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Business Ethics / Ethical marketing


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.

Investors Support Launch of Access to Nutrition Index (03/27)
Representing $2.6 trillion in assets under management, 39 investors call for widespread support of the Access to Nutrition Index, which ranks the performance of food and beverage companies in the areas of obesity and undernutrition.

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.

Task Force Files Lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase (10/04)
The Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, a state-federal task force, announces its first legal action, charging the bank for fraudulent misrepresentations of mortgage­-backed securities by Bear Stearns & Co.

Wells Fargo Settles Mortgage-Backed Securities Charges for $6.5 Million (08/16)
The Securities and Exchange Commission charges the bank for selling investments tied to mortgage-backed securities without disclosing the risks to investors.

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.

Eurosif Supports Sustainability Disclosures for Retail Investors (07/30)
The European Commission proposes legislation that would require investment funds and other packaged retail investment products to disclose in key information documents whether they target sustainable outcomes.

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.

ICCR Commends Disney on Advertising by Food and Beverage Companies (06/26)
The media giant announces that food and beverage products advertised on its networks will be required to meet nutritional guidelines that are aligned with federal standards.

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.

Advocates for a Fair Economy Call for End to Payday Lending by Banks (06/06)
A coalition including several sustainable investment organizations ask federal regulators to investigate banks offering payday lending, which can trap low-income borrowers into a cycle of debt with interest rates as high as 417%.

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.

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.

Business is Encouraged to Uphold Children's Rights (03/12)
The Children's Rights and Business Principles call on companies to expand their commitment beyond child labor and develop policies and due diligence to actively ensure that the rights of children are respected.

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.

Film Review: Margin Call (11/28)
First-time director J.C. Chandor's film provides a fictionalized version of Lehman Brothers awakening to the fact that inadequate risk management had launched the financial crisis.

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

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.

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.

Nanotechnology: The Smallest Green Revolution? (05/25)
A new report from the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies touts "green" nanotechnology, and calls for Federal oversight.

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.

(PRODUCT) RED Combats HIV/AIDS by Funneling Portions of Sales to the Global Fund (10/19)
Gap Inc commits half of profits from its RED-branded product line to the Global Fund, exemplifying this new business model for generating sustainable funds for addressing the AIDS pandemic.

Why Do Minorities Receive More Subprime Mortgages? Can You Say, Kickback? (06/14)
A new Center for Responsible Lending study shoots holes in industry rationale that bad credit histories of African-Americans and Latinos account for disproportionate subprime mortgages.

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.

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.

State Laws Effectively Curb Predatory Lending Without Stifling Subprime Market, Study Finds (02/28)
The Center for Responsible Lending study rebuts opponents of state anti-predatory lending laws, and suggests significant implications for the two competing anti-predatory bills now in Congress.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Book Review--The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits (11/18)
C. K. Prahalad seeks to solve global poverty by turning the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid from victims of globalization into its beneficiaries through consumerism.

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.

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.

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.

The Emergence Story Behind Indigenous Peoples Rights Screens (06/10)
Socially responsible investment firms also engage in shareowner action on indigenous peoples rights issues.

Avon Shareowners Withdraw Two Resolutions Before Annual Meeting (05/05)
Avon agreed to hold annual board of director elections and to phase out phthalates from its products, prompting shareowners to withdraw their resolutions on these two issues.

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.

Book Review--The Best Business Stories of the Year: 2004 Edition (04/09)
Ethics, disclosure, labor relations, executive compensation, and insider trading are among the topics related to socially responsible investment in this collection of business articles.

Starbucks Provides Loan Capital for Coffee Farmers (03/16)
Starbucks is providing a $1 million loan to the Calvert Foundation to support microfinance to Latin American coffee farmers, and it answers critics of its Fair Trade commitment.

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.

Report Favors International Regulation Over Voluntary Corporate Social Responsibility (02/26)
A recent report by Christian Aid argues against the voluntary aspect of CSR and for international regulation. Part one of this two-part article discusses support for the report; part two presents criticism of the report.

Gazing in the Crystal Ball: 2004 Preview of Socially Responsible Investing Performance (01/16)
An overview of the trends that may affect SRI performance in the year ahead, among other issues to mull over when considering socially responsible investment.

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.

The Implications of the Nike and Kasky Settlement on CSR Reporting (09/18)
Although Nike reached an agreement with Marc Kasky to end his lawsuit, the settlement's effect on corporate social responsibility reporting remains to be seen.

Will Ford's Transparency Affect Its Performance? (08/13)
While lauding the transparency of Ford's 2002 Corporate Citizenship Report, analysts caution that it remains to be seen whether such reports and the Global Reporting Initiative reporting guidelines will help improve corporate performance (part two of a two-part article).

Book Review: Saving the Corporate Soul & (Who Knows?) Maybe Your Own (05/29)
A new book recommends a series of corporate reforms that mirror those advocated by the corporate social responsibility and socially responsible investment communities.

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.

Shareowners Press Avon to Walk the Walk (05/08)
Shareowners vote overwhelmingly for board independence at Avon while questions about potential carcinogens in its products linger.

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.

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.

Tobacco-Free Investments Avoid an Industry of Smoke and Mirrors (03/20)
As court cases related to deception by the tobacco industry mount, individual and institutional investors have options for avoiding exposure to tobacco stocks.

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.

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.

WILD Awards Reward Socially and Environmentally Responsible Advertising (04/25)
The Third Annual WILD Awards recognized companies, ad agencies, and individuals that support wild animals and nature in their marketing.

Harry Potter Hawks Coke, Inciting Ire Amongst Fans and Consumer Advocates Alike (01/03)
Coca-Cola secured global marketing rights to the Harry Potter image, a move more likely to increase obesity than to promote literacy, according to children's health advocates.

Book Review: The Civil Corporation (09/28)
The New Economy brings increased competition, faster dissemination of information and the rise of corporate citizenship.

The Dirt on Selling Green (03/27)
The lessons learned from case studies on marketing environment-friendly, "values-based" products are examined in a new report.

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.

Study Examines Corporate Perspective on Supporting Causes (02/27)
Companies view philanthropy in terms of achieving business goals, but not all are marketing their charitable efforts to the fullest extent.

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