Business Ethics / Ethics policy and training
Second Benchmark of Corporate Human Rights Performance Launches (04/30)
KnowTheChain, founded in 2013 to address California's Supply Chain Transparency Act, will initially benchmark the human rights performance of 20 companies in the information and communications technology industry sector.
Exxon Opts for Business as Usual on Climate Change (02/03)
The oil and gas giant challenges a shareowner resolution from Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility members, requesting that it commit to global temperature increase limits.
Investors Support Human Trafficking Legislation (09/25)
More than 100 institutional investors call for passage in Congress of The Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015.
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.
Corporations Improving on LGBT Rights (03/20)
Evolution in social acceptance of diversity, as well as years of shareowner engagement by Walden Asset Management, leads to many companies adopting sexual orientation and gender identity policies.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month (01/12)
While business increasingly acknowledges its responsibility to help eradicate human trafficking in all its forms, more robust efforts are needed to protect the world's most vulnerable people.
JPMorgan Publishes Governance Report in Return for Resolution Withdrawal (12/30)
Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility withdraw a key corporate governance resolution after the financial institution agrees to publish a report detailing its efforts at governance reform. First of a two-part series.
ECPAT-USA Continues Private Sector Engagement (10/29)
The organization's efforts to eradicate the commercial sexual exploitation of children have succeeded in encouraging more than 35 companies to implement the Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct.
Professional Institute for Sustainability Practitioners Launched in UK (07/22)
Members of the UK-based Corporate Responsibility Group launch the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, a professional body for sustainability practitioners.
House Bill Calls for Corporate Disclosure of Human Trafficking Risks (06/12)
Investors issue statement in support of bill introduced this week that will require companies to disclose policies addressing human trafficking in their supply chains.
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.
JPMorgan Agrees to Report on Governance and Risk Management (02/22)
After engagement with the bank, members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility withdraw resolutions addressing risk mitigation efforts and separating the positions of Board Chair and CEO.
Volcker Rule Is Finalized (12/14)
After delays that gave rise to fears of gaming by banking industry lobbyists and led to a lawsuit by Occupy SEC, federal regulators finally issue final rules implementing the Volcker Rule.
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.
Investors Renew Call for Genocide-Free Investing at ING (08/12)
More than a year has passed since a majority of shareowners supported a resolution sponsored by Investors Against Genocide, but the financial services firm continues to refuse to implement a genocide-free investment policy.
In China, Worsening Pollution or Sustainable Development? (06/10)
The 2013 report by the China Greentech Initiative warns that despite increasing investment in cleantech, China continues to be plagued by severe environmental problems.
RepRisk Names Ten Most Controversial Companies in 2012 (02/04)
This year, the annual list from the Swiss-based environmental and social data provider focuses on poor labor conditions and human rights violations as well as bribery, fraud and money laundering.
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.
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.
Voting Rights Curtailed by Dual-Class Structure, News Corp. Shareowners Call for Reforms (07/20)
Eighteen investors representing over $1.6 trillion in assets under management write to Rupert Murdoch, urging him to support a shareowner resolution calling for the separation of the positions of Chair and CEO.
Guidance for Corporate Respect for Children Is Published (06/12)
Children are Everyone's Business, a workbook published by UNICEF, guides companies in the integration of children's rights into core business practices.
EIRIS Reports on Sustainability Practices of Largest Global Companies (05/03)
Companies in the US and Asia lag behind their peers in Europe, while significant differences persist among corporate approaches to sustainability.
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.
Shareowner Resolution Calls for Independent Board Chair at News Corporation (04/04)
Christian Brothers Investment Services resubmits proposal introduced at the media giant's annual meeting last October, citing the company's inaction in implementing reforms in the wake of phone hacking scandal.
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.
Ethisphere Awards 145 Companies for Ethical Performance (03/20)
The annual World's Most Ethical Companies Rankings include 23 companies that have been honored in each of the six years of the award.
James Murdoch Steps Down at News International (03/02)
Christian Brothers Investment Services welcomes the move as a small first step, but calls for additional corporate governance reforms at the media giant.
ICCR Focuses on Dialogues More than Resolutions in Corporate Engagement (02/14)
SocialFunds.com talks with Laura Berry about the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility's shift in emphasis from filing shareowner resolutions to corporate engagement through dialogues.
Investors Team with Law Enforcement Professionals to Combat Sex Trafficking at Super Bowl (01/31)
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility members warn that child sex trafficking increases during large sporting events, and engage with Indianapolis hotels to raise awareness of the risk at this year's Super Bowl.
