Corporate Governance / Board diversity
Climate Scientist Joins Exxon Board (02/03)
The oil and gas giant responds to years of shareowner action by appointing atmospheric scientist Susan Avery to its board of directors.
Financial Stability Board to Review Governance Principles (08/16)
The international body, formed to promote financial stability following the global financial crisis, seeks to determine how its member jurisdictions have implemented the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance.
Twenty-Five Resolutions on Board Diversity Filed in 2015 (02/21)
Institutional investors affiliated with the Thirty Percent Coalition step up their shareowner efforts to pressure corporations to elect women to their boards of directors
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.
Investor Campaign for Board Diversity Heats Up (10/23)
Institutional investors representing more than $3 trillion in assets under management join with women's organizations to call for gender diversity on the boards of Russell 1000 companies.
Shareowner Rights Under Attack (06/11)
Abetted by comments by an SEC commissioner, the US Chamber of Commerce petitions to keep shareowner resolutions from returning to proxy ballots.
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.
Trillium Withdraws Diversity Proposal at Wabtec (03/19)
The resolution, which called for a policy emphasizing board diversity at the locomotive and train car components manufacturer, is one of a number withdrawn by Trillium this proxy season.
Massachusetts Court Upholds Corporate Governance Proposal (03/13)
Denied a no-action letter by the SEC on a shareowner resolution calling for an independent chair, EMC turns to the courts instead and fails.
How Not to Endear Yourself to Shareowners (05/25)
Range Resources attacks Trillium Asset Management for requesting that it report on fugitive methane emissions, and Urban Outfitters seeks to address diversity concerns by appointing the wife of the CEO to the board.
Financial Firms Agree to Disclose Diversity Information (04/10)
The New York City Pension Funds have reached agreement with three financial companies that will make public their EEO-1 data on diversity.
Calvert Updates Report on Corporate Gender Diversity (03/08)
The updated Examining the Cracks in the Ceiling report finds modest gains in gender diversity among S&P 100 companies but persistent underrepresentation of women in senior management positions.
Shareowners Call for Gender Diversity on Corporate Boards (03/01)
Institutional members of the Thirty Percent Coalition file shareowner resolutions with 20 companies, requesting that they support diversity by including women and minority candidates on their boards.
AFSCME Files 25 Shareowner Resolutions (02/14)
The resolutions filed by the AFSCME Employees Pension Plan address sustainability issues including board diversity, human rights policies, separation of Chair and CEO, and lobbying expenditures.
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.
Sustainable Investment Forums Form International Alliance (01/29)
The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, consisting of seven major sustainable membership organizations, publishes a survey of global trends in sustainable investment.
Corporate Knights Publishes Global 100 List of Leading Sustainable Corporations (01/28)
The Belgian metal recycling company Umicore tops the ninth annual list of sustainable large cap corporations, but the list also includes Enbridge, the Canadian operator of pipelines carrying oil from the controversial tar sands.
Shareowner Resolution Challenges Chevron for Attacking Investors (01/12)
The Needmor Fund and Zevin Asset Management file a shareowner resolution requesting that Chevron explain the rationale behind issuing subpoenas to force investors to share confidential communications.
Businesses Unprepared for Resource Scarcity (12/19)
Carbon Trust surveys the CEOs of corporations in five countries and finds that most have not set targets for reducing their use of natural resources, with nearly half stating that to do so would cost too much.
Chevron Hits Sustainable Investors with Subpoenas over Ecuador (12/15)
In its latest effort to avoid a $19 judgment for environmental damage in Ecuador, Chevron and Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher, its law firm, have issued subpoenas to Trillium Asset Management and shareowner advocate Simon Billenness.
Investors Urge Citigroup Board to Consider Breakup of Too Big to Fail Bank (11/16)
Trillium Asset Management and AFSCME Employees Pension Plan file a shareowner resolution with Citigroup asking its board to explore a separation of one or more of its business units.
Calvert Launches Emerging Markets Fund (11/07)
The Calvert Emerging Markets Equity Fund uses the firm's environmental, social, and corporate governance criteria in determining the components of a portfolio investing in the fastest-growing segment of the global economy.
Investors in UK Celebrate National Ethical Investment Week (10/17)
A survey conducted for the occasion reveals that almost half of adults with investments want large pension plans to sign onto the UK Stewardship Code, and research from EIRIS finds $18 billion invested in green and ethical retail funds.
