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17 November 2020

Sasol remuneration briefing

Just Share has prepared a briefing on remuneration at Sasol Limited, in advance of the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on 20 November.

The briefing sets out Just Share’s planned voting at the AGM, and the rationale behind our voting decisions.

Download the full briefing

Key points:

  • Just Share will vote against the remuneration policy and remuneration implementation report, chiefly on the grounds that senior executives are not incentivised to urgently tackle the looming crisis represented by climate change. In other words, remuneration is not linked to ensuring meaningful climate action.
  • In 2020, Sasol states that it is “positioning for a sustainable future – creating a Future Sasol that is resilient and delivers cleaner energy and chemical products to society”. But Sasol has been claiming that it is serious about climate action since at least 2012.
  • The 2012 Chairman’s statement asserted that “we also seek to play active leadership roles in multi-lateral efforts to deal with global environmental risks such as climate change” and that “as business leaders we have to concede that business can sometimes be slow in recognising the needs of society… instead of taking a defensive position, we would do well to acknowledge that reasonable social activism can create opportunities for business”.
  • Eight years later, executives are still not incentivised to deliver this climate leadership, the company refuses to table shareholder-proposed climate risk resolutions, and its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target is not aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Just Share will vote against the re-appointment of all of the non-executive directors (NEDs) who are up for re-election at the 2020 annual general meeting (AGM): Colin Beggs, Nomgando Matyumza, Mpho Nkeli, Moses Mkhize, and Stephen Westwell.
  • All five of the NEDs up for re-election have served on the board for all three of the years in which the board has refused to table shareholder-proposed resolutions on climate risk.
  • Mr Beggs, Ms Matyumza, Mr Mkhize and Mr Westwell served on the Sasol board during the period that the multi-billion-dollar Lake Charles Chemical Project (LCCP) was being considered and / or approved. In the absence of any firm indication to the contrary, these directors should share responsibility for the significant delays and increased costs associated with the LCCP.
  • The briefing summarises the history of remuneration at Sasol from 2011 to date, and addresses the role of incentives, including in relation to environmental targets.
  • Sasol paid insufficient attention to warning signs at its LCCP project, and it is now failing to take sufficiently seriously the mounting existential threat posed by climate change. In the absence of appropriate incentives, which will motivate its executives to ensure meaningful GHG reductions, the company’s numerous statements of support for the Paris Agreement, and plans to conduct ongoing consultations with stakeholders, amount to nothing more than delay tactics.
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