Shareowner Engagement Leads to Adoption of Human Rights Policy at OM Group (12/29)
The company operates a cobalt smelter in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where a 2007 workplace accident at a joint venture partner killed three children.
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.
Will California Law Help Eradicate Human Trafficking? (10/29)
A white paper from Verite argues that companies need to go beyond compliance with the law to effectively address forced labor and human trafficking throughout their supply chains.
SRI in the Rockies: Moskowitz Prize Winner Presents Paper (10/11)
Co-author Sadok El Ghoul explains how corporate social responsibility lowers cost of equity.
Investors Support Call for SEC Rulemaking on Political Spending (09/01)
The International Corporate Governance Network writes to the Securities and Exchange Commission in support of petition from academics calling for regulation of corporate political spending.
Principled Companies Praised (06/16)
Ethisphere Magazine publishes its second annual list of the World's Most Ethical Companies.
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
Measuring Companies with a Ruler of Responsibility (03/02)
With 21 return businesses from the 2007 list, CRO's 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2008 ranks large-cap companies' corporate responsibility.
New Survey Uncovers Discrepancies on Corporate Citizenship Issues (01/29)
There is gap between what executives say on corporate citizenship and what their corporations actually do, finds a survey of over 750 executives.
Environmental, Social and Governance Standards: Glass Half-Empty or Half-Full? (11/28)
The spread of voluntary and mandatory ESG disclosure and performance standards for business raises the question, how robust is implementation and enforcement?
New Eurosif Reports Identify ESG Challenges in the European Food and Insurance Sectors (06/24)
Eurosif's raises awareness of social and environmental issues across European companies in a series of sector-by-sector reports, the two newest covering the insurance and food production sectors.
Surveillance, Schmurveillance? (04/20)
Wal-Mart's apparent research and surveillance activities geared toward shareholders raises troubling, but perhaps fleeting questions about trust.
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.
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.
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.
Academic Joins Shareowners in Advocating Corporate Lobbying Reform (09/18)
Yale University Professor Bob Repetto issues paper calling for companies to rapidly adopt best practice on corporate lobbying, including oversight and approval by independent directors.
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.
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.
Bank Policies Fail to Meet International Social and Environmental Standards, Report Says (02/25)
The 39 banks assessed fall far short on global sustainability standards, and fail to disclose enough information on implementation to even be assessed by NGO coalition BankTrack.
Defining Corporate Complicity in Human Rights Abuses (02/22)
Business and Human Rights Seminar report maps the landscape of corporate complicity in human rights abuses, and addresses the dichotomy of mandatory laws versus voluntary codes.
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.
Verite Report Identifies Exploitation of Foreign Contract Laborers in Asia and the Middle East (12/20)
The report uncovers placement fees that exceed legal limits, forced overtime, loans with interest rates of up to 60 percent, and so-called runaway insurance deposits that are not refunded.
SRI Community Releases Retailer Guidelines to Avoid Violent Video Game Sales to Kids (12/14)
The Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility guidelines address underage exposure to graphic violence, strong sexual content, and racist themes, as well as impact on shareholder value.
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.
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.
Insurers at the Crossroads: Intersection Between Insurance and Sustainability is a Busy Corner (11/02)
Swiss Re exemplifies global sustainability leadership, as the chair of its US arm gives the keynote address at a summit on climate change and insurance in Connecticut.
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.
Spreading SRI: Goldman Sachs Adds Its Own Twist in Social and Environmental Assessment (10/05)
As socially responsible investment strategies migrate into the mainstream, mainstream analysts apply social and environmental considerations in innovative ways.
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.
Most Canadian Extractive Companies Behind the Curve on Human Rights Policies (08/18)
Ethical Funds surveys Canadian energy and mining companies and finds less than a handful with comprehensive human rights policies, management systems, and disclosure mechanisms.
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.)
Gap and Nike Engage Stakeholders For Assurance Statements on Sustainability Reports (07/14)
Sustainability reports, whose credibility is enhanced by such stakeholder engagement and assurance statements, are gaining in significance, as KLD indexes add Nike due in part to its report.
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.
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.
Book Review--Faith and Fortune: The Quiet Revolution to Reform American Business (01/25)
Fortune magazine writer Marc Gunther documents the growing link between spiritual values, which he defines broadly to include sustainability, and business conduct.
Pax World Tells Its Shareowners That Market Timers Hit Its High Yield Fund in 2003 (01/21)
In a letter to shareowners, Pax said it believes the market timing differed from the abusive forms associated with the mutual funds scandal and that shareowners did not suffer any material losses.
