Shareholder Activism / Global accountability
Human Rights Most Important Issue in Corporate Supply Chains (08/18)
Ethical Corporation reports on the results of its survey of corporations and other stakeholders, addressing risk and opportunity in corporate supply chains.
After the Conventions (07/30)
While it seems implausible that investors concerned with environmental and social justice will vote for Donald Trump, some of the positions take by Hillary Clinton during her years of public service merit scrutiny.
Oil Industry Payments to Governments Still Lack Transparency (07/23)
Five years after passage of Dodd-Frank, a report by Oxfam America finds that payments by the US industry to developing nations lack the transparency to ensure that governments are using them for the benefit of citizens.
Two Years After Tragedy, Fund for Rana Plaza Victims Meets Goal (06/13)
Pressure from members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility helps further corporate responsibility in the remediation of human rights violations.
Verite to Assess Trafficking Risks in Sub-Saharan Africa (06/01)
With economies improving and ample natural resources, the region is at heightened risk for human trafficking violations.
Report Assesses Corporate Conflict Minerals Disclosures (05/30)
The Responsible Sourcing Network analyzes the quality of more that 1,000 conflict minerals disclosures by large cap corporations, and find that many fulfilled only minimal requirements.
At Yale, John Fullerton Presents on Regenerative Capitalism (05/15)
Speaking to the generation that will have to reverse the course of multiple crises, the founder of the Capital Institute envisions a holistic organization of social systems to replace the current reductionist and competitive approach. Third of a three-part series.
Regenerative Capitalism Seeks Radical Overhaul of Financial System (05/07)
John Fullerton, the founder of the Capital Institute, writes that the transition of an “antisocial” global financial system to one aligned with our understanding that “living systems are both sustainable and regenerative” is underway. But is the evolution decisive enough to solve the crises of our age? Second of a three-part series.
Is Regenerative Capitalism a Spiritual Quest? (05/05)
John Fullerton of the Capital Institute authors an admirable paper on what he calls Regenerative Capitalism, but how do we get from the here of exploitation to there? First of a three-part series.
Two Years after Rana Plaza Tragedy, Investors Still Seek Corporate Assurances (04/28)
A coalition of institutional investors asserts that the systemic changes needed to safeguard garment workers in Bangladesh remain insufficiently financed, even by signatories to the Fire and Safety Accord.
Corporate Responsibility for Farm Animal Welfare Benchmarked (02/14)
Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare aspires to improve living conditions for animals raised for food by benchmarking corporate performance on farm animal welfare.
ICCR Publishes 2015 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide (02/09)
Climate change and wealth inequality lead members of the the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility to increase for the third year in a row the number of shareowner resolutions filed. Second of a two-part series.
Bank of America Delisted from Leading Sustainability Index (09/13)
The bank, which had been listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes despite its leading role in financing coal projects, is delisted in 2014, but questions remain over some of the Index's industry sector leaders and other constituents.
Corporate Reporting and Materiality (08/08)
A report by the Governance & Accountability Institute assesses the materiality of key indicators in reporting to the Global Reporting Initiative by more than 1,000 corporations in 2012.
Activist Shareowners Make Their Way to Texas to Confront Chevron (05/31)
Simon Billenness of the Unitarian Universalist Association talks with SocialFunds.com about Chevron's ongoing legal quagmire in Ecuador and his efforts to have the oil and gas company appoint an independent Chair.
Third National Climate Assessment Published (05/06)
In its new report, the US Global Change Research Program asserts that the effects of climate change have already become a present day concern, and announces the launch of a website to help Americans receive reliable scientific information.
Corporations Lagging in Sustainability Efforts (05/02)
In a follow-up to their 2012 report on corporate sustainability, Ceres and Sustainalytics reiterate that major US corporations are failing to keep pace with urgent environmental and social challenges.
Investors Mark Anniversary of Rana Plaza Tragedy (04/25)
A coalition of institutional investors organized by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility issue a statement calling on apparel brands and retailers to ensure that the human rights of workers in supply chains are being honored.
Harvard Joins Principles for Responsible Investment (04/10)
Harvard's endowment is the first in the United States to join the global network of sustainable investors; the university also announces it will report its greenhouse gas emissions to the CDP.
Tullow Oil Expands Disclosure of Payments to Governments (03/24)
The voluntary disclosure of payments on a project level is the first by an oil and gas company, and comes while the American Petroleum Institute seeks to weaken a proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rule on payments to governments.
ICCR Publishes 2014 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide (02/15)
The number of shareowner resolutions addressing environmental health filed by members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility in 2014 increases sharply over 2013, reflecting the urgency of action on climate change.
No More Gestation Crates, Tyson Foods Tells Farmers (01/24)
Green Century Capital Management and co-filers withdraw shareowner resolution after world's largest meat processor asks contract farmers to improve housing standards for pigs.
Book Review: Engaging Outraged Stakeholders (12/17)
The three authors, who are executives with the nonprofit organization Future 500, counsel for a dispassionate approach to problem solving when corporations and civil society organizations meet.
At-Risk Industries Urged to Address Human Trafficking in Supply Chains (12/11)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility announces that members will engage with companies in the food-agricultural and hospitality sectors to ensure that human rights in supply chains are being met.
US Banks Rank Poorly on Indicators of Concern to Sustainable Investors (11/21)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and Sustainalytics rate seven major US banks on four key performance indicators relating to sustainability and corporate responsibility, finding significant room for improvement.
Shareowners Opt for Engagement to Press Chevron on Corporate Governance (11/19)
Shareowner advocate Simon Billenness updates SocialFunds.com on judgment against Chevron in Ecuador, and explains why engagement with fossil fuel companies is more effective than divestment.
The State of Shareowner Engagement in Europe (10/04)
Eurosif reports on investor engagement with corporations in Europe and finds that engagement on environmental, social, and corporate governance issues is steadily increasing.
Mutual Fund Challenged over Proxy Voting on ESG Issues (09/23)
Zevin Asset Management files a shareowner resolution at Franklin Resources, requesting that the mutual fund company report on proxy voting policies relating to environmental and social issues.
Chevron Drops Damage Claims Against Ecuadorians (09/12)
The oil company also requests that Judge Lewis Kaplan and not a jury decide its RICO lawsuit, and that defendants be barred from introducing evidence of environmental destruction in Ecuador.
Genocide-Free Shareowner Proposal Gains Strong Support at Fidelity Investments (06/19)
Investors Against Genocide continues its campaign to pressure mutual funds and other financial institutions into adopting genocide-free investment policies.
Chevron Continues to Misrepresent Ecuador Judgment, Updated Report Says (05/20)
Attorney Graham Erion updates his 2012 report on misrepresentations made by Chevron to investors regarding the $19 billion judgment against it for environmental destruction in Ecuador.
Investors Call on Corporations to Ensure Worker Safety in Bangladesh (05/18)
Two coalitions of investors pressure clothing retailers to join the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, whose 40 signatories include only two companies headquartered in the US.
EU Mandates Disclosure of Payments to Governments (04/09)
Transparency International says that with the European mandate joining rules enacted by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US, 90% of companies in the extractives industries will be required to disclose payments to governments.
End in Sight for Too Big to Fail? (04/01)
Senators Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders each pursue legislative initiatives to end the economic advantages of the nation's largest banks and force them to break up.
As You Sow Publishes 2013 Proxy Preview (03/09)
Political spending resolutions account for one-third of those filed this year's, while two first-time resolutions request that companies in the fossil fuel industries report on the financial impact of stranded assets.
Investors Highlight Human Rights in Corporate Engagement (03/05)
A new report builds upon the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to provide investors with tools for assessing the human rights performance of companies.
Divestment can be a Fiduciary Duty (02/22)
Adam Kanzer of Domini Social Investments that divestment of holdings in firearms manufacturers is an appropriate response to tragedies such as the killing of children in Newtown.
Statoil Breaks with Trade Association over Lawsuit (02/11)
Calvert Investments commends Statoil for explicitly distancing itself from lawsuit filed by the American Petroleum Institute that contests SEC regulation governing payments to governments.
ICCR Publishes 2013 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide (02/07)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility reports that its members have filed 180 shareowner resolutions and engaged in 225 corporate dialogues this proxy season.
Many Industry Sectors Unprepared for Conflict Minerals Rule (02/01)
A report from the Responsible Sourcing Network finds that leading companies in the information and communications industry have undertaken initiatives to ensure that their supply chains are free of conflict minerals, but few other industry sectors have done so.