GMI Licenses Research for Corporate Governance Indexes (10/01)
The firm's agreement with the Global Index Group, which will create the first indexes focusing on corporate governance performance, is commended by governance advocate James McRitchie as a very important development for investors.
GMI and Trucost Form Partnership (09/10)
The strategic partnership provides for environmental research by Trucost to be incorporated into GMI's analysis of the corporate governance performance of companies.
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.
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.
Emerging Markets ESG Updates Database of Contacts (08/18)
SocialFunds.com talks with Geoffrey Mazullo, whose twenty years of involvement with environmental, social, and corporate governance issues in emerging markets have provided him with a wealth of data and contacts compiled in a unique resource.
Church of England Sells its Shares in News Corp. (08/07)
A year of engagement following the phone hacking and bribery scandal has failed to produce a commitment by the media giant to improve its corporate governance, and the Church responds to the lack of progress with divestment.
Proxy Access Still Key to Changing Corporate Behavior (08/03)
SocialFunds.com talks with James McRitchie of CorpGov.net about corporate governance shareowner proposals and the case for improved proxy access for individual investors.
Emphasis on Engagement Seconded by Mainstream (07/28)
A report from Ernst & Young analyzing the 2012 proxy season agrees with observations by sustainable investment organizations that increased shareowner engagement represents the most dramatic development.
Institutional Investors: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution? (07/24)
Authors Ben Heineman and Stephen Davis argue in a working paper that many institutional investors lag behind corporations in transparency, and call for a national database on the behavior of institutions. Second of a two-part series.
What Good Are Shareowners? (07/23)
An analysis published in the current Harvard Business Review argues that the rise of short-termism in the markets, and poor communications between management and shareowners, require engagement by diverse long-term stakeholders. First of a two-part series.
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.
Separating CEO and Chair Provides Financial Benefits (07/02)
A report from GMI Ratings finds that companies with a combined CEO and chair pay far more compensation for the positions, are more likely to pursue aggressive accounting practices, and are twice as likely to receive a failing grade for environmental, social, and corporate governance performance.
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.
SEC Reconvenes Investor Advisory Committee (04/11)
The Committee, which was formed in 2009 and terminated after passage of the Dodd-Frank bill, again includes representatives of the sustainable investment industry.
Representation of Women on Boards Tops Ten Percent for First Time (03/08)
GovernanceMetrics International's annual report on gender diversity on corporate boards finds incremental improvements, but also that marked disparities persist between industrialized and emerging economies.
CalSTRS to Facebook: More Women on Board (02/08)
The pension fund's Director of Corporate Governance writes to Mark Zuckerberg, expressing disappointment in the lack of diversity on Facebook's board of directors.
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.
Corporate Knights Publishes Eighth Annual Ranking of Sustainable Companies (01/25)
Danish pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk tops the 2012 Global 100 and the United Kingdom leads countries with 16 companies on list.
Pax World Appoints New Portfolio Manager for Global Women's Equality Fund (01/10)
Ivka Kalus-Bystricky will lead Pax World's Global Women's Equality Fund, which invests primarily in large-cap companies that promote gender equality and women's advancement.
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.
Two Shareowner Proposals Request Proxy Access (11/23)
The proposals are based on a Model Shareowner Proposal for Proxy Access, developed by the United States Proxy Exchange, which requests shareowner votes under SEC Rule 14a-8.
Support by Mutual Funds for Sustainability Proposals Increases, but is it Happening Quickly Enough? (11/16)
SocialFunds.com talks with Jackie Cook of Fund Votes about the results of voting by mutual funds on shareowner proposals in 2011 relating to sustainability.
News Corp, Nine Other Firms Singled out for Poor Governance (10/14)
GMI Risk List highlights ten companies with poor governance issues and other ESG-related concerns.
Investors Continue to Press SEC on Proxy Access (09/14)
Institutional investors with $2 trillion in assets urge the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue regulations allowing proxy access.
Sustainable Investors Respond to European Corporate Governance Report (08/10)
Eurosif and UKSIF submit responses to the European Commission's green paper of corporate governance, calling for measures to improve board oversight, corporate reporting, and shareowner engagement.
