Corporate Governance / Shareholder engagement
US Chamber Targeted Senate in 2016 Dark Money Spending (01/02)
Public Citizen reports that only the National Rifle Association spent more than the Chamber of Commerce’s $30 million during the 2016 federal election.
Impact Measurement Can Drive Business Value (08/26)
The Global Impact Investing Network surveys impact investors and learns that in addition to environmental and social benefits, measuring their investments can improve financial performance.
Human Rights Most Important Issue in Corporate Supply Chains (08/18)
Ethical Corporation reports on the results of its survey of corporations and other stakeholders, addressing risk and opportunity in corporate supply chains.
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.
Walden Updates Shareowner Action on Lobbying (04/11)
Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management posts update on the 50 shareowner proposal addressing corporate lobbying expenditures filed this proxy season.
After a Successful Proxy Season, Walden Asset Management Sets Sights on 2016 (01/27)
The sustainable investment firm reports on its shareowner action during the 2015 proxy season, and begins 2016 with resolutions addressing corporate climate change lobbying and emissions reporting.
Rankings of 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Reports Are Published (07/24)
Baruch College's Weissman Center for International Business analyzes corporate social responsibility reporting from the largest US and international companies, and publishes an online ranking that allows investors and other stakeholders to review the quality of CSR reports.
Shareowners Target Amazon on Human Rights and Climate (06/12)
Sustainable shareowners submitted four resolutions addressing environmental, social, and corporate governance issues at this week's annual general meeting, as pressure grows for the company to improve its sustainability performance.
Carbon Tracker Offers Roadmap for Energy Transition (05/01)
Asserting that many executives in the oil and gas industry assume a business as usual approach in their planning, the NGO warns that unconventional exploration and price volatility will have negative impacts for investors.
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.
Strong Shareowner Support for Lobbying Disclosure at Monsanto (02/04)
A resolution filed by As You Sow gains one-quarter of shareowners' votes at biotech company's annual meeting, and a similar resolution is scheduled to be voted on in April at DuPont.
New Congress Off to Expected Start (01/16)
The Republican majority votes to roll back key elements of the Dodd-Frank bill, and Bernie Sanders introduces an amendment to force Senators to vote on whether or not they believe the science of climate change. First of a two-part series.
New Controls for Old Risks at JPMorgan Chase (01/02)
In response to shareowner pressure, the bank endorses the Shareholder-Director Exchange as a means of improving the quality of engagement between investors and board directors. Second of a two-part series.
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.
Voluntary Corporate Disclosure of Political Spending Improves (09/27)
The fourth annual CPA-Zicklin Index, which tracks voluntary disclosures of political spending by major corporations, notes improved transparency in the absence of effective regulation.
Regulate Corporate Political Spending, One Million Say to SEC (09/06)
At a press conference organized by members of the Corporate Reform Coalition, sustainable investors and other corporate governance advocates call on the Securities and Exchange Commission to mandate political spending disclosure by corporations.
Heavy Construction Equipment and the Israeli Occupation (08/21)
Who Profits, a research organization based in Tel Aviv, issues a report analyzing the role of heavy equipment manufacturers in supporting Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Investors Pressure Ralph Lauren on Human Rights (08/09)
Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility attend annual shareowner meeting of Ralph Lauren to support a resolution filed by the AFL-CIO requesting that the company conduct a human rights risk assessment.
Resolutions Target GMO Labeling and Extended Producer Responsibility at Safeway (07/25)
The annual general meeting of the supermarket chain was dominated by merger talks, but health and environmental resolutions filed by Green Century and As You Sow were considered as well.
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.
Unitarians Craft Divestment Policy that Provides for Continued Engagement (07/14)
SocialFunds.com talks with Simon Billenness of the Unitarian Universalist Association about the year-long process to develop a policy of divestment from fossil fuel companies while retaining shareowner engagement.
Shareowner Action on Fracking Disclosure Proves Strength of Proxy (06/18)
The Investor Environmental Health Network reports that of six shareowner resolutions filed this year with companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing, four were withdrawn and two received substantial support.
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.
Corporations Lagging in Sustainability Efforts (05/02)
In a follow-up to their 2012 report on corporate sustainability, Ceres and Sustainalytics reiterate that major US corporations are failing to keep pace with urgent environmental and social challenges.
Google Facing Several Resolutions on Corporate Governance (04/22)
The tech giant's 2014 proxy statement reads like a compendium of corporate governance issues. Second of a two-part series.
Resolution Calls for Transparency in Lobbying Expenditures by Google (04/21)
Filed by Walden Asset Management and other sustainable investment organizations, the resolution documents a 250% increase in lobbying expenditures by Google in the last five years. Part one of a two-part series.
Harvard Joins Principles for Responsible Investment (04/10)
Harvard's endowment is the first in the United States to join the global network of sustainable investors; the university also announces it will report its greenhouse gas emissions to the CDP.
Investors Call for Sustainability Reporting by Small-Cap Companies (04/04)
A shareowner resolution from Walden Asset Management, part of a sustainable investor initiative, wins significant support at the annual general meeting of CLARCOR.
Stock Exchanges to Study Sustainability Reporting Standards (04/02)
The World Federation of Exchanges forms a sustainability working group to study environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) disclosure, and a coalition led by Ceres announces an initiative to engage global stock exchanges on the issue.
News Briefs for March 26th (03/26)
Trillium Asset Management withdraws shareowner proposal on political spending at Hess, and Calvert Investments wins Lipper Fund Award.
Investors Protest Corporate Lawsuits Against Shareowners (03/22)
A coalition of investors led by NorthStar Asset Management writes to four companies that have sought to bypass regulatory system by bringing lawsuits against shareowners for resolutions they filed.
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.
More than 120 Companies Adopt Political Disclosure (02/28)
The Center for Political Accountability announces that 122 companies have adopted political transparency and accountability as a result of agreements with the organization and its investor partners.
Investors Warned Again of Risks in Arctic Drilling (02/26)
A coalition of nonprofit organizations releases a report for institutional investors detailing the considerable financial, environmental, and social risks associated with Shell's plans to drill for oil in the waters of the US Arctic.
US SIF Publishes Political Spending Guide for Investors (02/24)
Confronting Corporate Money in Politics focuses on using the proxy ballot to advocate for transparency in corporate political spending and lobbying expenditures.
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.
Shareowners Continue Efforts to Limit Corporate Political Spending (02/21)
Sixty institutional investors file 48 shareowner resolutions calling on corporations to report on federal and state lobbying expenditures, including payments to trade associations.
Book Review: Trusting Harvard: The Cost of Unprincipled Investing, by Robert A.G. Monks and Marcy Murninghan (02/08)
Two notable advocates for the practice of sustainable investment—both graduates of Harvard themselves—address the discrepancies between the university's academic mission and the investment policies of its endowment.