Briefs Supporting SEC Filed in Lawsuit Challenging Transparency Rules for Extractives (01/18)
Oxfam America and members of Congress argue that a rule mandating disclosure of payments to governments will contribute to stability and help investors make informed decisions.
Feds Hand Foreclosure Relief over to Banks (01/08)
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board reach an agreement with ten mortgage servicers that will end the Independent Foreclosure Review and instead provide $3.3 billion in direct payments to eligible borrowers.
Non-Violent Protest or Terrorist Threat? (12/31)
FBI documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund reveal that coordination between the Bureau, the Department of Homeland Security, and the financial sector began even before the first demonstrations by the Occupy movement.
Top Sustainable Investment Stories of 2012, Part 1 (12/26)
Assets allocated to sustainable investment continue to rise, with increasing amounts focusing on positive screening strategies; however, mainstream mutual funds continue to lag in supporting shareowner resolutions addressing climate change and corporate political spending.
Newtown Tragedy Galvanizes Debate on Corporate Responsibility (12/21)
The UN-endorsed Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights recommends that companies address adverse impacts with which they are involved, and Robert Zevin of Zevin Asset Management reminds investors of their historic role in effecting social change.
CEOs Want a Deficit Reduction Plan that Benefits Them (11/28)
Eighty corporate CEOs join the Fix the Debt campaign, which calls for increased tax breaks for corporations while limiting social programs that help the poor and middle class.
SEC Refuses to Delay Extractives Transparency Rule (11/10)
The Commission tells industry trade association that rule governing disclosure of payments to governments will be implemented as scheduled, despite pending lawsuit challenging its validity.
For Sustainable Investors, Obama or Romney? (11/05)
The candidates differ markedly on climate change, financial reform, and health care, issues on which sustainable investors have engaged with corporations for many years.
Senate Republicans Quash Findings on Wealth Inequality (11/03)
After the Congressional Research Service issues a report finding no correlation between economic growth and lower tax rates for the wealthiest, Senate Republicans force its withdrawal to protect the party orthodoxy on taxes.
Court in Ecuador Approves Seizure of Chevron Assets (10/19)
Chevron says it will appeal decision clearing the way for seizure of $200 million of assets in Ecuador as payment toward a $19 billion judgment for environmental damage in the country.
Resources Insufficient to Protect World's Poorest from Climate Change (10/13)
The Climate Vulnerability Monitor warns that 100 million lives could be lost by 2030 if climate change and carbon-intensive energy practices are not addressed.
Assets Committed to Emerging Markets on the Increase (10/11)
A new survey by EIRIS suggests that while sustainable stock exchanges increase investor confidence in emerging markets investment, poor corporate attention to environmental, social, and corporate governance issues remains a barrier.
$18 Billion Judgment Against Chevron Stands (10/10)
The US Supreme Court declines to hear Chevron's arguments for overturning the largest environmental judgment in history, leaving the company vulnerable to charges of securities law violations.
Growth of Sustainable Investment in Europe Continues to Outpace the Overall Market (10/06)
In its fifth biennial survey of sustainable investment in Europe, Eurosif identifies norms-based screening as the fastest-growing strategy, and urges improved communications to encourage greater uptake of sustainable investment by retail investors.
Bank of America Settles Shareowner Lawsuit for $2.43 billion (10/03)
The bank's 2008 acquisition of Merrill Lynch $20 billion preceded disclosure of $27.6 billion in losses, and led to lawsuit by pension funds charging the bank with making false or misleading statements.
As Burma Sanctions Ease, Human Rights Advocates Urge Caution (09/28)
Shareowner advocate Simon Billenness is preparing a draft of guidelines for corporations seeking to do business in Burma, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urges corporate transparency to ensure that human rights are honored.
Extractives Commitment to Human Rights Improving (09/27)
But research from Oxfam America indicates that policies supporting Free, Prior, and Informed Consent must include a transition from resource extraction to development partnerships.
Shell Says Oil Spills from Corroded Pipes in Nigeria Due to Sabotage (09/24)
Amnesty International and the Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development cite the assessment of experts that the latest in a series of oil spills in the Niger Delta was due to corrosion in poorly-maintained pipes owned by Shell.
Occupy Movement Celebrates First Anniversary (09/18)
Despite efforts to marginalize its accomplishments, the Occupy Movement has succeeded in keeping the issue of wealth inequality in the forefront of the national consciousness.
Is Corporate Reporting Sufficient to Meet Sustainability Goals? (09/08)
Mark McElroy of the Center for Sustainable Organizations argues that the absence of context for corporate sustainability measurements increases the likelihood that meaningful goals will not be met.
Opinions Differ on the Future of Sustainable Investing (09/07)
Industry veterans weigh in on likely developments over the next twenty years, and their opinions range from optimism to concern.
Lawsuit Alleging Human Rights Violations by Shell in Nigeria Reaches SCOTUS (09/06)
In an issues brief, Professor John Ruggie wonders if Shell's efforts to undermine the Alien Tort Statute will undermine its claims of corporate social responsibility.
Muhammad Yunus, Father of Microcredit and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, to Address SRI Conference (09/05)
The founder of the Grameen Bank will be the keynote speaker at October's SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, which will also feature author Deepak Chopra and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Second of a two-part series.
PRI Signatories Prioritize ESG Issues for Engagement (09/04)
A survey of frequent users of the PRI Clearinghouse indicates that executive compensation, climate change, and labor standards in corporate supply chains will be the top areas of engagement for institutional investors during the coming year.
Labor Conditions Improving at Chinese Supplier to Apple (08/27)
The Fair Labor Association reports that Foxconn Technology Group, Apple's largest supplier, is ahead of schedule in meeting commitments such as higher wages and less mandatory overtime.
SEC Issues Rules on Conflict Minerals and Payments to Governments (08/24)
Responses by sustainable investors and other stakeholders to payments to governments in resource-rich countries is generally positive, but concerns are voiced over provisions in the conflict minerals regulation. Second of a two-part series.
A Strategy for the Commons that Includes Business and Government (08/20)
As national governments persist in pursuing narrow agendas rather than global action on climate change and sustainable development, other key stakeholders are recognizing that they must pressure corporations and governments into dialogue on the issues.
Pension Fund Wants Wal-Mart to Come Clean on Bribery Allegations (08/17)
After receiving documents relating to allegations of bribery by the retail giant's Mexican subsidiary, the Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund charges in a lawsuit that nearly half of the pages were blacked out.
Goldman Sachs Escapes Criminal Charges (08/12)
Despite evidence of conflicts of interest detailed in last year's report by the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the Justice Department announces that it will not bring a criminal prosecution against the bank.
Concerns Voiced over Easing Burma Investment (07/25)
An executive order lifting ban on investment in Burma allows US companies to enter the country's energy sector, raising concerns over lack of transparency and ties to the military.
NASDAQ to Promote Sustainability Disclosure (07/13)
At Rio+20, the US-based stock exchange joins four counterparts in encouraging corporations to disclose environmental, social, and governance risks and opportunities.
Proxy Season Results Support Mainstreaming of ESG (07/12)
This year's shareowner resolution tracker from Ceres notes that almost half of the environmental and social resolutions coordinated by the organization were withdrawn after successful engagement with companies. First of a two-part series.
Congressional Friends of GMOs Sneak Rider into Appropriations Bill (07/09)
The rider will require that a permit for planting genetically engineered crops be issued even if a federal court orders that the planting be halted.
Genetic Engineers Debunk GMO Claims (07/07)
A report by Earth Open Source reveals that the claims of product safety and sufficient regulation made by producers of genetically modified organisms are false.
A Guide to Economics for the 99% (07/06)
The Center for Popular Economics publishes Economics for the 99%, a handbook which describes the roots of economic inequality and offers a solidarity economy as an alternative.
Book Review: Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power, by Steve Coll (06/25)
In a well-researched investigation into the inner workings of one of the world's largest and most powerful corporations, author Steve Coll details ExxonMobil's efforts to discredit climate science and extract resources in countries ruled by autocrats.
More Stakeholders Call for Meaningful Action at Rio+20 (05/25)
The International Institute for Environment and Development outlines a three-point plan to ensure that government negotiators account for the needs of local communities through sufficient aid and realistic valuation of natural capital.
ICCR Responds to Vatican Investigation of US Nuns (05/15)
The all-male Church hierarchy apparently wants less social justice work by women religious in the US, and more outspoken opposition to homosexuality, abortion, and women's ordination.
