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Shareholder Activism / Community development


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.

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.

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.

Founder of New Hampshire Community Loan Fund Wins Responsible Finance Award (10/18)
Juliana Eades, President and founding Executive Director of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, receives the fifth annual Ned Gramlich Award for Responsible Finance from Opportunity Finance Network.

ICCR Ally Succeeds in Bank of America Engagement (10/15)
Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement persuades Bank of America to help homeowners in Virginia county hit hard by mortgage crisis.

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.

Congress Unlikely to Pass 2012 Farm Bill in Time (09/11)
As severe cuts in the food stamp program and assistance to farmers seem more likely, the responsibility for building a sustainable food supply falls to sustainable investors and other key stakeholders.

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.

Rebranded, the SRI Conference Heads East (09/03)
SocialFunds.com talks with Steve Schueth of First Affirmative Financial Network about the history of the conference and the decision to locate it at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut this year. First of a two-part series.

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.

Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance Publishes Compendium of Case Studies (02/16)
The Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance wraps up its first year with case studies designed to help provide sustainable financial products and services to the world's poor.

Ceres Aqua Gauge Helps Investors and Companies Manage Water Risk (01/24)
As population growth and climate change make water risk management an issue for investors and companies to address without delay, the Ceres Aqua Gauge provides a framework for evaluating corporate strategies.

CalPERS to Quadruple Investment in California Infrastructure (09/17)
Pension fund earmarks $800 million for investments of at least $150 million in infrastructure projects that support essential community services.

Wealth Gaps Between Whites and Minorities at Record Levels (08/01)
A new study from the Pew Research Center confirms that the recession has had a far greater impact on Blacks and Hispanics than on Whites.

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.

ICCR Launches Initiative to Improve Social Sustainability Measures (07/14)
The Social Sustainability Resource Guide argues for a focus on long-term impacts of corporate activities in communities, and emphasizes a multi-stakeholder approach in addressing social issues.

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.

Is Corporate Social Responsibility a Distraction? (06/16)
A paper by consultants at Dalberg Global Development Advisors argue for the return of a focus on the single bottom line of corporate profitability, but calls for a long-term horizon that coincides with the interests of sustainable investors.

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

SRI Assets Surge Ahead (03/06)
New socially responsible investing study reports one dollar out of every nine dollars under professional management is invested responsibly.

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.

The Subprime Meltdown and SRI: Engage, Avoid, Predict (09/12)
Shareowner activists engaged banks on predatory lending long before the subprime crisis climaxed, and SRI research predicted the meltdown in time to avoid some impacts.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Book Review: Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality & Insecurity (02/16)
The revised and updated edition of this text (originally published in 2000) examines how excessive executive compensation contributes to the widening gulf between rich and poor.

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.

Socially Responsible Investing Advances Anti-Racism in Helping Rebuild New Orleans (12/12)
In addition to supporting community investment and leveraging influence through shareowner advocacy, social investors can help rebuild in the aftermath of Katrina by naming root problems.

PROXY Governance Diversifies Proxy Advisory Choice (12/02)
The new proxy advisory firm expands options for fiduciaries.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Students Call for More Disclosure on University Hedge Fund Investments (03/03)
Frustrated by the opacity of universities' hedge fund investments in terms of their social and environmental impacts, students request dialogue with hedge fund firm.

Community Investment Advocates Question Bank of America/FleetBoston Merger (01/23)
Bank of America is responding to critics of its proposed merger with FleetBoston.

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.

Shareowner Action Prompts Procter & Gamble to Sell Fair Trade Coffee (09/17)
In response to a shareowner action campaign, Procter & Gamble launched a Fair Trade Certified coffee; critics challenge the company to commit more fully to sustainability.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Citigroup Shareowner Resolutions Yield Mixed Results (05/04)
Three of five resolutions achieve thresholds for resubmission next year.

Religious Investors Find New Frontiers at MMA Praxis (02/24)
The Mennonite mutual fund family leads the way to more complete program of socially responsible investing.

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