Investors Push Emerson Electric on Sustainability Reporting and Relationship with ALEC (02/04)
For the fifth consecutive year, Walden Asset Management requests that company report on sustainability while two more shareowner resolutions request transparency on political spending and lobbying.
ICCR Members Challenge Banks on Ethics and Emissions (01/25)
A perusal of shareowner resolutions filed by members thus far reveals requests that banks report on emissions in their lending portfolios and on how to ensure an end to unethical business activities.
Genocide-Free Proposal to Stay On Proxy Ballot at Franklin Templeton (01/11)
After the SEC rules against Franklin Templeton's request to have the resolution omitted, Investors Against Genocide will return to the mutual fund family's next annual meeting and renew call for a genocide-free investment policy.
Improved Corporate Communication Key to Long Term Investment (12/23)
Based on consultations with investors and companies, a new paper finds little support for the concept of loyalty-driven securities, but investors agree on the importance of long-term investment horizons.
NGOs Condemn Chevron for Assaults on Free Speech (12/20)
Following the most recent of Chevron's legal maneuvers to avoid responsibility for environmental damage in Ecuador, a group of nongovernmental organizations publish an open letter condemning its tactics.
Book Review: Engaging Outraged Stakeholders (12/17)
The three authors, who are executives with the nonprofit organization Future 500, counsel for a dispassionate approach to problem solving when corporations and civil society organizations meet.
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.
Mutual Fund Support for Political Spending Resolutions Inches Upward (11/27)
The Center for Political Accountability and Fund Votes release their yearly analysis of voting on resolutions addressing disclosure of political spending by corporations.
US Banks Rank Poorly on Indicators of Concern to Sustainable Investors (11/21)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and Sustainalytics rate seven major US banks on four key performance indicators relating to sustainability and corporate responsibility, finding significant room for improvement.
Shareowners Opt for Engagement to Press Chevron on Corporate Governance (11/19)
Shareowner advocate Simon Billenness updates SocialFunds.com on judgment against Chevron in Ecuador, and explains why engagement with fossil fuel companies is more effective than divestment.
Shareowners Call for Independent Chair at Twenty-First Century Fox (10/21)
A resolution co-filed by Christian Brothers Investment Services and the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation is supported by two-thirds of independent shareowners, but the company's dual-class stock structure insulates Rupert Murdoch from a majority vote.
Shareowners Question FedEx over Washington Redskins (10/08)
A floor resolution at the company's annual meeting cites global human rights standards in asking for a report on the impact of ending a business relationship with the NFL team over racist nickname.
The State of Shareowner Engagement in Europe (10/04)
Eurosif reports on investor engagement with corporations in Europe and finds that engagement on environmental, social, and corporate governance issues is steadily increasing.
New Edition of Corporate Political Spending Index Published (10/02)
The third annual edition of the CPA-Zicklin Index of Political Accountability and Disclosure documents improvements in disclosure of political spending by corporation.
As You Sow Engages with Food Companies on Packaging (09/25)
The advocacy group succeeds in convincing McDonald's to end the use of environmentally destructive polystyrene foam cups, but decides to resubmit a shareowner resolution with General Mills after engagement over post-consumer packaging fails to lead to agreement.
Record Number of Sustainability Resolutions in 2013 (08/21)
In its overview of the 2013 proxy season, Ceres reports that 40% of all resolutions filed address environmental and social issues, and that 40 of the 110 such resolutions were withdrawn.
Shareowner Support for Environmental and Social Resolutions at a Ten-Year High (08/16)
Jackie Cook of Fund Votes summarizes the 2013 proxy season and notes strong support for shareowner resolutions across the environmental, social, and corporate governance spectrum.
US SIF Offers Guides on Climate Change Investment for Retail and Institutional Investors (08/15)
Warning of the urgent crisis that is climate change, the guides provide basic information on voting proxies, filing shareowner resolutions, and public policy advocacy.
Another Majority Vote for Political Spending Disclosure (08/13)
A 65% vote by shareowners in favor of increased transparency on lobbying expenditures by Alliant Techsystems follows an even higher vote for a similar proposal at CF Industries.
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.
Genocide-Free Shareowner Proposal Gains Strong Support at Fidelity Investments (06/19)
Investors Against Genocide continues its campaign to pressure mutual funds and other financial institutions into adopting genocide-free investment policies.
Gulf Persists Between Corporate Sustainability Claims and Performance (06/07)
Sixty percent of corporate respondents to an oekom research survey suggest that rating agencies and sustainable investors influence strategy.
Investors Square Off with Chevron CEO at Shareowner Meeting (06/01)
Shareowner advocate Simon Billenness cites the company's $19 billion legal quagmire in Ecuador in requesting a lower threshold for calling special meetings while Atossa Soltani of Amazon Watch is ejected from meeting at request of CEO John Watson.
High Profile Proxy Season Reveals the Plumbing (05/24)
A proxy distribution service abruptly reverses policy and refuses shareowner access to preliminary vote totals at JPMorgan Chase, and Institutional Shareholder Services settles charges that an employee sold voting data.
JPMorgan Shareowners Vote on Corporate Governance and Genocide-Free Investing (05/22)
A resolution calling for the separation of the positions of board chair and CEO gains the votes of one-third of the bank's shareowners, while support for a genocide-free investing proposal increases.
Chevron Continues to Misrepresent Ecuador Judgment, Updated Report Says (05/20)
Attorney Graham Erion updates his 2012 report on misrepresentations made by Chevron to investors regarding the $19 billion judgment against it for environmental destruction in Ecuador.
Shareowners Re-file Governance Resolutions at News Corp (05/15)
Christian Brothers Investment Services and the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation request separation of positions of board chair and CEO, while the Nathan Cummings Foundation calls for elimination of the media company's dual-class share structure.
Biggest Corporate Political Spenders Face Resolutions (05/09)
Bank of America, Chevron, ExxonMobil and 3M all face shareowner resolutions requesting that they refrain from using corporate treasuries for political donations.
Shareowners Call for a Vote in Favor of Good Governance at JPMorgan (04/15)
In a letter to the bank's shareowners, the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees and its co-filers argue for support for their resolution calling for separation of the positions of Chair and CEO.
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.
Bankrolling the Dismantling of the Volcker Rule (04/05)
Despite a Senate report finding that JPMorgan's London Whale losses would have been prohibited by the Volcker Rule, members of a House Committee take bank contributions and vote to advance a bill that would allow taxpayer bailouts of too big to fail banks.
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.
15 Million Shares Vote for Genocide-Free Investing Proposal at Mutual Fund (03/15)
Investors Against Genocide calls on Franklin Templeton to adopt a policy against investing in companies whose operations contribute to genocide.
As You Sow Publishes 2013 Proxy Preview (03/09)
Political spending resolutions account for one-third of those filed this year's, while two first-time resolutions request that companies in the fossil fuel industries report on the financial impact of stranded assets.