UNDP Reports on Outlook for Sustainable Development in Asia-Pacific (05/10)
Exploring both widespread poverty and the impacts of climate change on the region, the report warns that the private sector and other stakeholders must act in order to galvanize government action.
Wal-Mart Gets ESG Rating of F After Bribery Allegations (04/24)
GovernanceMetrics International assigns a failing grade to the retail giant's environmental, social, and corporate governance performance following revelations that information about a bribery scandal in Mexico was covered up.
Investors Challenge Goldcorp's Closing Costs for Guatemala Mine (04/17)
Two institutional investors warn that Goldcorp faces litigation risks if its plan for funding the environmental cleanup of its mine in Guatemala is inadequate.
JPMorgan Chase Faces Investing in Genocide Resolution (04/13)
For the second year, Investors Against Genocide submits shareowner proposal addressing JPMorgan Chase's extensive holdings in PetroChina, a corporate contributor to genocide in Sudan.
Companies Advised to Address Risks in Supply Chains (04/12)
A Procurement Report from Eurosif establishes the business case for addressing environmental and social risks in corporate supply chains, and recommends that investors assess the exposure of companies in their portfolios.
Listen to Investors, Ernst & Young Tells Corporate Boards (04/06)
A white paper from the consulting firm anticipates that shareowner support for environmental and social resolutions will continue to grow, and that boards should take concrete steps to ensure that the perspectives of investors are considered.
Academics Propose Agency to Regulate Financial Products (04/05)
Eric Posner and Glen Weyl of the University of Chicago state that a Financial Products Administration would be the Food and Drug Administration of financial derivatives.
Apple Moves from Laggard to Sector Leader on Transparency (03/30)
The computer giant agrees to implement remedial action recommended by the Fair Labor Association's investigation of working conditions at Foxconn factories in China.
Occupy Movement Focuses on Volcker Rule (03/14)
Financial professionals form the Occupy the SEC movement and submit a 325-page comment letter to the SEC, calling for effective regulation of proprietary trading by banks.
As You Sow Publishes Proxy Preview (02/29)
The report notes an exponential increase in resolutions addressing the various forms of corporate political spending, while the community impacts of hydraulic fracturing and financial risks associated with coal lead environmental resolutions.
Zevin Asset Management Grows into a Corporate Engagement Powerhouse (02/28)
The Boston-based investment manager, with $335 million in assets under management, has co-filed 14 shareowner resolutions for the 2012 proxy season.
Investors Write to Chevron on Country Selection (02/27)
Following an unproductive meeting with Chevron on its operations in Burma, shareowners make public a letter in which they request transparency in the company's country selection criteria.
Generation Investment Management Calls for Sustainable Capitalism by 2020 (02/22)
The firm expands upon a manifesto written by co-founders Al Gore and David Blood and calls for mandatory integrated reporting and the pricing of externalities, an end to quarterly earnings guidance, and loyalty-drive securities for long-term investors.
Only 9% of Fund Managers Incorporate ESG Factors (02/15)
Mercer's evaluation of environmental, social, and corporate governance uptake by fund managers reveals that there is considerable room for improvement in how they communicate ESG integration to investors.
ICCR Publishes 2012 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide (02/07)
The Guide reveals a focus by members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility on social issues and corporate engagement.
GRI Publishes Sustainability Guidance for Event Organizers (01/26)
Site selection and community impact are among the key issues for which reporting can enhance the accountability of event organizers, the Global Reporting Initiative says.
Shareowner Activists Urge Siemens to Quit Chamber of Commerce (01/19)
CtW Investment Group writes to the German industrial conglomerate, stating that its position on the Chamber's board is at odds with the trade association's efforts to weaken the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Ecuadorian Court Upholds $18 Billion Judgment Against Chevron (01/06)
In addition to upholding the judgment for environmental damages in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, the court also criticized Chevron's efforts to undermine the trial.
Shareowner Activists Pressure Chevron for Transparency Over Payments to Burmese Regime (12/23)
Amid news of a possible normalization of relations between the US and Burma, sustainable investors and other activists argue that most of Chevron's payments line the pockets of the military. First of a two-part series.
Investors Provide Guidance for Compliance with California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (11/18)
Companies are encouraged to go beyond compliance with law and enact policies that commit them to addressing human trafficking in their supply chains.
Zuccotti Park Cleared of Occupy Protesters (11/15)
Police action to remove activists from original Occupy Movement encampment occurs two days before planned rally to shut down Wall Street.
More Fodder for Uprising Against Economic Inequality (10/26)
The Congressional Budget Office reports that household income of the top one percent grew by 275% between 1979 and 2007.
ICCR Celebrates Forty Years of Shareowner Activism (09/28)
More than 300 attend event that included a panel discussion on corporate responsibility and an eloquent address by Paul Neuhauser on shareowner action to end apartheid in South Africa.
Investors Call for Mandatory Integrated Reporting (09/27)
The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Coalition, led by Aviva Investors, urges United Nations member states to require companies to include sustainability issues in annual financial reporting.
PRI Issues 2011 Report on Progress (09/09)
While integration of environmental, social, and corporate governance factors remains limited as a proportion of the global market, the report indicates that such integration is growing across asset classes.
Book Review: Tropic of Chaos, by Christian Parenti (09/07)
Author Christian Parenti writes of how the catastrophic convergence of poverty, violence, and climate change is already destabilizing regions of the world, and of the worldwide conflagration that is likely to occur if climate change remains unchecked.
PRI Launches Farmland Initiative (09/06)
Eight institutional investors join to develop the Principles for Responsible Investment in Farmland, to ensure that investment in farmland is sustainable and transparent.
Can Shell Be Trusted with Drilling in Arctic? (08/20)
The company's permit from the Interior Department to drill in the Arctic precedes by days an oil spill in the North Sea, and follows a UN report critical of its acceptance of responsibility for oil spills in Nigeria.
TIAA-CREF Publishes 2011 Socially Responsible Investing Annual Report (07/26)
The report describes the accomplishments of the $470 billion financial services company in promoting sustainable investment according to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria.
Gilead Sciences Joins the Medicines Patent Pool (07/18)
Gilead becomes the first pharmaceutical company to form a licensing agreement with the Pool, and will provide its HIV and Hepatitis B drugs at low cost to developing countries.
UN Human Rights Council Endorses Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (06/22)
Authored by Special Representative John Ruggie, the Principles state that business enterprises are responsible for remediation of human rights violations in which they are involved.
Initiative Aims to Standardize Ratings of Corporate Social Responsibility (06/14)
Ceres and Tellus Institute announce the launch of the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings, which aims to provide a single standard for rating the sustainability performance of companies.
Global Emissions Reach Record High in 2010 (06/01)
The International Energy Agency finds that, following a decline in global emissions in 2009, they increased by five percent over the previous record year, adding to the challenge of meeting reduction goals established at Cancun last year.
Trillium Asks SEC to Investigate Chevron Disclosures (05/25)
Discrepancies in assessing the impact on the company of an $18 billion judgment in Ecuador raise questions about the disclosures included in SEC filings.
Investors Call for End to Human Trafficking in Corporate Supply Chains (05/24)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility issues a statement detailing ethical and financial cases for addressing human trafficking in supply chains, and sends letters to 25 companies calling for comprehensive policies on the issue.
As You Sow Reports on Supply Chain Compliance Programs of Apparel Companies (11/17)
The report surveys the supply chain compliance programs of 15 US-based apparel companies, and finds that most have codes of conduct and audit their suppliers, but few hold senior executives responsible for improved compliance.
Social Platform for Socially Responsible Investors (08/14)
The SRI community has a new way to share information about what companies are or aren't doing on social, environmental, and governance issues.
Green Fast Food: Really Here or a Green Dream? (07/11)
The fast food industry is seeing a growing demand for environmental sustainability. How can investors, consumers, and other stakeholders know which restaurants are truly embracing sustainable development and which are only greenwashing their practices?
Bob Monks: ExxonMobil Exemplifies Corpocracy (06/30)
SocialFunds writers Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon interview corporate governance advocate Bob Monks about his shareholder activism at ExxonMobil and his new book, Corpocracy.
Envisioning the Sustainable Supply Chain (06/05)
Innovative collaborations between suppliers, retailers and consumers need to be forged so future supply chains support businesses and the environment.