Shareowners Amend Lawsuit Against News Corporation (07/19)
In an amended lawsuit, Amalgamated Bank argues that ineffective oversight by a board that has consistently been given an F rating by GovernanceMetrics International contributed to the phone hacking scandal now engulfing the company
From ICCR, Fewer Shareowner Resolutions but More Effective Engagement (07/07)
SocialFunds.com talks with Executive Director Laura Berry about the 2011 proxy season and her reasons for optimism over engagement with corporations.
Responsible Businesses are More Competitive (02/24)
IBM study reports businesses with corporate social responsibility as part of their core plans have an advantage.
Giving the Gift of Gore? Video Game Buyers Beware (12/06)
ICCR works to educate video game buyers on video games ratings and works with retailers to keep mature and violent video games out of children's hands.
First Socially Responsible Investing Portfolio Devoted to Diversity Launched (07/31)
Minority-owned Creative Investment Research conceived of the portfolio to promote corporate diversity while targeting women and minority investors for economic empowerment.
US Banks Sink to the Bottom of the Barrel on Latest Sustainability Ratings from Oekom (03/14)
Most US banks fail to disclose enough information on their social and environmental performance to qualify for analysis, and only four of 21 analyzed earned above D-level grades.
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.
The Lowdown from Corporate Governance and Proxy Advisory Experts on ISS-IRRC Merger (07/19)
Implications of the buyout of the Investor Responsibility Research Center by Institutional Shareholder Services on social research and competition in proxy advisory services.
Mixed Messages and Flip-Flops as the SEC Director Nomination Rule Stagnates (02/11)
While the SEC retracts its promise to allow shareowners to file director nomination resolutions, lawsuits secure shareowner rights to nominate directors.
Calvert First SRI Firm to Issue Global Reporting Initiative-Based Sustainability Report (12/30)
While many small-to-medium-sized enterprises consider sustainability reporting prohibitive, Calvert finds value in doing what it asks publicly traded companies to do.
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.
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.
As Mutual Funds Prepare to Reveal Proxy Votes, Guideline Disclosure Acts as Acid Test (08/25)
Investor-friendly website accessibility to mutual funds' proxy voting guidelines may signal proxy voting record accessibility and investor-friendly proxy voting.
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.
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.
The Diversity of Diversity Best Performance Rankings (04/27)
A comparison of the DiversityInc list of the top 50 companies for diversity and a report from Diversity Best Practice and Business Women's Network that reviews 45 such lists.
Women Directors Rare Even in Developed Economies, According to First Global Study (04/20)
A UK-based socially responsible investment research firm study of companies in global developed economies finds only seven percent of board seats occupied by women.
Disney Vote and California Bill May Affect SEC Shareowner Director Nomination Rule (03/10)
The significant withhold vote at Disney and a bill being considered by the California State Legislature may have a bearing on the SEC's proposed rule on shareowner director nominations.
Women Sit in Less Than a Seventh of Fortune 500 Board of Director Seats (12/11)
According to a new Catalyst report, women will inhabit less than a quarter of Fortune 500 board director seats by 2023, though regulations and shareowner action may change this.
Watchdog Fund Established to Take a Bite Out of Corporate Governance Malfeasance (12/09)
The new investment vehicle is part mutual fund, part shareowner advocate, and part hedge fund.
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.
Corporate Governance Ratings Take Different Approaches to Produce Similar Results (08/19)
GovernanceMetrics International rates corporate governance in relation to other companies, while Institutional Shareholder Services rates in relation to market indexes.
Ford's Latest CSR Report Increases Transparency by Using GRI Guidelines (08/12)
Ford's decision to base its 2002 Corporate Citizenship Report on Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines will help analysts get a fuller picture of the company's performance (part one of a two-part article).
SEC Report on Shareowner Nomination of Directors Opens Some Doors, But May Close Others (07/18)
A recent SEC report recommends several solutions for allowing shareowners access to director nominations, but social investors worry it may not solve some problems.
Johannesburg Securities Exchange Requires Compliance with King II and Global Reporting Initiative (07/16)
Companies listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange will soon have to comply with King II corporate governance codes as well as Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.
IRRC Platform Combines Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility Research (06/12)
The Investor Responsibility Research Center merges its corporate governance research tool with its social responsibility research tool in a web-based platform.
Corporate America Less than Halfway to Gender Parity (05/22)
A Conference Board report documents the evident and the less-apparent obstacles to achieving male-female equality in the workplace.
