C. Circulator System project combines 14 of Proterra’s Catalyst E2 buses, each having a Proterra-provided 50kw charger installed by Black & Veatch along with the related infrastructure. Powered entirely by high-capacity batteries, the buses benefit riders and non-riders alike by eliminating a projected 244,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emission each year. For taxpayers, there’s a bonus: the 14 EV buses will cut the fleet’s fuel and maintenance bills by more than $6 million over the transit vehicles’ typical 12-year life cycle, while displacing nearly 90,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually.
U.S. cities purchase an estimated 5,000 public transit buses each year, and due to the benefits city officials increasingly are prioritizing electrification of their mass transit offerings. Some 850 municipal electric buses are on order, and there are active proposals for hundreds more. Seattle will roll out 120 new electric buses by 2020, for instance, while Los Angeles is buying 95 electric buses for $138 million – a tenet of that city’s quest to replace its 2,300-bus fleet with EVs by 2030. Keeping many such buses rolling is Black & Veatch’s market-leading design and deployment of more than 1,000 charging sites nationwide, including the large-scale, heavy-duty charging infrastructure electric buses require.
As industry leaders gather this week in Long Beach, California, for a summit about advanced transportation technology, infrastructure solutions like the one being deployed in the nation’s capital are crucial to meeting rising demands for electric vehicles. Success of these projects requires deep collaboration across all stakeholders including transit agencies, utilities, permitting authorities, charging technology providers, engineering and construction services. Each project in the built environment brings unique challenges and adds to lessons learned to the benefit of the next transit electrification phases.
According to Black & Veatch’s 2018 Strategic Directions: Smart Cities & Utilities Report survey, more than half of smart services providers said the need for charging infrastructure — both via depots and on-route — was the most prohibitive barrier to large-scale electric fleet adoption. The Washington, D.C. project, and others underway, demonstrates that electric buses have lower maintenance costs than their diesel or hybrid counterparts and could change minds about cost. Not long ago, electric buses that were priced at about $1 million apiece have dropped to around $750,000, with upfront cost parity when considering total cost of operation. As demand and production volume increase, economies of scale will widen that gap in favor of electrification. Over time, transit agencies that don’t electrify will be polluting more and spending more on their legacy fleets.
“With the arrival electrified transit, public transit agencies and utilities must work in concert to develop infrastructure roadmaps that guide them beyond early pilots toward mass deployment. Each system is different and will seek to optimize the best combinations of on-route and depot charging technologies,” said Paul Stith, Director of Strategy & Innovation for Black & Veatch’s Transformative Technologies business and an expert in sustainable transportation and energy storage solutions. “Partnering with an organization with deep EV infrastructure and utility experience like Black & Veatch will ensure infrastructure won’t hold back aggressive EV adoption.”
At the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo on May 4 in Long Beach, California, Paul Stith will share his insights during a panel session about costs and considerations for developing charging infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Stith will discuss engineering and permitting matters involving EVSE installation during the Black & Veatch-sponsored session.
About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2017 were US$3.4 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and in social media.
Black & Veatch Media Contact Information:
JIM SUHR | +1 913-458-6995 P | +1 314-422-6927 M | SuhrJ@bv.com
24-HOUR MEDIA HOTLINE | +1 866-496-9149
A controversial U.S. trial-level judge ignored undisputed evidence that Chevron paid at least $2 million for false witness testimony and fabricated other evidence to obtain a discredited civil “racketeering” (or RICO) decision that company lawyers are now trying to use in Canada to block enforcement of the $12 billion pollution judgment from Ecuador, according to a report Chevron’s RICO Fraud.
Written by lawyers for the Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples and farmer communities that won the environmental judgment against Chevron, the report comes on the heels of a tough week for the oil major in Canadian courts. A three-judge panel in the Court of Appeal of Ontario shut down a Chevron lawyer when he tried to suggest the RICO matter should stop a lawsuit brought by the Ecuadorians to seize company assets in the country to enforce their judgment. The Ecuadorians seeking to force Chevron to comply with the judgment have now won three consecutive appellate court victories in Canada, including one before the country’s Supreme Court.