What Is the Real Financial Impact of Sustainable Investment? (03/06)
Cary Krosinsky of the Network for Sustainable Financial Markets produces a white paper that argues the actual amount of assets devoted to sustainable investment strategies is considerably lower than reported by the world's largest sustainable investment forums.
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.
Investors Question Payday Lending by Banks (02/27)
The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau contemplates regulations to protect against consumer debt traps, while ICCR members call on major banks to address their own risky lending products.
Fracking on Proxy Ballots at Chevron and Exxon (02/25)
Described as laggards for their failure to address investor concerns, the oil and gas giants face shareowner resolutions addressing environmental and social risks associated with hydraulic fracturing.
Lawsuit Dropped after Chip Maker Updates Political Spending Policy (02/23)
After the New York State Comptroller filed suit in Delaware, Qualcomm updates its policy on political spending to include disclosure of payments to trade associations and social welfare organizations.
Shareowners Renew Call for Separation of CEO and Chair at JP Morgan Chase (02/21)
The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees and a coalition of institutional co-filers will return to the banking giant's annual general meeting this year with a resolution that gained 40% of shareowner support in 2012.
Shareowners Pressure Companies on Use of Renewables (02/20)
Most of the 13 resolutions target energy use in the information technology and real estate industry sectors, requesting improved reporting and commitments to increased renewable energy sourcing.
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.
Shareowners Call for Sustainability Reporting by Emerson Electric (02/12)
For the fourth year in a row, a resolution filed by Walden Asset Management wins increased support from shareowners who want the company to improve its reporting on its ESG performance.
Statoil Breaks with Trade Association over Lawsuit (02/11)
Calvert Investments commends Statoil for explicitly distancing itself from lawsuit filed by the American Petroleum Institute that contests SEC regulation governing payments to governments.
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.
Shareowners Press on with Fracking Campaign (02/05)
Nine oil and gas companies face shareowner resolutions this proxy season requesting quantitative reporting of risks associated with hydraulic fracturing and the management of fugitive methane emissions.
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.
Corporations Agree to Disclose Political Spending (02/02)
The Center for Political Accountability announces that engagement has led to six corporations agreeing to adopt political disclosure and accountability, while a shareowner resolution at Visa gains significant support.
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.
Sustainable Investors Pressure Visa on Lobbying Expenditures (01/26)
A shareowner resolution co-filed by Boston Common Asset Management and the Unitarian Universalist Association, calling on Visa to fully disclose all payments used for lobbying purposes, will be voted on at the company's annual general meeting on January 30th.
Genocide-Free Investing Proposal on Proxy Ballot at Franklin Templeton (01/26)
For the first time in at least 19 years, investors in the mutual fund will vote on a shareowner resolution, calling on the company to adopt policies to avoid investing in companies that contribute to genocide.
Trillium Engagement Leads to Non-Discrimination Policies at Four Companies (01/24)
While employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender remains common, a majority of Fortune 500 companies now include protections in their employment policies.
Sustainable Investment Assets Continue Growth in Canada (01/17)
The biennial report by the Social Investment Organization of Canada reveals that sustainable assets under management now represent 20% of the total.
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.
Shareowner Urges End to Natural Gas Flaring (01/10)
Mercy Investment Services files a shareowner resolution with Continental Resources, requesting that the oil company reduce or eliminate the environmentally destructive practice of natural gas flaring in its operations.
Dangerous Mishaps Plague Shell's Arctic Exploration (01/09)
The Department of the Interior launches an expedited review of Shell's drilling program after a drill rig runs aground in the Gulf of Alaska.
Top Sustainable Investment Stories of 2012, Part 5 (01/05)
In a cautionary tale of poor corporate governance, the year for Chevron began with a court in Ecuador upholding the $18 billion judgment against it for environmental damage, and ended with the company's lawyers serving subpoenas on its own shareowners.
Top Sustainable Investment Stories of 2012, Part 4 (01/04)
Will the re-election of Barack Obama help further the sustainability agenda? Despite legislative inaction by Congress, regulatory agencies issued rules addressing climate change and corporate governance in 2012.
Top Sustainable Investment Stories of 2012, Part 3 (01/02)
For some institutional investors, shareowner tactics evolve from resolutions to engagement, and proposals addressing hydraulic fracturing focus concerns on community impacts.
Non-Violent Protest or Terrorist Threat? (12/31)
FBI documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund reveal that coordination between the Bureau, the Department of Homeland Security, and the financial sector began even before the first demonstrations by the Occupy movement.
Top Sustainable Investment Stories of 2012, Part 2 (12/28)
As growing numbers of corporate governance advocates call on the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate disclosure of corporate political spending, Walden Asset Management leads a shareowner campaign for disclosure of lobbying expenditures; and Wal-Mart faces investor criticism following allegations of bribery in Mexico.
Top Sustainable Investment Stories of 2012, Part 1 (12/26)
Assets allocated to sustainable investment continue to rise, with increasing amounts focusing on positive screening strategies; however, mainstream mutual funds continue to lag in supporting shareowner resolutions addressing climate change and corporate political spending.
Newtown Tragedy Galvanizes Debate on Corporate Responsibility (12/21)
The UN-endorsed Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights recommends that companies address adverse impacts with which they are involved, and Robert Zevin of Zevin Asset Management reminds investors of their historic role in effecting social change.
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.
Mutual Funds Slow to Engage on Political Spending (12/11)
Despite growing attention to the risks for corporations, support by mutual funds for resolutions addressing political spending decreased in 2012.
Growing Pressure on SEC to Regulate Corporate Political Spending (11/30)
After a petition calling for rules mandating disclosure attracts unprecedented support, officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission acknowledge they are considering the issue.
SEC Chairman Schapiro to Step Down (11/27)
As Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission since early 2009, Mary Schapiro dealt with the aftermath of the financial crisis and the implementation of new regulations mandated by Dodd-Frank.
US SIF Publishes Biennial Sustainable Investment Trends Report (11/24)
The 2012 Trends Report notes a total of $3.74 trillion in assets allocated to sustainable investment, a 22% increase over a two-year period.
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.
Assets of PRI Signatories Exceed $32 Trillion (11/15)
With 254 new signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment, the number now exceeds 1,100, even as 61 former signatories are delisted.
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.
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.
A Different Take on CSR Disclosure and Political Spending (11/06)
A report from two University of California professors determines that political contributions by corporate managers, when viewed through the lens of corporate social responsibility disclosures, can lead to excess stock returns, especially in states that vote Democratic.
Initiative Will Help Quantify Corporate Reporting on Sustainability Issues (10/31)
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board will develop industry-specific key performance indicators for inclusion by companies in their annual financial reporting to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Sanders Chides Corporate CEOs for Calling on Congress to Cut Programs (10/27)
The Vermont Senator says that the statement by 80 CEOs fails to account for the role of financial institutions in causing the recession, and calls instead for a deficit reduction plan in which the wealthiest pay their fair share of taxes.