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.
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.
Report Finds Bank Sector Assessment of Impact on Disadvantaged Communities Lacking (12/29)
AccountAbility and Business for Social Responsibility to apply their new assessment methodology to the pharmaceutical, agricultural, and extractive sectors next.
Dell and Starbucks First Companies to Endorse Calvert Women's Principles (12/22)
The two companies publicly commit to implement the code in their business practices, setting a precedent for other companies to follow in promoting parity for women in business.
Gap-Verite Collaboration Exemplifies Award-Winning Practice on Social Responsibility (12/02)
Verite wins a Social Capitalist Award for labor standards monitoring such as its work with the Gap, whose Social Responsibility Report earns a Social Reporting Award.
Abortion, Sexual Orientation Reveal Diversity of Socially Responsible Investment (10/15)
The umbrella of socially responsible investment encompasses a wide diversity of values, running the gamut from social progressivism to cultural conservatism.
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.
How Do SRI Firms Walk Their Talk When It Comes to Corporate Social Responsibility? (08/13)
Socially responsible investment firms take particulars such as scale and sector into account in their CSR expectations at the companies they own and in their own operations.
How HIV/AIDS Impacts Corporations, and How Corporations Can Impact HIV/AIDS (07/14)
The World Economic Forum and the International Labor Organization report on the impact of HIV/AIDS on business, but will companies respond by addressing HIV/AIDS?
Calvert Group Launches Code for Corporations to Profit by Promoting Gender Equality (06/29)
Calvert links equality for women to sustainable development, making the ethical and business cases for implementing its corporate code of conduct for empowering women.
Report Finds CSR Policies on the Rise in Asia, Europe, and North America (06/18)
University of Hong Kong survey overturns some assumptions about the development and prevalence of corporate social responsibility policies.
The Emergence Story Behind Indigenous Peoples Rights Screens (06/10)
Socially responsible investment firms also engage in shareowner action on indigenous peoples rights issues.
Governance Overhaul: An Interview with Tyco Corporate Governance VP Eric Pillmore (06/09)
Mr. Pillmore speaks candidly with SocialFunds.com about rebuilding reputation and trust, engaging stakeholders, and increasing transparency.
Oekom Rates Food and Beverages Industry Average in Sustainability Performance (04/15)
The example of Starbucks illustrates how Oekom Research rates food and beverage companies as average performers in social and environmental sustainability.
Philips Extends Sustainability Expectations to Suppliers, Including Child Labor Ban (03/29)
In its 2003 Sustainability Report, Philips Electronics introduced provisions requiring its 50,000 suppliers worldwide to practice social and environmental sustainability.
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.
MMA Praxis Eliminates Soft Dollar Arrangements (03/17)
MMA Praxis joins Domini in disavowing soft dollar use; other socially responsible investment firms continue the practice within legal limits while some consider cessation.
Report on SRI Research Organizations Characterized as Valuable But Also Controversial (03/09)
A recent report from SustainAbility, onValues, and Mistra provides valuable insight on SRI research organization methodologies but lacks some needed transparency.
Critics Challenge Christian Aid Report as Biased, Cynical, and Inaccurate (02/27)
Part two of this two-part article considers defenses of corporate social responsibility against attack by a recent Christian Aid report.
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.
Sarbanes-Oxley Fails to Kill Corporate Insider Loans, Some of Which Pay Posthumously (01/21)
A new study from The Corporate Library documents the prevalence of insider loans, and the persistence of benefits beyond the grave.
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.
Book Review--24 Days: How Two Wall Street Journal Reporters Uncovered the Lies that Destroyed Faith in Corporate America (09/23)
A new book tells the behind-the-scenes story of Enron's demise and the detective work that revealed the chicanery in Enron's corporate practices and culture.
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.
The Progress and Stagnation of Corporate Social Responsibility in MBA Programs (05/02)
Two recent developments paint different pictures of the current status of corporate social responsibility in MBA programs.
Business Ethics' 100 Best Corporate Citizens Outperform S&P 500 (04/29)
An academic study concluded that Business Ethics' list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens generated better returns than the remaining companies on the S&P 500.
Book Review: The Civil Corporation (09/28)
The New Economy brings increased competition, faster dissemination of information and the rise of corporate citizenship.
Texaco Three Years After the Fall (01/13)
Rising from the ashes of a racial discrimination scandal, the oil giant has become a model for challenging corporate racism.