Michael Conroy on Activist Campaigns and the Certification Revolution (06/02)
SocialFunds writer Bill Baue speaks with Michael Conroy about his new book, Branded! How the “Certification Revolution” is Transforming Global Companies
Large UK Companies Put Their Best Foot Forward (05/28)
New study of the FTSE 100 finds most companies, but not all, are improving their performance on environmental, social and governance issues.
Climate Change Resolutions Picking Up Heat (04/18)
A new report from Ceres shows mutual funds are starting to move away from voting against climate change resolutions, to not voting on them at all.
Transparent Supply Chain Sends A Clear Message (04/10)
Hewlett-Packard recently released a list of its largest suppliers in hopes of increasing accountability from factory floors to consumers' front doors.
Shareholders Vote For Genocide-free Investing (04/01)
Fidelity shareholders weigh in on genocide-free mutual funds.
Shareholder Activists Try New Tactic in Divestment Campaign (03/05)
Activists are bringing resolutions to shareholder meetings of mutual funds in a bid to widen pressure on companies doing business with the Sudanese government.
Making Toys is Not Child's Play (11/14)
A group of shareholders have come together to demand safer working conditions for workers along the toy supply chain.
Corporate Operations in Burma Fuel Human Rights Abuses, Say Shareowner Activists (10/26)
Shareowner letters to Chevron and Total criticize the piping of revenues to the Burmese regime, while the Norwegian Pension Fund defends its decision not to divest from Total.
Companies, Carbon and Climate Change: The Carbon Disclosure Project Issues its 5th Global Corporate Climate Change Report (09/24)
More companies are moving from simple carbon awareness to carbon action, but further work still needs to be done.
Where in the World is Corporate Responsibility? (09/15)
EIRIS' new report "The State of Responsible Business" details growing corporate responsibility in businesses worldwide.
SEC Chair Cox Votes For Two Opposing Proxy Access Proposals--Both May Curtail Shareowner Rights (08/01)
Republican commissioners support a proposal barring shareowners from nominating directors; Democrats support one allowing it, though it introduced other reductions in shareowner power.
Sustainability Picks Up Where Supply and Demand Meet (07/16)
Both investors and companies are working on sustainability issues as new reports by UN PRI and Goldman Sachs show ESG issues are gaining momentum.
Shareholder Resolutions on Climate Change to Heat Up ExxonMobil's Annual Meeting (05/30)
A broad coalition of shareholders is seriously concerned about ExxonMobil's lackluster response to global climate change and plans to give thumbs down to board member Michael Boskin.
Fidelity Divests Large Chunk of Sudan-Related Holdings (05/22)
Despite similar pressure from Sudan divestment activists, Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway retain holdings in PetroChina, which is linked to genocide in Darfur.
Opening Up Pandora's Box: SEC Proxy Roundtable Questions Role of Non-Binding Resolutions (05/15)
SEC officers and panelists discuss the possibility of removing non-binding resolutions from the proxy and replacing them with online communications between shareowners and companies.
Yes and No: Newmont Recommends Voting For One Resolution, Petitions SEC to Omit Another (05/02)
The actions span the gamut of corporate responses to shareowner resolutions on environmental, social, and governance issues, from wholehearted support to forceful opposition.
Shareowner Activism Precedes Development of SRI Slavery Screen (03/27)
Most slavery exists far up the supply chain, and auditing practices do not yet exist to monitor for slavery at second- or third-tier suppliers, so it is too early to enact an enforceable slavery screen.
Ruggie Report Says Voluntary Human Rights Initiatives Set Stage for Binding Global Standards (03/19)
While the report finds significant flaws with voluntary collaborations between corporations and civil society, they currently fill the gap created by nation-states failing to protect human rights.
Chocolate Giant Commits to Responsible Supplier Code (03/08)
The Hershey Company is working to create a supplier code of conduct that goes above and beyond just cocoa suppliers.
The Gates Foundation and Mission Related Investing: Room for Alignment? (02/13)
An investigative report into the investment practices of the Gates Foundation has reinvigorated the debate over the obligation of foundations to align their missions with their investments.
S&P 500 Lags on Climate Disclosure, Electric Utilities Burning Economic Value Into Carbon (02/05)
Two recent reports use findings of the 2006 Carbon Disclosure Project to assess limits of transparency on climate risks and opportunities and drag on value creation at electric utilities.
Inaugural Report Card Grades College Sustainability on Endowment and Campus Efforts (01/29)
The Sustainable Endowments Institute study finds endowment sustainability lagging campus sustainability policies and initiatives.
From Competition to Cooperation: Companies Collaborate on Social and Environmental Issues (01/19)
Collaborative initiatives bring together companies, investors, and activists to address issues such as online freedom of expression, climate change, and labor rights in the global supply chain.
Top Five Socially Responsible Investing News Stories of 2006 (01/05)
Green investing booms, microfinance pioneer wins Nobel Peace Prize, shareowner democracy increases, resolutions receive record votes, and UN launches Principles of Responsible Investment
Rainforest Action Network Seeks to Stem Flow of Financing to TXU Coal Project (12/20)
Part two of this two-part articles addresses how RAN sent a letter to 54 banks urging them to withhold funding from a TXU plan to build 11 pulverized coal-burning power plants in Texas.
Marriott Combats Child Sexual Exploitation (12/11)
Shareowner engagement by Boston Common Asset Management and the First Swedish National Pension Fund prompts Marriott to explicitly address child sex tourism in its human rights policy.
How to Do Sustainble Banking (12/06)
BankTrack, a coalition of nongovernmental organizations promoting social and environmental responsibility in the finance sector, issues a guide to best practices in sustainable banking.
Pharma Companies Need to Keep Improving AIDS Response, Says ICCR and Nigerian Doctor (12/01)
Chukwumuanya Igboekwu of Physicians for Social Justice adds his own critiques to the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility study on pharmaceutical industry shortcomings in addressing AIDS.
New Exchange Traded Fund Tracks Domini 400 Social Index (11/22)
Barclays Global Investors launches the iShares KLD 400 Social Index ETF.
Dear Sir or Madam: Stakeholder Letters Push Corporate Sustainability Improvements (11/16)
Letters remains an important mode for addressing environmental, social, and governance issues, encompassing a broader swath than simply communication between shareowners and companies.
Glass Lewis Adds KLD Proxy Voting Guidelines to Proxy Voting Platform (10/31)
The move increases the availability of socially responsible investing proxy voting guidelines, but it remains to be seen if it inspires Glass Lewis to support more SRI resolutions in its own guidelines.
Votes for Social and Environmental Resolutions Rising, But Proxy Firm Support Still Lagging (10/23)
Over a quarter of social and environmental resolutions topped 15 percent support this proxy season, but proxy advisory firm recommendations supporting such proposals remain low.
FTSE4Good Deletes Nine Companies on Environmental and Supply Chain Labor Standards (10/04)
FTSE4Good criteria promote incremental progress in corporate social responsibility performance, and climate change is the latest topic covered in newly proposed standards.
Carbon Disclosure Project Finds Tipping Point in Awareness But Not Action on Climate Risks (09/19)
CDP4 reveals almost three quarters of FT500 tracking their greenhouse gas emissions, but less than half of those who think climate change poses risks are reducing GHG emissions.
Barclays Files for Permission to Launch iShares ETF Tracking the Domini Social Index (09/07)
The exchange-traded fund will likely have a low expense ratio, but will not conduct shareowner engagement like the other fund tracking the DSI, the Green Century Equity Fund, does.
Shareowners Push TimeWarner on Movies Depicting Smoking, Recycled Paper, and Pay Disparity (08/09)
Part two of this two-part article documents steps forward made by TimeWarner, as well as areas where shareowner activists continue to press for progress.
Shareowner Activists See Progress at TimeWarner, and Room for Improvement (08/08)
In part one of this two-part article, activists applaud the company on its first corporate social responsibility report while continuing to push on environmental, social, and governance issues.
Nuns and Priests File Depleted Uranium Bunker Buster Resolution at Three Weapons Companies (07/26)
The resolution goes to vote next week at Alliant Techsystems, and already received more than double the support needed to re-file next year at Lockheed Martin and Textron.
Trillium Takes the Reins from Winslow in Managing the Green Century Balanced Fund (07/24)
The transition in portfolio managers has shifted the fund back to its roots as a core portfolio holding by reducing risk and diversifying holdings across the multi-cap space.