Independent Shareowners Want Murdoch out as Chairman of News Corp (10/20)
Resolutions calling for separation of Chairperson and CEO, and end to dual-class stock structure, gain support of two-thirds of independent shareowners at media company's annual meeting.
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.
Project Promoting ESG Disclosure in Emerging Markets Issues Final Report (10/16)
The Emerging Markets Disclosure Project notes that considerable improvements in ESG reporting have been driven by regulatory regimes such as sustainable stock exchanges, but calls for reliance upon standardized reporting to increase attractiveness of emerging markets for investors.
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.
Assets Committed to Emerging Markets on the Increase (10/11)
A new survey by EIRIS suggests that while sustainable stock exchanges increase investor confidence in emerging markets investment, poor corporate attention to environmental, social, and corporate governance issues remains a barrier.
$18 Billion Judgment Against Chevron Stands (10/10)
The US Supreme Court declines to hear Chevron's arguments for overturning the largest environmental judgment in history, leaving the company vulnerable to charges of securities law violations.
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.
2012 Moskowitz Prize Awarded to Paper Linking Improved Corporate Performance with Successful Shareowner Engagement (10/05)
Entitled Active Ownership, this year's winning paper analyzed shareowner engagements on environmental, social, and corporate governance issues, and found that successful engagement led to abnormal positive returns of 4.4%.
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.
Bank of America Settles Shareowner Lawsuit for $2.43 billion (10/03)
The bank's 2008 acquisition of Merrill Lynch $20 billion preceded disclosure of $27.6 billion in losses, and led to lawsuit by pension funds charging the bank with making false or misleading statements.
Chevron Wants Access to Emails of Critics (10/02)
The oil company's latest effort to avoid paying a $19 billion judgment for extensive environmental damage in Ecuador involves trying to gain access to the private email accounts of 101 people who have worked on the case.
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.
As Burma Sanctions Ease, Human Rights Advocates Urge Caution (09/28)
Shareowner advocate Simon Billenness is preparing a draft of guidelines for corporations seeking to do business in Burma, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urges corporate transparency to ensure that human rights are honored.
Index of Corporate Political Spending Updated (09/26)
The Center for Political Accountability and the Zicklin Center update their Index of Corporate Political Accountability and Disclosure, finding that voluntary disclosure of corporate political spending is becoming a mainstream practice.
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.
Is Corporate Reporting Sufficient to Meet Sustainability Goals? (09/08)
Mark McElroy of the Center for Sustainable Organizations argues that the absence of context for corporate sustainability measurements increases the likelihood that meaningful goals will not be met.
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.
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.
CalSTRS Engages with Russell 2000 Companies on Majority Voting Standard (08/29)
The pension fund's engagement with 95 companies during 2012 proxy season results in 86% of them either adopting the standard or making significant progress toward doing so.
A Strategy for the Commons that Includes Business and Government (08/20)
As national governments persist in pursuing narrow agendas rather than global action on climate change and sustainable development, other key stakeholders are recognizing that they must pressure corporations and governments into dialogue on the issues.
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.
Pension Fund Wants Wal-Mart to Come Clean on Bribery Allegations (08/17)
After receiving documents relating to allegations of bribery by the retail giant's Mexican subsidiary, the Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund charges in a lawsuit that nearly half of the pages were blacked out.
Mercer to Incorporate ESG in Mainstream Client Reports (08/13)
Citing a growing interest in environmental, social, and corporate governance from institutional investors, the consulting firm will include ESG factors in reports relating to fund manager search and performance.
News Networks Ignore a Major Banking Scandal (08/11)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility writes to ABC and NBC, asserting that the networks have failed to cover the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal and its severe impacts on the poor and most vulnerable.
Investors Take on Corporate Payments to Pharmaceutical Trade Association (08/10)
Four major pharmaceutical companies may be undermining their profitability by membership in and payments to an industry trade association that contributed to candidates opposed to birth control.
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.
Companies Challenged over Membership in ALEC and Heartland Institute (07/31)
Walden Asset Management spearheads a letter-writing campaign by shareowners urging corporations tor review their memberships in the controversial organizations.
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.
Concerns Voiced over Easing Burma Investment (07/25)
An executive order lifting ban on investment in Burma allows US companies to enter the country's energy sector, raising concerns over lack of transparency and ties to the military.
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.
College Endowments Lagging in Sustainable Investment (07/19)
Once leaders in sustainable investment and shareowner advocacy, college and university endowments now lag behind many mainstream institutions in the uptake of environmental, social, and corporate governance investment criteria.
ICCR and the Business Case for Sustainability (07/14)
For the first time, members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility engage in corporate dialogues more often than submit shareowner resolutions, reflecting the growing awareness of the business case for corporate sustainability measures. Second of a two-part series.
NASDAQ to Promote Sustainability Disclosure (07/13)
At Rio+20, the US-based stock exchange joins four counterparts in encouraging corporations to disclose environmental, social, and governance risks and opportunities.
Proxy Season Results Support Mainstreaming of ESG (07/12)
This year's shareowner resolution tracker from Ceres notes that almost half of the environmental and social resolutions coordinated by the organization were withdrawn after successful engagement with companies. First of a two-part series.
Experiment in Proxy Access for Retail Investors to End (07/11)
Citing persistent regulatory obstructions, Moxy Vote announces that it will cease operations on July 31st, ending a service to help individual investors vote their proxy ballots.
A Guide to Economics for the 99% (07/06)
The Center for Popular Economics publishes Economics for the 99%, a handbook which describes the roots of economic inequality and offers a solidarity economy as an alternative.
Shareowners Await Support from Legislators and Regulators in Addressing Corporate Political Spending (07/03)
As support for resolutions requesting disclosure of corporate political spending increases, efforts to address the issue on a macro level are stirring but are unlikely to affect 2012 elections.
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.
Shareowners Vote on Resolution Asking Target to Refrain from Political Spending (06/15)
Filed in the aftermath of a 2010 consumer boycott over a political donation by the retailer, the resolution wins enough support to reappear on next year's proxy ballot.
Sanders Calls for End of Conflicts of Interest on Federal Reserve Boards (06/14)
After introducing legislation prohibiting bank executives from serving on Federal Reserve boards, Sen. Sanders of Vermont names 18 Fed directors whose firms benefited from the bailout during the financial crisis.
Proxy Voting on Climate Change by Mutual Funds Fails to Account for Materiality (06/09)
An analysis by Ceres and Fund Votes of 2011 proxy voting reveals that the three largest mutual funds failed to vote in favor of a single climate-related resolution.
Shareowners to Vote on Lobbying by Energy Companies (06/05)
Resolutions submitted by Walden Asset Management at Devon Energy and Chesapeake Energy call for disclosure of corporate lobbying expenditures.
Investors Urge Corporations to Consider Physical Impacts of Climate Change (06/02)
A new report notes improved corporate reporting on greenhouse gas emissions emerging from SEC guidance, but calls for improved management and disclosure of extreme weather events and other physical risks.
