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Business Ethics / Product quality and safety


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.

Stay out of GMO Fight, Shareowners Tell Food Companies (10/11)
Investors file resolutions with many food and biotech companies, warning them of reputational consequence of donating to defeat a ballot initiative in Washington State calling for labeling of food products containing genetically modified organisms.

Tyson Shareowners Call for Humane Treatment of Animals (08/19)
Green Century Capital Management is co-filer of a resolution requesting that meat processing company report on risks associated with the use of gestation crates for pigs.

Apple Reverses Plan to Dump Green Registry (07/17)
The computer giant reverses its decision to leave the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool registry, calling it a mistake after consumer backlash.

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.

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.

Monsanto Is Green America's Biggest Corporate Fool (04/01)
The agribusiness giant triumphs over the US Chamber of Commerce and Chevron for manufacturing genetically modified organisms and a corporate legacy that includes Agent Orange and DDT.

Investors Continue Pressure for Fracking Disclosure (03/09)
Two guides for investors and companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing have been published in recent months, and four of ten shareowner resolutions calling for increased disclosure of risks have been withdrawn.

Harrington Investments Requests that Monsanto Report on GMOs (01/23)
The chemical giant refuses to allow a proxy to speak on behalf of the shareowner resolution at tomorrow's annual general meeting, and Harrington joins in call for demonstrations.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Investor Environmental Health Network Addresses Product Toxicity Through Safer Alternatives (05/04)
The network is coordinating 11 shareowner resolutions addressing product toxicity at companies such as Avon, Becton-Dickinson, CVS, Dow, DuPont, and Whole Foods Market, among others.

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.

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.

GE Comes Clean, Disclosing Costs Related to PCB Cleanup on the Hudson (01/12)
The move prompts the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, which characterized some of these expenditures as delay tactics, to withdraw its shareowner resolution requesting this information.

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.

New Index and Exchange Traded Fund Expose Risks and Potentials in Nanotech (10/20)
The Innovest Nanotech Index assesses social and environmental risks, while the PowerShares Lux Nanotech Portfolio focuses more on investment opportunities.

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.)

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.

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.

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.

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).

Coffee, Tea, or . . . Liqueur? Pax World Alcohol Screen Forces Reluctant Divestment from Starbucks (03/23)
While Pax World applies a zero tolerance alcohol screen, other socially responsible investment firms set thresholds for retailers based on the percentage of revenues derived from alcohol sales.

Benchmarking Corporate Governance on Product Toxicity and Safer Alternatives (02/10)
The benchmark, released by the Rose Foundation today, addresses the scientific uncertainty of product toxicity through risk assessment and opportunity identification instead of inaction.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Boise's Plan to End Old Growth Harvesting: Trend-Setting or Too-Little, Too-Late? (09/04)
Boise Cascade bans logging old growth forests in the US and deters it elsewhere, but other companies may not jump on this bandwagon if its time has already passed.

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).

McDonald's Phases Out Animal Growth Promotion Antibiotics from Global Supply Chain (06/27)
McDonald's, which is often the first in its sector to introduce sustainable practices, will end use of animal growth promotion antibiotics, but does this make the company socially responsible?

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.

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.

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.

Florida Can't Quit Tobacco Profits (06/22)
Sunshine State will again invest pension funds in cigarette makers.

Do You Own Firearms Stock? (05/07)
Well-known conventional mutual funds as well as a few teacher pension funds own shares of gun manufacturers.

Shareholder Resolutions This Year Have Ups and Downs (04/13)
A summary of withdrawals and SEC decisions on social and environmental proposals defines the landscape for this year's proxy season.

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