Filing Resolutions at Mutual Funds: The Next Frontier for Shareowner Activism? (07/21)
Eight years after the Northwest Corporate Accountability Project first filed an environmental shareowner resolution, it will finally go to vote at the Merrill Lynch Global Allocation Fund.
Survey Reveals TIAA-CREF Investor Desire to Up Commitment to SRI (07/17)
TIAA-CREF promises to respond to participants, of whom over three-quarters prioritize social and environmental considerations in investing choices.
Missouri Treasurer Implements Anti-Terrorism Screen on State Fund (06/28)
The screen excludes Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, not necessarily as a genocidal regime, distinguishing this strategy from other Sudan-related state divestment strategies.
Semantics and Semitics: Presbyterian Church Investment to Focus on Israeli-Palestinian Peace (06/26)
A recommendation approved by the church General Assembly apologizes to Jews and refines language while reaffirming commitment to corporate engagement with divestment as last resort.
Stratfor Analysis Says Rise in Support for Shareowner Activism is Hitting a Plateau (06/22)
The analysis suggests that corporate executives are building up a tolerance to higher resolution votes; mutual fund proxy voting transparency represents the next frontier for shareowner activists to boost votes.
Correlating Proxy Advisory Firm Recommendations with Voting Results (06/20)
A look at the link between recommendations by Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis, and PROXYGovernance and voting results at Citigroup, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Wal-Mart.
Norwegian Government Pension Fund Dumps Wal-Mart and Freeport on Ethical Exclusions (06/16)
The $230 billion global fund--one of the largest pension funds in the world--cited Wal-Mart for systematic human rights violations and Freeport for serious environmental damage.
Corporate Shenanigans: Companies Dis Shareowners at Annual Meetings (06/09)
Home Depot exemplifies a phenomenon of companies manipulating annual meeting protocols to disempower shareowners, following in the footsteps of Weyerhaeuser, Whole Foods, and others.
Amgen Recommends Support for Political Donations Resolution, Bolstering Broader Campaign (05/16)
The Center for Political Accountability, which coordinates the political contributions campaign, released a report on trade association contributions that previews its 2007 proxy season strategy.
Digging for More than Gold: SRI Letter Asks Newmont to Address Western Shoshone Concerns (05/11)
The letter cites a recent decision by the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to support Western Shoshone claims.
Confirming the CalPERS Effect: Academic Study Links Shareowner Activism to Financial Gain (05/09)
Examining companies targeted for governance reform by the CalPERS Focus List, the study presents data correlating activism to increasing shareowner value as well as cautionary notes.
Proxy Season Report Geared to Foundations Helps Others Navigate Proxy Landscape (05/08)
As You Sow Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors report allows for stepping back by providing a useful overview as well as an in-depth look at behind-the-scenes dialogue.
United Nations Endorses SRI Strategies in Launching Principles for Responsible Investment (05/02)
Some 50 institutional investors globally representing $4 trillion in assets have signed on to the Principles, which promote the consideration of environmental, social and governance factors.
Conflict of Interests Policies and Practices Vary Widely at Proxy Advisory Firms (04/19)
Part two of this two-part article examines how Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis, and PROXY Governance handle potential conflicts of interest.
Voting Recommendations on Shareowner Resolutions Vary Widely at Proxy Advisory Firms (04/18)
Part one of this two-part article compares Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis, and PROXY Governance vote recommendations on resolutions at Citigroup and Chevron.
Wal-Mart Discloses Equal Employment Opportunity Data (04/14)
The company joined six others in the S&P 100 that publicly disclose their EEO-1 report, but Wal-Mart still faces shareowner action on union-busting and selling gems mined in Burma.
Shareowner Resolutions Overcome Obstacles to Promote Sustainability Reporting (03/29)
A campaign advocating for sustainability reporting refines its strategies, shifting from requiring adherence to recommending Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.
White House and Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Address Pediatric AIDS (03/24)
Bush Administration launches a new public-private partnership on Pediatric AIDS, an area where ICCR engages pharmaceutical companies in shareowner advocacy.
Thirty Years and Counting: Cofounder Wayne Silby Recounts the Birth of Calvert (03/18)
To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Calvert, SocialFunds.com speaks with co-founder Wayne Silby about its genesis, development, and future.
A Serendipitous Match: Davis Advisors Takes Over MMA Praxis Core Stock Fund (03/16)
The portfolio holding of Wal-Mart exemplifies (oddly enough) how both Davis Advisors and MMA Praxis emphasize the importance of stewardship and shareowner empowerment.
SEC Forces Chevron, Dow, and CVS to Include Shareowner Resolutions on Their Proxies (03/07)
Part two of this two-part article examines no-action activity thus far in the 2006 proxy season, focusing on attempts to apply the personal grievance rule and expand a new risk assessment rule.
Resolution Withdrawals Signal Success in Shareowner Advocacy Early in 2006 Proxy Season (03/06)
Part one of this two-part article examines withdrawal of resolutions on climate change, sexual orientation nondiscrimination, political contributions, and HIV/AIDS policies.
IT Company Collusion with Chinese Authorities to Repress Free Expression Shorts Shareowner Value (02/17)
Boston Common Asset Management submits testimony to congressional hearings asserting that protecting shareholder value and respecting human rights are not mutually exclusive mandates.
KLD and ISS Offer Research Tools for Divesting from Sudanese Genocide and Terrorism (02/07)
The KLD tool focuses narrowly on the Illinois law mandating divestment from companies doing business with the Sudan; the ISS tool focuses beyond divestment and on other state sponsors of terrorism.
Using Mutual Fund Proxy Voting Data to Promote More Conscientious Voting (02/03)
The final installment of this multi-part series steps back to consider the implications of the findings and how to harness them to push mutual funds to support corporate social responsibility.
Social Investment Forum Trends Report Tracks Rises and Falls of Socially Responsible Investing (01/26)
The 2005 report documents increases since 2003 in assets overall in SRI, in SRI mutual funds, and in shareholder advocacy, but decreases in overall screened assets and in screened separate accounts.
Eroding Support for Shareowner Resolutions on Climate Change Revealed by Unpublished Data (01/25)
In part three of this multi-part article, SocialFunds.com examines unpublished data associated with a recent report on mutual fund proxy voting from The Corporate Library, and finds decreasing support for climate change resolutions.
Unpublished Data Clarifies SRI Proxy Voting on CSR Resolutions (01/18)
In part two in this multi-part series, SocialFunds.com examines unpublished data associated with a recent report from The Corporate Library, and finds that statistics are not always what they seem at first glance.
The Corporate Library Report on Mutual Fund Proxy Voting Finds Stagnation and Even Retreat (01/17)
Part one of this multi-part series discusses the report findings on decreasing mainstream fund support for CSR resolutions; subsequent articles examine unpublished data from the research.
Wal-Mart Faces Host of Shareowner Resolutions, From Union-Busting to Sustainability Reporting (01/06)
The broad range of resolutions suggests that the sustainability commitments announced by Wal-Mart last year did not convince shareowners that the company has solved all its challenges.
Book Review--Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism (12/22)
The newest in the Megatrends series advances a framework for conscious capitalism that highlights socially responsible investing.
PROXY Governance Diversifies Proxy Advisory Choice (12/02)
The new proxy advisory firm expands options for fiduciaries.
First Steps: Corporate Engagement on HIV/AIDS Improves Since Last World AIDS Day (12/01)
Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS Best Practice AIDS Standard represents an important step forward, and companies such as Intel are responding to shareowner dialogue with ICCR.
New International Finance Corporation Sustainability Standards: Watershed or Watered Down? (11/23)
A group of socially responsible investors express concern over perceived shortcomings in the proposed IFC policy revisions, while the IFC points out where the policies break new ground.
Shareowner Empowerment Is Alive and Well: a Preview of the 2006 Proxy Season (11/16)
Part two of this two-part article examines the developing trends in shareowner activism as resolutions are filed for the upcoming proxy season.
Forging Ahead from the Crossroads: Reviewing the 2005 Proxy Season (11/14)
Part one of this two-part article looks back at this year's proxy season, which was highlighted by majority vote director election proposals while part two previews the upcoming proxy season.
Tearing Down the Great Firewall (11/08)
Social investors issue a statement holding information technology companies accountable for collusion with repressive regimes such as China that stifle dissent expressed on the Internet.
Book Review--The Challenge to Power: Money, Investing, and Democracy (11/07)
John Harrington compiles voluminous evidence to diagnose what ails modern corporatocracy, and prescribes a comprehensive cure with socially responsible investing playing a key role.