A fourth consecutive favorable decision in Canada for the Ecuadorians – the Ontario appellate court is expected to rule this summer after argument on April 17-18 – would allow them to try to seize Chevron assets currently held by the company’s wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary to pay for their judgment. The pollution judgment against Chevron issued in 2011 based on 105 technical evidentiary reports showing the oil major dumped billions of gallons of cancer-causing oil waste onto Indigenous ancestral lands. It was later affirmed unanimously by Ecuador’s highest court in the venue where the company insisted the trial be held.
To try to block the asset collection effort, Chevron has tried to argue Chevron Canada is a separate and independent company even though 100% of its shares are owned by Chevron. The decision is critical because of all of Chevron’s estimated $15 billion to $25 billion worth of assets in Canada are held by Chevron Canada. (See this summary of the evidence against Chevron.)
The report about Chevron’s fraud rebuts 12 false or distorted findings by U.S. trial judge Lewis A. Kaplan in the RICO case. The findings were based primarily on discredited testimony from an admittedly corrupt Chevron witness paid $2 million by the company to claim that lawyers for the Ecuadorians offered a bribe to the Ecuador trial judge in exchange for “ghostwriting” the judgment. The Chevron witness, Alberto Guerra, later admitted he had lied on the stand after being coached for 53 days by Chevron’s lawyers. (See here and here for media reports.)
The report also documents Judge Kaplan’s hostility toward the Ecuadorians and their lawyers in a proceeding that amounted to a “Dickensian farce”, according to a legal motion filed by prominent U.S. lawyer John Keker, who participated in the case (see here for background). Kaplan refused to seat a jury and committed numerous procedural violations to favor Chevron, including allowing secret testimony from witnesses whose identities were concealed from the defense, according to the report. Kaplan also authorized Chevron to secretly pay the fees of a court official while failing to disclose his financial ties to Chevron while presiding over the trial.
The report is being put in the public domain after dozens of law scholars, environmental groups, and human rights organizations urged reversal of Judge Kaplan’s ruling on the grounds that it failed to consider Chevron’s fabrication of evidence and overstretched the authority of the U.S. to judiciary to interfere with court decisions in other countries, said Patricio Salazar, a lawyer who represent the Ecuadorians. A U.S. appellate court later affirmed Kaplan’s RICO decision without any independent review of his problematic findings.
Just last week – apparently in response to the fact the Canadian court refused to hear argument about the RICO findings – Judge Kaplan again tried to bar the Ecuadorian rainforest villagers from collecting on the judgment in the entire world, even in Canada. That trial-level decision, like many Kaplan has issued, was widely condemned as a violation of international law and is seen by experts as an attack on Canada’s sovereignty, which has its own laws governing the enforcement of foreign judgments. A previous attempt in 2011 by Kaplan to issue an order from his trial court purportedly barring enforcement of the Ecuador judgment in the entire world was overturned on appeal in the United States.
Both Chevron and Judge Kaplan seem increasingly anxious over recent setbacks for the oil giant in what is shaping up to be a historic campaign by the Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples and farmer communities who live in the affected area.
Last December, the Amazon Defense Coalition of Ecuador (FDA) – the NGO group enforcing the judgment – signed a joint protocol with Canada’s powerful national Indigenous federation (Assembly of First Nations) to hold Chevron accountable for causing environmental harms in both countries. Canada National Chief Perry Bellegarde and former Canada National Chief Phil Fontaine sat in court in Toronto with the Ecuadorians; Fontaine and Grand Chief Ed John harshly criticized Chevron for failing to address the concerns of the Indigenous peoples after a tour of the affected area last September.