Shareowners Voice Support for Environmental and Governance Resolutions at Chevron (06/01)
A call for the separation of the positions of CEO and Board Chair gains more than 38% of shareowner support, while 27% vote in favor of improved disclosure of risks associated with hydraulic fracturing.
Investors Write to Chevron Again (05/29)
Led by the New York State Common Retirement Fund, a coalition of 40 institutional investors with $580 billion in assets under management calls on Chevron to end its legal wrangling over an $18 billion judgment against it for environmental damage in Ecuador.
Investors Warned to Question Shell's Plans for Arctic (05/24)
Citing the likelihood that control of a spill in ice-covered waters will fail, and outlining Shell's poor track record in the Russian Far East, Greenpeace advises investors to ask hard questions about the risks to the company's financial health.
A Trillion Dollar Call for Best Practices in Fracking Operations (05/23)
Fifty-five institutional investment organizations representing $1 trillion in assets under management call for adoption of best practices by oil and gas companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing.
Shareowners Ask SEC to Investigate Chevron (05/21)
Three sustainable investment organizations say that the company's management appears to be covering up the risks associated with an $18 billion legal judgment against it for environmental damage in Ecuador. Second of a two-part series.
Is Chevron in Violation of Securities Law? (05/18)
New reports on Chevron's liabilities relating to environmental damages in Ecuador assert that while the company's legal options have narrowed significantly, its public filings repeat the same arguments made in 2008. First of a two-part series.
JP Morgan Chase Holds Annual Meeting Days After $2 Billion Loss (05/17)
A resolution calling for improved corporate governance through separating the roles of Chair and CEO gains 40% of shareowner support.
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.
Political Spending Proposal at CVS Caremark Goes to Vote Tomorrow (05/09)
For the sixth year, shareowners will vote on a proposal from Green Century Capital Management, requesting disclosure of direct and indirect political spending by the company.
Chesapeake Energy Agrees to Separation of Chair and CEO (05/07)
The controversial oil and gas company agrees to a key corporate governance reform after widespread criticism of an arrangement allowing CEO Aubrey McClendon to borrow more than a billion dollars from its treasury.
Shareowner Group Details Occupational Health and Safety Issues for Investors (05/05)
The Shareholder Association for Research and Education issues investor guidance for assessing the health and safety policies and practices of Canadian corporations.
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.
Clock Is Ticking While Corporate Sustainability Lags (05/02)
A report from Ceres and Sustainalytics identifies a small number of US corporations leading sustainability efforts, but more decisive action is required to embed sustainability by 2020. First of a two-part series.
US Banks Receive Failing Grades for Financing Coal (05/01)
While most of the nation's largest banks have publicly stated commitments addressing mountaintop removal coal mining and coal-fired power generation, the financing of such projects continues.
UKSIF Endorses Key Investor Initiatives for Rio+20 (04/30)
The Natural Capital Declaration commits financial institutions to integrating environmental considerations into their products and services, while the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Coalition seeks a convention on corporate reporting.
Corporate Political Spending: Why Do they Do It? (04/28)
With six months to go before election, corporations can still spend freely and in relative secrecy, and do so, despite numerous studies associating political spending with lower returns.
Retail Investors Invited to Discussion on Fracking (04/26)
Moxy Vote provides a forum for individual investors to vote their proxies, and invites them to weigh in on hydraulic fracturing resolutions at Chevron and Exxon Mobil.
Investors Speak Out on Wal-Mart Bribery Allegations (04/25)
Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, who have been engaging with the retail giant on social issues for decades, express their dismay over allegations of bribery and subsequent efforts to impede an investigation.
Wal-Mart Gets ESG Rating of F After Bribery Allegations (04/24)
GovernanceMetrics International assigns a failing grade to the retail giant's environmental, social, and corporate governance performance following revelations that information about a bribery scandal in Mexico was covered up.
Eurosif Outlines ESG Risks to Media Companies (04/20)
The fast-changing media sector faces risks associated with trust, freedom of expression, and diversity, and a report cites examples of best practice in an environment dominated by the News Corporation's phone hacking scandal.
Investors Challenge Goldcorp's Closing Costs for Guatemala Mine (04/17)
Two institutional investors warn that Goldcorp faces litigation risks if its plan for funding the environmental cleanup of its mine in Guatemala is inadequate.
Investors Take on ALEC in Aftermath of Trayvon Martin Killing (04/16)
Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management writes to investors, stating that corporations associated with the American Legislative Exchange Council face reputational risks and should review their funding of the controversial organization.
JPMorgan Chase Faces Investing in Genocide Resolution (04/13)
For the second year, Investors Against Genocide submits shareowner proposal addressing JPMorgan Chase's extensive holdings in PetroChina, a corporate contributor to genocide in Sudan.
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.
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.
Solar Industry Maturing Despite Lack of Subsidies (04/10)
A report from As You Sow details examples of best practice in environmental, social, and corporate governance considerations by solar companies, and provides a benchmark for investors to track sustainable developments in the industry.
Regulatory Path Cleared for Fracking Resolution at Exxon (04/07)
The Securities and Exchange Commission overrules challenge by ExxonMobil to hydraulic fracturing resolution submitted by As You Sow.
Shareowner Advocates Disappointed by Goldman's Choice for Lead Independent Director (04/07)
The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees withdraws resolution calling for separation of Chair and CEO at Goldman Sachs, then expresses disappointment at the firm's choice for lead independent director.
Listen to Investors, Ernst & Young Tells Corporate Boards (04/06)
A white paper from the consulting firm anticipates that shareowner support for environmental and social resolutions will continue to grow, and that boards should take concrete steps to ensure that the perspectives of investors are considered.
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.
RepRisk Names World's Most Controversial Mining Companies (03/24)
Alpha Natural Resources, the parent company of Massey Energy, ranks first on RepRisk's list, which highlights the consequences of environmental, social and governance risks on corporate reputations, access to capital, and licenses to operate.
Corporate Governance Advocates Take on Political Spending and Contracts with Managers (03/23)
The International Corporate Governance Network publishes a statement on corporate political spending and a model mandate for contracts between asset owners and managers.
New York City Pension Funds File Corporate Governance Resolutions at 13 Companies (03/19)
Shareowners request that Chesapeake Energy and Nabors Industries permit proxy access, and additional resolutions address board declassification, an independent board chair, and a majority voting standard.
Occupy Movement Focuses on Volcker Rule (03/14)
Financial professionals form the Occupy the SEC movement and submit a 325-page comment letter to the SEC, calling for effective regulation of proprietary trading by banks.
Momentum Grows for Integrated Reporting (03/13)
With the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development three months away, numerous voices speak out on the need for governments to mandate sustainability reporting by large companies.
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.
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.