Wal-Mart Embraces Sustainability: Does the SRI Community Buy It? (10/26)
Socially responsible investors cautiously applaud Wal-Mart for committing to social and environmental sustainability, but remain highly skeptical about actual implementation.
Institutional Investors Drive Research on Mainstreaming of SRI by Investment Managers (10/21)
A new line of research at Mercer Investment Consulting rates proxy voting, shareholder engagement, and analysis of environmental, social, and governance issues by mainstream investment managers.
Changing of the Guard: Vanguard Pulls a Switcheroo on SRI Index Providers (10/06)
Vanguard is swapping the benchmark for its socially responsible investing index fund from the Calvert Social Index to the FTSE4Good US Select Index.
ICCR Online Database Eases Access to Information on Shareowner Resolutions (10/04)
EthVest, the new web-based tool from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, provides access to 2,000-plus shareowner resolutions and 12-plus years of shareowner action.
Third Carbon Disclosure Project Survey Finds Increasing Action on Climate Change (09/21)
CDP3, now sponsored by 155 institutional investors with more than $21 trillion in assets, also reveals some significant footdragging by the Financial Times 500 companies.
A Semantic Hermeneutics of SRI (09/09)
KLD Research & Analytics Founding President Peter Kinder examines limitations of the term socially responsible investing, and identifies both overemphasized and overlooked distinctions.
Shareowner Resolution Asks Monsanto to Create Ethics Oversight Committee (08/26)
The company stonewalls inquiries related to the resolution, which springs from a $1.5 million settlement with the SEC and DOJ earlier this year regarding a bribe Monstanto paid in Indonesia.
Lack of Human Rights Policy Concerns Chevron Shareowners in Light of Unocal Merger (08/16)
Part two of this two-part article examines the implications of the delay in adopting a human rights policy given the inheritance of Unocal holdings in Burma and Alien Tort Claims Act cases.
New Document Alleges Tie Between Chevron and Human Rights Abuses in Nigeria (08/12)
Identified in the discovery phase of a case proceeding at state and federal levels, the invoice and receipt indicate Chevron paid Nigerian soldiers for services on a day several villagers were allegedly killed (part one of a two-part article.)
Power to the People: Amnesty Launches Grassroots Shareowner Advocacy Program (08/05)
The SharePower program encourages ordinary people to tell institutional investors holding shares in their name to vote for shareowner resolutions supporting human rights.
Shell Doubles Cost Projections of Sakhalin II, Project Critics Redouble Opposition (07/21)
The largest oil and gas project in the world meets resistance over concerns about its social and environmental impacts, as well as its economic sustainability.
Students and States Seek to End Genocide in Sudan Through Divestment Campaigns (06/01)
Students urge Stanford University to follow in the footsteps of Harvard University by divesting, and urge California senators to pass legislation like Illinois did.
The Ghost of a Shareholder Resolution Haunts ExxonMobil Annual Meeting (05/26)
Despite an unprecedented 28 percent vote for a first-year climate change resolution and strong support for seven others, the censoring of a resolution quashes shareholder democracy.
IFC Urged to Include Corporate Screens and Address Climate Change in New Standards (05/13)
A group of socially responsible investment practitioners recommends revisions to new International Finance Corporation social and environmental sustainability standards.
Book Review--The Bhopal Reader: Remembering Twenty Years of the World's Worst Industrial Disaster (05/12)
A collection of primary and secondary sources spanning the twenty-year quest for corporate accountability from Union Carbide and now Dow for the 1984 chemical leak that killed thousands upon thousands.
Institutional Investors Call on SEC, Wall Street, and Companies to Address Climate Risk (05/11)
The second Investor Summit on Climate Risk focused on information, from the perspectives of disclosure, data generation, and analysis, as a key to transforming climate risk into opportunity.
Virgin Trees in Kleenex: Greenpeace Lambasts Kimberly-Clark Fiber Sourcing (05/06)
Between 15 and 30 percent of K-C tissue products fiber originates from the Canadian Boreal Forest, according to a Greenpeace report, and only 19 percent of its fiber is recycled.
JPMorgan Chase Environmental Policy Triggers Tipping Point for US Bank Sustainability (04/29)
The JPMC policy surpasses environmental best practice established by Citigroup and Bank of America in some areas, but also lags these sustainability leaders in others.
Pharma and Biotech Companies Just Starting to Pass the Transparency Litmus Test (04/27)
oekom research rates the social and environmental sustainability performance of 27 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and finds disclosure lacking across the board.
Weyerhaeuser To Screen Shareholder Questions at Annual Meeting Tomorrow (04/20)
Shifting from the standard open-mic Question and Answer format, the CEO will act as gatekeeper for shareholder questions, a practice viewed by shareholders as restricting their rights.
SRI Funds Vote Proxies More Conscientiously Than Conventional Funds on Corporate Governance (04/13)
A study on proxy voting by socially responsible investment and conventional funds finds SRI funds voting against management more often on social, environmental, and governance issues.
Ecuadorian Attorney General Tells ChevronTexaco Shareholders Remediation Agreement May Be Invalid (04/12)
The questionable validity of the remediation agreement indemnifying ChevronTexaco could carry implications for the lawsuit and beyond (part three of a multipart article).
Asphalt Jungle: Did Oil Drilling by Texaco Create Environmental and Social Harm in Ecuador? (04/11)
Both ChevronTexaco and lawsuit plaintiffs are finding evidence of contamination during judicial site inspections: the question is, does it pose human health or environmental risks? (part two of a multi-part article.)
Oil Spread Upon the Waters of Ecuador May Return Harm for ChevronTexaco Shareholders (04/08)
A shareholder delegation surveys the environmental and social impact of oil operations, assessing potential risk from a twelve-year old lawsuit in its judicial inspection phase (part one of a multi-part article).
Shareowner Activists on Sustainability Take Baby Steps Into Sustainability Screening (03/25)
Part one of this two-part article surveys the landscape of US public pension fund screening of corporate social and environmental sustainability.
Caterpillar Bulldozes Shareowner Concern Over Aiding Alleged Israeli War Crimes (03/24)
Caterpillar faces a shareowner resolution as well as a lawsuit filed by the family of peace activist Rachel Corrie that cites the Nuremberg Tribunal as precedent in alleging war crime complicity.
Faith-Based and Environmentalist Shareowners Withdraw Climate Change Resolutions at Six Companies (03/22)
The six oil and gas companies commit to measure, mitigate, and disclose data related to global warming, and evangelicals join their faith-based compatriots in concern over climate change.
Comparing Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase Policies: Which Stems Illegal Logging in Indonesia? (03/08)
Before providing funding, financial institution policies requiring documentation certifying legitimate timber sourcing may help promote sustainable logging in Southeast Asia.
Campaign to Enhance Pharma Industry Accountability Broadens Shareowner Action (03/04)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility sent letters to over 2,750 institutional investors seeking support for three resolutions filed at nine pharmaceutical companies.
Book Review--Corporations and the Public Interest: Guiding the Invisible Hand (02/22)
Steve Lydenberg eloquently describes corporate social responsibility and socially responsible investment, fields in which he is an expert, and recommends mechanisms to fuel their trajectories.
Deafening Silence: Corporate Political Contribution Non-Disclosure Impacts Shareowner Value (02/17)
A Center for Political Accountability report documents corporate secrecy on political donations, and a Common Cause report reveals how mutual funds fail to support contribution transparency.
Speaking From Both Sides of the Mouth: The Art and Science of Corporate Tax Avoidance (02/04)
Three reports--by a US tax watchdog, a pair of US academics, and a UK socially responsible investment firm--find troubling trends in corporate tax strategies.
World Economic Forum Report Finds Decreasing Corporate Awareness and Response to AIDS (01/20)
The report also finds an increase in companies adopting HIV/AIDS policies, a trend confirmed by the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS.
Monsanto $1.5 Million Fines for Genetic Engineering Bribe Illustrates Risks of GE Strategy (01/19)
The penalties, levied by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice, may lend credence to a shareowner resolution asking Monsanto to report on GE risks.
Top Five Socially Responsible Investing News Stories of 2004 (01/11)
Shareowner engagement shifted from confrontational to collaborative, sustainability analysis fused with financial analysis, and fiduciary duty expanded to include social and environmental issues.