Another prominent Canadian Indigenous leader, Cree lawyer Willie Littlechild, blasted Chevron over its Ecuador pollution problem two weeks ago before a plenary session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York. "This is considered the world's worst oil-related environmental catastrophe," he said. "The peoples of the region have not only seen their ancestral lands drastically reduced and restricted, but also poisoned, degraded, and destroyed."
The Chevron fraud report explains how the paid-for Chevron witness, Alberto Guerra, admitted under oath in a separate arbitration proceeding that he lied on the stand before Judge Kaplan. Later, a forensic analysis by one of the world’s leading computer experts scientifically debunked Guerra’s ghostwriting story. Both of these critical developments were ignored by Judge Kaplan, who has been subject to harsh reviews by lawyers across a number of cases for his perceived pro-business bias and lack of neutrality.
Guerra’s changing stories about a bribe were honed in daily coaching sessions with Chevron lawyers at the U.S. law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher that spanned several weeks, according to Guerra’s own admissions. Chevron is still paying Guerra a large salary, housing costs, health care and his personal income taxes while maintaining him in a secret location in the U.S., according to court records. The company agreed to pay Guerra $12,000 monthly for no work other than being a witness under the company’s control, according to his contract with Chevron.
The Ecuadorians have long claimed that Chevron officials and its outside lawyers conspired to fabricate false evidence through Guerra’s testimony and present it to U.S. courts as part of a long-running campaign to evade paying the Ecuador liability, which was issued based on overwhelming evidence in the venue where the company had accepted jurisdiction. Lawyers for the villagers also have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether the payments to Guerra violated criminal statutes. (See here for a criminal referral letter of Chevron to the DOJ.)
The forensic analysis, conducted under the auspices of an international investor arbitration panel overseeing a lawsuit filed by Chevron against Ecuador’s government, proved the Ecuador trial judge opened and saved a Word document that became the judgment more than 400 times over a three-month period prior to its issuance. This contradicts Chevron’s claim based on the Guerra testimony that the judgment was written by the plaintiffs and given to the judge on a flash drive.
The report also names some of the individuals at Chevron law firm Gibson Dunn who orchestrated the fabrication of evidence on behalf of the company. They include Randy Mastro, the former deputy mayor of New York City under the administration of current Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Gibson Dunn advertises itself as a “rescue squad” for scandal-plagued clients, but the firm frequently has been criticized and sanctioned for ethical violations.
In the Chevron case, a federal judge in Oregon scolded the firm for trying to harass a non-profit group that was working to assist the Ecuadorian legal team. In an echo of its current problems in the Chevron case, Gibson Dunn recently was sanctioned by the High Court of London for fabricating evidence to help frame a political opponent of a client from Djibouti. Montana’s Supreme Court also accused the firm of engaging in “legal thuggery” and fined it $9.9 million.
Other amicus briefs filed before U.S. courts (see here and here) argue that Judge Kaplan’s RICO decision violates international law and amounts to an unconstitutional SLAPP-style lawsuit. SLAPP lawsuits are designed by corporate or governmental entities to harass opponents and to silence criticism in violation of Free Speech guarantees in the U.S. Constitution and international law.
After an eight-year trial that lasted from 2003 to 2011, the Ecuador court found that Chevron dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest when it operated more than 400 well sites (under the Texaco brand) from 1964 to 1992. The company’s sub-standard operational practices decimated Indigenous culture and caused an outbreak of cancer that has killed or threatens to kill thousands of people, according to independent health studies.
As evidence against it in Ecuador mounted, Chevron began to attack the country’s courts while threatening the villagers with a “lifetime of litigation” if they persisted. “We will fight this until hell freezes over, and then fight it out on the ice,” said Chevron’s General Counsel, Charles James. Chevron has used at least 60 law firms and 2,000 lawyers to defend the company since the inception of the case; Donziger litigated pro se in the RICO case for several months against 114 lawyers from Gibson Dunn.