On a Bumpy Road Toward the Sustainable World (03/01)
A morning's reading ranges from Davos to ESG metrics, and the prevailing message is that improved collaboration among all stakeholders is necessary to rescue the world from an unsustainable future.
As You Sow Publishes Proxy Preview (02/29)
The report notes an exponential increase in resolutions addressing the various forms of corporate political spending, while the community impacts of hydraulic fracturing and financial risks associated with coal lead environmental resolutions.
Zevin Asset Management Grows into a Corporate Engagement Powerhouse (02/28)
The Boston-based investment manager, with $335 million in assets under management, has co-filed 14 shareowner resolutions for the 2012 proxy season.
Investors Write to Chevron on Country Selection (02/27)
Following an unproductive meeting with Chevron on its operations in Burma, shareowners make public a letter in which they request transparency in the company's country selection criteria.
Lydenberg's Argument for Reasonable Investment Wins IRRC Award (02/25)
Steven Lydenberg, Chief Investment Officer of Domini Social Investments, wins the first Post-Modern Portfolio Theory award from the IRRC Institute for his paper espousing reasonable, rather than merely rational, investment.
Only 9% of Fund Managers Incorporate ESG Factors (02/15)
Mercer's evaluation of environmental, social, and corporate governance uptake by fund managers reveals that there is considerable room for improvement in how they communicate ESG integration to investors.
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.
House Republicans Gut Key Provision of STOCK Act (02/11)
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor strips provision requiring political intelligence consultants to register as lobbyists from version of bill passed by Senate.
Shareowners Continue Campaign for Disclosure of Risks Associated with Fracking (02/10)
Ten shareowner resolutions addressing hydraulic fracturing have been filed thus far for the 2012 proxy season, and proponents for improved disclosure look to improve upon last year's 40% vote in support.
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.
Book Review: Evolutions in Sustainable Investing: Strategies, Funds and Thought Leadership (01/28)
Trucost executive Cary Krosinsky edits a book of essays demonstrating that sustainable investment in an era of growing resource scarcity yields significant opportunities for portfolio outperformance.
Shareowners File 40 Resolutions on Lobbying Expenditures by Corporations (01/27)
Walden Asset Management leads a coalition of investors calling on companies to disclose both direct lobbying expenditures and indirect funding of lobbying through trade associations.
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.
On Second Anniversary of Citizens United, Coalition Calls on SEC to Mandate Disclosure (01/20)
The Corporate Reform Coalition holds a press conference in which members express support for a petition requesting that the Securities and Exchange Commission establish rules mandating that public corporations disclose their political spending activities.
Shareowner Activists Urge Siemens to Quit Chamber of Commerce (01/19)
CtW Investment Group writes to the German industrial conglomerate, stating that its position on the Chamber's board is at odds with the trade association's efforts to weaken the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Shareowners to Corporations: Say No to Political Expenditures (01/18)
Trillium Asset Management and Green Century Capital Management file resolutions with Bank of America, 3M, and Target, requesting that they refrain from making political donations.
Ecuadorian Court Upholds $18 Billion Judgment Against Chevron (01/06)
In addition to upholding the judgment for environmental damages in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, the court also criticized Chevron's efforts to undermine the trial.
States, Cities Call for End of Corporate Personhood (01/05)
California joins Vermont in calling for a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United, and the New York City Council joins Los Angeles in unanimously supporting an amendment.
Ban on Corporate Political Spending Upheld in Montana (01/04)
The Montana Supreme Court rules in favor of reinstating the state's century-old ban on direct political spending by corporations.
Top Sustainable Investment Stories of 2011 (12/31)
Many sustainable investors see affinities between their concerns and those of the Occupy Movement, and global emissions from the burning of fossil fuels in 2010 were the highest in human history.
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.
Shareowners Press Chevron to Acknowledge Environmental Liabilities in Ecuador (12/27)
Even as Chevron's liability for a November oil spill in Brazil reaches billions of dollars, the company still refuses to disclose to shareowners the risks associated with an $18 billion court judgment against it in Ecuador. Second of a two-part series.
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.
Mutual Fund Support for Political Spending Disclosure Inches Upward (12/22)
An analysis prepared for the Center for Political Accountability by Jackie Cook of Fund Votes reveals that mutual fund support for corporate political spending disclosure increased in 2011 for eighth year in a row.
Schapiro Remarks Suggest Regulation of Proxy Advisors (12/20)
The SEC Chairman cites corporate concerns over quality of information used for recommendations, and potential conflicts of interest, as reasons for regulation of proxy advisory firms.
New Report Surveys Current State of Impact Investing (12/16)
The Global Impact Investing Network finds that impact investors often provide debt investments to microfinance institutions in emerging markets, but provides little to distinguish the practice from sustainable investing.
Investors Provide Guidance for Companies Engaged in Hydraulic Fracturing (12/15)
SocialFunds.com talks with Richard Liroff of the Investor Environmental Health Network about a collaborative effort with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility to minimize risks associated with fracking through key performance indicators and best practices.
Shareowners Support Annual Say-on-Pay Votes (12/09)
An analysis by GovernanceMetrics International finds that while 42% of companies recommended a shareowner vote on executive compensation every three years, 72% of shareowners voted in favor of annual votes.
Massey Energy Parent Fined $209 Million for Fatal Mine Disaster (12/07)
The Mine Safety and Health Administration says that corporate culture at Massey was the root cause of the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia that killed 29 workers.
42 S&P500 Companies at Risk for Failed Say-on-Pay in 2012 (12/03)
An analysis by GovernanceMetrics International finds that 157 companies in the Russell 3000 also failed to gain 70% of shareowner support, and recommends that those companies engage with shareowners on executive compensation.
Grassroots Support Grows for Constitutional Amendment on Corporate Personhood (11/29)
The founders of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream help launch Business for Democracy, and Move to Amend supports a constitutional amendment ending "legal fiction" of corporate personhood.
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.
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.
Wall Street Journal Op-ed Attacks Corporate Disclosure of Political Spending (11/22)
Bruce Freed of the Center for Political Accountability talks with SocialFunds.com about the mischaracterizations in the Journal's op-ed piece, and describes the widespread support for greater disclosure.
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.
Praxis Targets Cell Service Providers in Conflict Minerals Campaign (11/17)
SocialFunds.com talks with Mark Regier of Praxis Mutual Funds about the launch of campaign to bring cell service providers into the conversation about conflict minerals.
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.
Zuccotti Park Cleared of Occupy Protesters (11/15)
Police action to remove activists from original Occupy Movement encampment occurs two days before planned rally to shut down Wall Street.
Corporate Political Spending: More Disclosure but a Billion Dollars Spent in 2010 (11/14)
The IRRC Institute confirms that more boards oversee political expenditures but that more money is being spent as well.
CR Reporting on Upswing, but Improvements in Implementation and Assurance are Needed (11/09)
KPMG surveys the state of Corporate Responsibility reporting among the world's largest companies, and helps the Global Reporting Initiative produce a database of corporate sustainability disclosures.