Addressing the Israel-Palestine Conflict Through Shareowner Action and Selective Divestment (01/06)
Part two of this two-part article examines the Presbyterian Church USA's policy of "phased, selective divestment" and the Episcopal Church's decision to study the issue before responding.
To Divest or Not to Divest: Ethical Considerations of Addressing the Israel-Palestine Conflict (01/05)
Part one of this two-part article examines across-the-board divestment from companies profiting off Israeli policies that harm Palestinians, and the case against divestment.
Divesting from Genocide: More Conversation with Eric Reeves of the Divest Sudan Campaign (12/14)
In part two of this two-part interview, Mr. Reeves discusses the significance of actions by the investment and legislative communities to address the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
Divesting From Genocide: A Conversation with Eric Reeves of the Divest Sudan Campaign (12/10)
In part one of this two-part interview, Mr. Reeves explains why shareowner action and direct dialogue with companies operating in Sudan is not an option in the context of genocide.
Ford HIV Report Exemplifies New Shareowner Action Strategy (12/07)
Ford joins Coca-Cola, Cinergy, and others heeding shareowner resolutions requesting reporting on social and environmental issues, but it remains to be seen how far the strategy will extend.
Graphing Graft: Transparency International Finds Rampant Corruption in 60 Countries (11/03)
The tenth annual Corruption Perceptions Index highlights the acute problem of corruption in oil-rich countries.
Are Electronic Components Producers Ready for Environmental Regulation? (10/20)
A Citizens Advisors study surveys 26 electronics components companies, and projects that many of them will be unprepared for European Union laws taking effect in 2006.
Memo From: SRI Analysts To: Companies--Use GRI Sustainability Reporting Platform! (10/07)
A coalition of 17 socially responsible investment firms recommends that companies disclose social and environmental data using the Global Reporting Initiative.
About Face: Cintas Settles Lawsuit and Supports Vendor Standards Resolution (09/15)
In his apology, Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management highlights the need for accurate information, which Cintas promises to supply in the report requested by the resolution.
US Banks Criticized for Involvement in China State Bank Bonds (08/19)
Nongovernmental organizations and socially responsible investing firms criticize US banks for selling Chinese bonds that fund socially and environmentally problematic projects.
Accuracy of Dow Chemical Statements and SEC Filings Questioned (08/12)
On behalf of two socially responsible investment firms, an environmental attorney asks the SEC to probe the factuality of public statements and filings made by Dow Chemical.
Can Corporate Social Responsibility Put the Brakes on HIV in Africa? (08/04)
A field report from Africa by Dan Rosan of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.
Keeping Score: The Mathematics and Linguistics of the World Bank Extractive Industries Review (07/28)
World Bank Group management and socially responsible investors interpret EIR recommendations differently.
The Emergence Story Behind Indigenous Peoples Rights Screens (06/10)
Socially responsible investment firms also engage in shareowner action on indigenous peoples rights issues.
Shareowner Resolution Withdrawn as JP Morgan Chase Addresses Environmental Risks (05/14)
A group of socially responsible investment advocates withdrew a shareowner resolution from JP Morgan Chase when the company established an office of environmental affairs.
ChevronTexaco Faces Class-Action Lawsuit in Ecuador Over Environmental Damage (05/11)
A resolution asking ChevronTexaco to report on new initiatives to address its legacy of environmental damage in Ecuador gained nine percent support from shareowners.
Jewish Institutional Investors Form Shareholder Engagement Network (04/30)
The Jewish Shareholder Engagement Network is based on the notion that Jewish tradition supports such shareowner action as active proxy voting and dialogue with companies.
First-Year Resolution on HIV/AIDS Garners Significant Support at Pharmaceuticals (04/29)
The HIV/AIDS pandemic threatens human life and shareowner value, according to a shareowner resolution filed at companies in the pharmaceutical, oil, and beverage sectors.
Social Investors Urge World Bank to Adopt Extractive Industries Review Proposals (03/23)
If adopted by the World Bank, EIR recommendations could serve as a social and environmental best practice benchmark for oil, gas, and mining companies.
Occidental To Adopt Formal Human Rights Policy, Shareowners Withdraw Resolution (03/18)
Successful shareholder action results in steps towards Occidental formalizing its human rights policy.
Cintas Defamation Suit Challenges Shareowner Free Speech Rights (02/10)
Cintas files a defamation lawsuit against Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management for alleging that the company uses sweatshop labor in Haiti.
ExxonMobil Contributed Five Percent of Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Last 120 Years (01/30)
Friends of the Earth releases two studies that attribute one twentieth of global climate change to ExxonMobil. The company questions these findings, as it questions climate change.
Shareowner Resolution Calls Costco on Cultural Crimes in Mexican Site Development (01/08)
Shareowners express concern that Costco, which demolished a culturally significant site in Mexico to build a store, may be demolishing its reputation in the process.
Film Depicts Environmental and Social Reporting Disappearing in SEC Black Hole (01/07)
A documentary film by environmental attorney Sanford Lewis reveals the SEC's failure to enforce its rules requiring companies to disclose environmental and social liabilities.
Many Companies Cannot Verify Whether Their Palm Oil Is Produced Sustainably (01/06)
An ISIS Asset Management report finds that few companies can trace the source of their palm oil up their supply chain to confirm whether or not it is produced sustainably.
Top Five Social Investing News Stories of 2003 (12/19)
The major social investing news stories of the year include SEC reforms, stock exchanges mandating social, environmental, and corporate governance practices, and climate risk assessment defined as a fiduciary duty.
2004 Proxy Season Glimpse: HIV/AIDS Shareowner Campaign Shifts from Conflict to Collaboration (12/18)
The 2004 proxy season has commenced with an instance of cooperation between a company and its shareowners (Part two of a two-part article.)
2003 Proxy Season Roundup: Shareowner Action Success Measured On and Off the Record (12/17)
While the 2003 proxy season produced some impressive numbers, shareowner advocates also define success in ways that are not easily quantifiable (Part one of a two-part article.)
Two New Real Assets Funds Attract $25 Million in Their First Two Months (12/03)
The Real Assets Social Leaders Fund and Social Impact Balanced Fund are off to a flying start, re-invigorating social investing in Canada.
UN Institutional Investor Summit Considers Opportunities of Addressing Climate Change (11/26)
Institutional investors make the business case and investment case for assessing, reporting, and mitigating climate change in a summit at the UN (part two of a two-part article).
British American Tobacco Reluctantly Exits Myanmar (11/07)
Bowing to pressure from activists and the UK government, BAT sold its interest in its Myanmar operation, though it will continue to license its cigarette brands there.
ISIS Product Offers Shareowner Action without Portfolio Management (10/01)
Institutional investors can use ISIS's Responsible Engagement Overlay to promote better social and environmental performance at companies through dialogue, proxy voting, shareowner resolution filing, and research.
New Proxy Voting Recommendation Service Provides Choice, Objectivity (09/05)
Investor Responsibility Research Center teams with Glass, Lewis & Co. to provide proxy voting recommendations and voting services to institutional investors.
Institutional Investor Practices SRI Through Shareowner Action (08/14)
The Nathan Cummings Foundation prioritizes shareowner action by actively voting its proxies, filing shareowner resolutions, and dialoguing with companies on social issues.
The Needmor Fund Utilizes a Muscular Definition of Fiduciary Responsibility (08/05)
Susan Stranahan, treasurer of the Needmor Fund, discusses socially responsible investing as a fiduciary duty and tier A money managers who have a social mission.
Eurosif Releases Transparency Guidelines for European SRI Funds (07/08)
Eurosif asks socially responsible investment firms to disclose their policies and procedures around SRI issues.
Pension Funds and Mutual Funds Influence Their Holdings Differently (07/01)
Academic studies discern between how pension funds and mutual funds wield influence as institutional shareowners, but the studies lack methods sophisticated enough to evaluate the effects of SRI.
Investors Managing $3 Trillion Back Blair's Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (06/18)
Developing countries are being prodded to support oil and mining companies disclosure of payments the companies make to governments.
Religious Institutions Issue Benchmarks for Corporate Social Responsibility Performance (05/28)
A global coalition of religious activists have published the third edition of a comprehensive set of guidelines for corporate social and environmental performance.
Blacklisting, Voicetracking, and Payola: Clear Channel and the Effects of Media Consolidation (05/23)
Shareowner activists ask Clear Channel to ban blacklisting, while musicians and other activists oppose FCC plans to deregulate media industries.
