IIPWG’s shareholder advocacy during the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) encompassed high-level engagement with investors and banks financing the disputed project, which was permitted through inadequate consultation with Tribes and despite poor environmental impact review, especially concerning adjacent tribal treaty lands.
In February 2017, IIPWG led a coalition of over 130 investors representing over $685 billion AUM to call on banks financing DAPL to address or support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request to reroute the pipeline and avoid their treaty territory. IIPWG’s campaign ran parallel to action from Tribes and Native-led organizations, as well as mass social protest against corporate and government fast tracking of the potentially environmentally devastating project. Combined efforts to defend and protect the land and rights of the Tribes led to the “DefundDAPL” social campaign and global awareness of the plight of the Tribes.
IIPWG’s involvement resulted in divestment from the project, largely from European banks. Ultimately these divestments and reputational harms ballooned the cost of the project from initial estimates of $3.8 billion to over $12 billion. Following a July 2020 court order to halt DAPL and clear the pipeline due to the poor initial environmental review, material loss continues to grow.