Investors Call on SEC to Regulate Corporate Political Spending (11/03)
SocialFunds.com talks with Adam Kanzer of Domini Social Investments about the investor effort to persuade the Securities and Exchange Commission to consider regulation of corporate political spending. Second of a two-part series.
Democrats Seek to Limit Corporate Political Spending (11/02)
A group of Senators introduces a constitutional amendment that would authorize Congress to regulate political spending and allow states to do so. First of a two-part series.
ISS Seeks Investor Input for Revised Proxy Voting Policies (11/01)
Institutional Shareholder Services says the comment period for the 2012 update of its proxy voting policies will run through November 7th.
Index Ranks Companies on Political Spending Disclosure (10/28)
The Center for Political Accountability collaborates with the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research in the Index of Corporate Political Disclosure and Accountability, which ranks companies in the S&P 100 according to their disclosure and board oversight of political spending.
More Fodder for Uprising Against Economic Inequality (10/26)
The Congressional Budget Office reports that household income of the top one percent grew by 275% between 1979 and 2007.
Murdoch to Shareowner Activists: the Polls are now Closed (10/25)
Julie Tanner of Christian Brothers Investment Services describes the frustration of advocating for governance reforms at the annual meeting of scandal-plagued News Corp.
Proxy Firm Tells US Investors to Oust News Corp Directors (10/10)
Citing concerns about objectivity and independence, Glass Lewis advises shareowners to vote against six of the media giant's directors.
SRI in the Rockies: Public Policy as a Strategic Tool for Sustainable Investment (10/08)
Leading voices for shareowner action discuss public policy engagement at this year's SRI in the Rockies conference.
Almost 500 Firms Asked to Disclose Political Spending (10/04)
Citing the risks posed to corporations by Citizens United, the Center for Political Accountability asks companies to adopt disclosure on political spending in advance of 2012 proxy season.
Council of Institutional Investors Analyzes Say-on-Pay Proposals (09/29)
A report from the CII finds that pay for performance issues were cited most often by institutional investors as the reason for voting against management proposals.
ICCR Celebrates Forty Years of Shareowner Activism (09/28)
More than 300 attend event that included a panel discussion on corporate responsibility and an eloquent address by Paul Neuhauser on shareowner action to end apartheid in South Africa.
Investors Call for Mandatory Integrated Reporting (09/27)
The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Coalition, led by Aviva Investors, urges United Nations member states to require companies to include sustainability issues in annual financial reporting.
Despite Court Ruling, Opportunity for Proxy Access Remains (09/23)
SocialFunds.com talks with corporate governance advocate James McRitchie about the challenges and potential benefits provided by SEC Rule 14a-8, which was left standing when Rule 14a-11 was struck down.
Trillium Wraps Up 2011 Proxy Season (09/19)
Asset management firm's resolutions led to successful engagement on environmental reporting, political spending, and Internet privacy.
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.
PRI Issues 2011 Report on Progress (09/09)
While integration of environmental, social, and corporate governance factors remains limited as a proportion of the global market, the report indicates that such integration is growing across asset classes.
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.
Will Howard Schultz Reform Corporate Political Spending? (08/30)
The Starbucks CEO has called on fellow executives to boycott personal contributions because of political gridlock in Washington, but will his campaign lead to greater scrutiny of corporate political spending?
Can Shell Be Trusted with Drilling in Arctic? (08/20)
The company's permit from the Interior Department to drill in the Arctic precedes by days an oil spill in the North Sea, and follows a UN report critical of its acceptance of responsibility for oil spills in Nigeria.
Shareowners Pressure Smucker's on Climate Change (08/16)
Noting insufficient attention to the impact of climate change in the company's sustainability report, Calvert Investments and Trillium Asset Management call for a report on social and environmental risks to its coffee business.
The Conference Board Forms Committee on Corporate Political Spending (08/13)
After collaborating last year with the Center for Political Accountability on a Handbook on Corporate Political Activity, the Board seeks to educate its member businesses on the issue in advance of the 2012 elections.
Investors Call for Improved Governance at News Corp (08/11)
In the aftermath of phone hacking and bribery scandals at the media company, members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility call for separation of Chair and CEO positions and elimination of dual-class stock structure.
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.
Corporate Political Spending Will be a Major Issue in 2012 (08/04)
In the wake of successful shareowner votes during the 2011 proxy season, the Center for Political Accountability and The Conference Board collaborate on initiatives to increase transparency and board oversight of the practice.
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.
Court of Appeals Strikes Down SEC Rule on Proxy Access (07/25)
The Court agreed with the Chamber of Commerce in finding that the rule, which would have allowed shareowners to have their nominees for boards of directors included in proxy materials, was "arbitrary and capricious."
EIRIS Notes Some Progress in ESG Performance of Vedanta Resources (07/22)
One year after finding that the mining company had breached international norms in its Indian operations, the sustainable investment researcher sees signs of progress on some fronts but insufficient attention paid to risk management.
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
Shareowner Action Contributes to Sea Change in Corporate Governance (07/01)
GovernanceMetrics International reviews the results of the 2011 proxy season thus far, and finds that important corporate governance policies are now enshrined at most S&P 500 companies.
MSCI Launches MSCI ESG Manager (06/23)
The MSCI ESG Manager, designed to help asset managers and owners manage ESG research, analysis, and compliance, includes on a single platform all of MSCI's research and analysis of companies listed on the MSCI World index.
Report Surveys Climate Change Strategies of Global Investors (06/15)
Three investor networks collaborate on a new report that details the different approaches to climate change among investors in North America, Europe, and Australasia.
Study Compares Perception and Reality of Corporate ESG Risk Management (06/13)
A report from Brandlogic and CRD Analytics warns that companies whose reputations exceed actual performance risk loss of value due to inaccurate assumptions by key stakeholders.
CEO Compensation Rose Sharply in 2010 (06/10)
GovernanceMetrics International reports that annual compensation at S&P 500 companies increased by 35% in 2010, and the United States Proxy Exchange issues draft guidelines to help shareowners vote their say-on-pay proxies.
Investors Call on Russell 1000 Companies to Address Sustainability (06/08)
Led by Ceres, a coalition of investors representing more than $1 trillion in assets under management writes to the CEOs of Russell 1000 companies, urging them to increase corporate attention to sustainability issues.
Resolutions Addressing Hydraulic Fracturing Continue to Attract Shareowner Support (06/03)
At annual meeting of Ultra Petroleum, the company refuses to permit shareowners to present their proposal, but votes in favor double that of 2010.
National Association of Manufacturers Board Members Asked to Clarify Their Positions on Climate Change (05/28)
A coalition of investors points out misalignment between the climate change positions of 43 corporations and that of the trade association on whose board they sit, and asks for clarification.
Getting on Board with Corporate Social Responsibility (08/25)
Corporate boards can and should influence their companies' social and environmental performances finds a new report.