Innovest Report Identifies Business Risk of Genetic Engineering for Monsanto Investors (05/01)
The controversy surrounding genetic engineering creates substantial risks to shareowner value at Monsanto, according to a new report from Innovest.
The Answer to the Coffee Crisis? Farmers Want Fair Price, Kraft Says Increase Demand (04/25)
Calls for fair prices and Fair Trade Certified coffee by social investors, coffee farmers, and Oxfam go unheeded by Kraft.
Is Nike Guaranteed Free Speech? The Supreme Court Will Decide (04/23)
Advocates of socially responsible investment and corporate social responsibility on both sides of the Atlantic weigh in on the implications of Nike's Supreme Court case.
Pay Dirt or Payola? How Halliburton Strikes it Rich (04/11)
A number of practices have generated profits as well as controversy for Halliburton, the company where Vice President Dick Cheney served six years as CEO.
Oekom Applauds Insurers Employing SRI but Chides Rest of Sector's Non-Transparency (03/18)
Lack of transparency prevented the German corporate research firm from conducting corporate responsibility ratings on the majority of global insurance companies.
The Black and White and Gray Areas of Military and Weapons Screening (02/28)
Most social investors screen out companies that derive revenue from military-related products and services or weapons manufacturing. However, a zero tolerance screen is unusual.
ExxonMobil Receives 23 Shareowner Resolutions on Issues Ranging from Climate Change to Corporate Governance (02/26)
Concerted shareowner action this proxy season targets ExxonMobil over such issues as its refusal to address climate change and its coupling of CEO and Chairman of the Board.
Carbon Disclosure Project Informs Investors of Climate Change Risks and Opportunities (02/18)
A new report finds that companies stand to gain competitive advantage by addressing climate change.
ICCR Proxy Resolutions Book Gauges Shareowner Action Climate (01/22)
In its new publication, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility rounds up the social and environmental shareowner resolutions to be voted on in the 2003 proxy season.
Global Warming Shareowner Resolution Filed at "Filthy Five" Electric Companies (01/17)
A coalition of institutional investors has filed a shareowner resolution calling on five electric power producers to report on the business risk of their greenhouse gas emissions.
Presbyterian Funds Honor Their History in SRI by Performing Well in the Present (12/19)
New Covenant Funds, which trace its SRI roots back well beyond its 1999 inception date, offers several mutual funds that have been performing better than their peers.
Social Investors Spur Social and Environmental Upgrades at Intel (12/17)
Over the past five years, Intel Corporation's program of engagement with the social investment community has helped the company boost its competitive advantage.
Talisman Leaves Sudan But Remains on Social Investment Nix List (11/19)
Canadian SRI rating agency recommends investors continue to avoid investment in Talisman due to ongoing human rights and environmental concerns.
National Policy Association Book Advocates Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting (11/13)
A new book published by the National Policy Association makes a series of recommendations to promote global corporate social responsibility, among them triple bottom line reporting.
Oxfam Launches Coffee Rescue Plan (09/30)
Oxfam International's new effort to promote the fair trade of coffee garners immediate support from Domini Social Investments.
Conference to Consider the Business Case for SRI (07/29)
Institutional investors will discuss SRI at the Green Mountain SRI Summit, to be held in Stowe, Vermont in September.
Calls for Shareowner Action Continue to Rise on U.S. Campuses (06/05)
Swarthmore this year became the first college to singly file a shareowner resolution since the end of the anti-apartheid movement, and campuses across the U.S. are calling for divestment from Israel.
Two Perspectives on the Business Case for Ethical Corporate Behavior (05/17)
Robert Monks defends the business case for corporate ethics against Sir Geoffrey Chandler's recent editorial attacking the business case as amoral.
Debate Continues Over Effects of CalPERS' Divestment from Emerging Market Countries (05/07)
Although CalPERS may reverse its decision to divest from the Philippines, the question of how other emerging markets will be affected by divestment remains unanswered.
Survey Holds Money Managers Accountable (04/02)
A recent AFL-CIO survey may prod money managers to examine their proxy voting on labor issues, but some in the social investment community note that the interests of organized labor and social investors sometimes diverge.
Campaign Calls for U.S. Pharmaceutical Companies to Allow Inspections for Bio-Weapons (02/04)
A non-profit watchdog is advocating mandatory inspection of chemical manufacturers capable of producing bio-weapons, a measure opposed by a U.S. pharmaceutical industry group.
Consulting Firm Promotes Online Reporting of Triple Bottom Line (12/31)
SustainAbility, a British research and consultancy firm, recently released a report on how companies, their stakeholders and customers use the Internet to communicate about sustainable development.
Shareowners Increase Social Activism Significantly in 2001 (11/28)
Research released by the Investor Responsibility Research Center reveals upward trends for shareowner activism on social issues.
Directing the Faithful Call for Corporate Social Responsibility (11/08)
An interview with Sister Patricia Wolf, executive director of ICCR, reveals how ICCR has remained a driving force in the corporate social responsibility movement and what might be in store for ICCR in the future.
Social Investors Press Unocal to Cut Ties to Burma (10/24)
Social investors have become part of a sophisticated, multi-pronged campaign to keep the Burma issue in front Unocal senior management. (part two of a two-part article)
Students Push University of Virginia Out of Unocal (10/23)
Unocal is feeling pressure from activists because the company continues to do business with Burma's ruling military regime. (part one of a two-part article)
Socially Responsible Shareowner Proposals Continue to Gain Support (09/06)
The number of social issue proposals receiving at least 10 percent support in the 2001 proxy season outpaces that of recent years.
Group Invites Grantmakers to Invest with Their Values (08/22)
The Foundation Partnership for Corporate Responsibility seeks to help foundations bring their investment principles in line with their mission.
Proxy Monitor Buys ISS (08/13)
Move gives one firm significant power in influencing the proxy votes of institutional investors.
Canadian Parliament Votes to Give Socially Responsible Shareowner Proposals Equal Billing (08/02)
New law will limit corporate management’s ability to claim that a proposal “promotes a cause” and therefore should be rejected.
Book Review: The New Global Investors (07/25)
Robert Monks calls on institutional investors to exercise their rights as shareowners and hold senior managers accountable for company performance and practices.
Labor Standards Resolutions Garner Support in 2001 Proxy Season (07/11)
Ten international labor and human rights proposals that came to vote this year received 10 percent or more support from shareowners.
International Business Leaders Promote Ethical, Responsible Business Practices (06/29)
The Caux Round Table offers guidelines to promote social, environmental and economic sustainability among corporations.
Book Review: The Rise of Fiduciary Capitalism (05/30)
The fiduciaries of large institutional investors are finding it is in their interest, as shareowners, to urge corporate social responsibility.
ExxonMobil Feeling Heat on Both Sides of the Atlantic (05/17)
Shareholder resolutions and boycotts put pressure on oil giant to change its stance on global warming and embrace clean energy.
Citigroup Shareowner Resolutions Yield Mixed Results (05/04)
Three of five resolutions achieve thresholds for resubmission next year.
Environmental Groups Endorse Shareholder Resolutions (04/12)
Environmental advocates ask for support for pro-environmental resolutions at a wide range of companies.
California's Supreme Court to Decide Corporate Whitewash Trial (03/02)
Suit charging Nike with false advertising regarding its labor practices has implications for corporate image advertising.
BP Amoco Feeling Pressure on PetroChina Holdings (02/20)
Protests held last week support a shareholder resolution demanding BP Amoco's divestiture from Chinese energy company.
Friends Ivory & Sime Engages Companies on Human Rights (04/12)
The London-based social investment firm launches a unique human rights initiative through dialogue with company management.
Shareholders Bring Banks to Account for Three Gorges Dam (02/18)
A resolution with three international lenders draws attention to their role in the environmental and human rights costs of China's colossal dam project.
Walden Reflects on Going Global (02/14)
Six months after launching the first socially responsible international index fund, Portfolio Manager Geeta Aiyer does not take the role of pioneer woman lightly.
Shareholders Lean on Global Corporate Accountability (02/08)
In shareholder resolutions pending for the 2000 proxy season, global human rights, vendor standards, and other issues of corporate accountability loom large.
Sullivan Principles for Corporate Accountability Go Global (01/18)
The author of the code of corporate behavior that ushered South Africa out of the Apartheid era brings his uncommon good sense to multinationals around the world.
Advocates Muster to Support Massachusetts Burma Law (12/24)
As the deadline for filing a brief of support with the Supreme Court approaches, human rights advocates urge their local and federal representatives to sign on.