Ford and Fannie Mae Top List of 50 Best Companies for Diversity (04/24)
DiversityInc's new corporate survey strives to identify the business value of diversity.
CalPERS Says Xerox's Corporate Governance Not Worthy of Copying (03/27)
Pension fund giant names six companies that need to improve their corporate governance.
Watching the Public Company Accounting Watchdog (03/21)
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Association is slowly getting to work and it will be scrutinized by the newly-formed Association for Integrity in Accounting.
SRI Issues Will Impact Companies' Financial Performance, UK Pension Fund Trustees Say (02/25)
A recent survey finds that pension fund trustees in the United Kingdom view socially responsible investing (SRI) issues as linked to companies' future financial performance.
Fannie Mae Receives High S&P Corporate Governance Rating (02/14)
Fannie Mae becomes the first U.S. company to release its corporate governance score (a 9 out of 10) from Standard & Poor's Governance Services.
SEC Tells Mutual Funds To Disclose Their Proxy Votes (01/24)
The Securities and Exchange Commission voted in favor of rule changes that require mutual fund companies to disclose their proxy voting policies and their actual proxy votes.
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.
Top Five Social Investing News Stories of 2002 (01/14)
The major social investing news stories of the year include significant corporate governance reforms and the success of community investment.
Companies Face Corporate Governance Hurdles (11/21)
Most public companies will need to restructure their corporate governance policies and practices to comply with new listing standards at NYSE and NASDAQ.
Connecticut Initiative Promotes a Better Bottom Line Through Diverse Boards (11/05)
The Connecticut Board Diversity Initiative cites academic research to document the positive financial value of diverse boards of directors, in addition to their social value.
Corporate Governance Now Rated by Mainstream Investment Research Firms (10/25)
Mainstream investment research firms are now evaluating corporate governance as a potential indicator of stock valuation.
Board of Directors Survey Reveals Progress and Gaps in Corporate Governance (10/18)
A recent survey of board directors at Fortune 1000 companies found improvement in some areas, but also identified areas in need of improvement.
IRRC to Release Corporate Governance Rating Tool (10/03)
The Investor Responsibility Research Center will launch a new scoring system for evaluating and benchmarking corporate governance performance.
SRI Mutual Funds Continue and Enhance Corporate Governance Screening (08/29)
While the SRI industry has long screened for corporate governance criteria, the recent accounting scandals have prompted the development of more comprehensive corporate governance screens.
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.
Shareowner Support for Resolutions Increases Significantly This Proxy Season (06/27)
Support for proposals concerning corporate governance as well as social and environmental issues in the 2002 proxy season is reaching record levels.
EMC Shareowners Vote for a More Independent and Diverse Board (05/15)
At the recent EMC annual meeting, a board independence resolution received majority support, while a board diversity resolution easily surpassed the SEC threshold for resubmission.
Glass Ceilings Harden Instead of Shattering for Women in the U.S. and U.K. (04/19)
Numerous recent studies on both sides of the Atlantic report continuing and even increasing disparity between women's and men's pay and advancement opportunities.
EMC Proxy Card Leaves Shareowner Voters in the Dark (04/03)
EMC apparently violated SEC regulations by omitting descriptions of two shareholder resolutions on its 2002 proxy card, according to proposal filers and proxy voting experts.
EMC Maintains Firewall on Its Board Diversity Efforts (01/23)
The computer hard drive giant continues to resist sharing its board diversity initiatives with investors, and now is petitioning the SEC to omit socially responsible shareowner resolutions from its proxy.
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.
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.
Better Corporate Governance Pays Off for Large Companies in Emerging Markets (06/04)
Recent study across global emerging markets finds large companies with good corporate governance yield better bottom lines.
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.
Getting Boards to Address the Triple Bottom Line (05/15)
New report proposes a set of principles and actions to assist corporate boards in addressing the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental performance.
Fortune Names Worst Corporate Boards (05/03)
Excessive CEO and board member pay a recurring point in the annual roster of America's worst corporate boards.
Shopping for Responsibility (04/02)
Internet site is helping consumers base shopping decisions on values.
Citizens Funds Makes Gains on Board Diversity (05/23)
Three shareholder resolutions meet with success, highlighting Citizens efforts to create fairer representation in corporate boardrooms.