Sunshine is the Best Disinfectant: Shareholder Activists Promote Corporate Transparency (07/23)
SocialFunds writer Bill Baue speaks with Sanford Lewis of the Investor Environmental Health Network on his shareholder activism promoting corporate disclosure
Bob Monks: ExxonMobil Exemplifies Corpocracy (06/30)
SocialFunds writers Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon interview corporate governance advocate Bob Monks about his shareholder activism at ExxonMobil and his new book, Corpocracy.
Shelley Alpern on How Tar Sands Perpetuate Petro-Addiction (06/26)
SocialFunds writer Bill Baue speaks with Shelley Alpern of Trillium Asset Management about its shareholder activism on oil company exploitation of tar sands.
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
Do Your Proxy Votes Really Count? (04/03)
A new report examines how boards of directors respond to shareholder concerns by adopting or ignoring non-binding shareholder proposals.
Fighting Climate Change, State by State (02/27)
A core group of state treasurers and controllers are moving their investments into environmentally friendly and clean tech funds, while thinking big about climate change.
Responsible Businesses are More Competitive (02/24)
IBM study reports businesses with corporate social responsibility as part of their core plans have an advantage.
Supreme Court Rules on Naming Secondary Actors in Fraud Cases (01/22)
In a ruling last week, the Supreme Court laid out what businesses can be held liable under current securities fraud laws.
SEC Sacrifices Shareholder Rights to Achieve Temporary Certainty (12/11)
Instead of reaffirming shareholder rights to file resolutions to nominate directors, the SEC cites uncertainty as a rationale for stripping these rights.
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.
Big Bosses Embrace Corporate Responsibility (09/21)
A new survey of executives finds many companies are increasing their spending on environmental, social, and governance issues, in spite of a decline in business confidence.
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.
Sustainability Picks Up Where Supply and Demand Meet (07/16)
Both investors and companies are working on sustainability issues as new reports by UN PRI and Goldman Sachs show ESG issues are gaining momentum.
Fidelity Divests Large Chunk of Sudan-Related Holdings (05/22)
Despite similar pressure from Sudan divestment activists, Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway retain holdings in PetroChina, which is linked to genocide in Darfur.
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.
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.
TIAA-CREF Ups the Ante With New Stance on ESG Issues (03/20)
TIAA-CREF’s new policy statement and proxy voting guidelines address social, environmental and governance issues, moving SRI arguments into the mainstream.
Shareholders Ask Companies for Transparency on Corporate Political Giving (02/15)
With 43 companies facing shareholder resolutions on political accountability this proxy season, a handful of companies have already reached agreements with filers on this issue.
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.
S&P 500 Lags on Climate Disclosure, Electric Utilities Burning Economic Value Into Carbon (02/05)
Two recent reports use findings of the 2006 Carbon Disclosure Project to assess limits of transparency on climate risks and opportunities and drag on value creation at electric utilities.
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.
From Competition to Cooperation: Companies Collaborate on Social and Environmental Issues (01/19)
Collaborative initiatives bring together companies, investors, and activists to address issues such as online freedom of expression, climate change, and labor rights in the global supply chain.
Top Five Socially Responsible Investing News Stories of 2006 (01/05)
Green investing booms, microfinance pioneer wins Nobel Peace Prize, shareowner democracy increases, resolutions receive record votes, and UN launches Principles of Responsible Investment
Rainforest Action Network Seeks to Stem Flow of Financing to TXU Coal Project (12/20)
Part two of this two-part articles addresses how RAN sent a letter to 54 banks urging them to withhold funding from a TXU plan to build 11 pulverized coal-burning power plants in Texas.
TXU Shareowners File Three Resolutions Questioning Wisdom of Pulverized Coal Plants (12/19)
Part one of this two-part article examines how shareowners are raising environmental and regulatory concerns over the TXU coal expansion plan, as well as environmentally preferable alternatives to coal such as energy efficiency.
Retailers Improve on Keeping Violent Video Games Out of the Hands of Children (12/13)
An Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility report also identifies several areas where the seven companies examined stand to improve performance--predominantly on disclosure.
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.
How to Do Sustainble Banking (12/06)
BankTrack, a coalition of nongovernmental organizations promoting social and environmental responsibility in the finance sector, issues a guide to best practices in sustainable banking.
New Exchange Traded Fund Tracks Domini 400 Social Index (11/22)
Barclays Global Investors launches the iShares KLD 400 Social Index ETF.
Book Review: Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage (11/20)
The plethora of real-life examples of corporate environmental initiatives is where readers will find value in this book from two authors associated with Yale.
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.
As Climate Debate Matures, Companies Strategize Solutions and Investors Push for Disclosure (11/03)
Companies are taking tangible actions to minimize risks and seize opportunities related to climate change, while investors promote more robust climate-related disclosure.
PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Get Cs on Report Card for Ten Percent Recycled Content in Bottles (10/24)
The report, conducted by the As You Sow (AYS) Foundation and the Container Recycling Institute, graded the ten other beverage companies D- and F on recycling.
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.
Blue Funds to Invest in Companies that Support Democrats (10/13)
The two new funds seek to capitalize on research that finds that Democrat-supporting companies significantly outperform Republican-supporting companies.
Microfinance Crosses Continental Divide with $100 Million Commitment from TIAA-CREF (10/09)
TIAA-CREF inaugurated its Global Microfinance Investment Program by purchasing from ProCredit Holdings $43 million in private equity shares, a new strategy in microfinance.
FTSE4Good Deletes Nine Companies on Environmental and Supply Chain Labor Standards (10/04)
FTSE4Good criteria promote incremental progress in corporate social responsibility performance, and climate change is the latest topic covered in newly proposed standards.
Emerging Markets Emerging as Socially Responsible Investing Opportunities (09/26)
A report by the Ethical Investment Research Services examines 50 emerging market companies using various SRI screens, and finds a number of possible plays.
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.
Court Affirms Shareowner Right to File Resolutions on Proxy Access for Nominating Directors (09/14)
The decision, which simply upholds existing rules that SEC practice had departed from, fills the void left when the SEC proposed then abandoned a rule on proxy access for nominating directors.
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.
ICCR Benchmarks Pharma Responses to AIDS and Diseases of Poverty in Emerging Markets (08/18)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility report assesses 15 pharmaceutical companies, and finds all of them falling short of best practice in most areas on AIDS and neglected diseases.
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.
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.
Trillium Takes the Reins from Winslow in Managing the Green Century Balanced Fund (07/24)
The transition in portfolio managers has shifted the fund back to its roots as a core portfolio holding by reducing risk and diversifying holdings across the multi-cap space.
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.
Book Review--Shareholder Participation and the Corporation: A Fresh Inter-disciplinary Approach in Happiness (06/27)
Australian Law Professor James McConvill applies empirical research on happiness to corporations, specifically focusing on the case it makes for shareowner empowerment.
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.
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.
Corporate Shenanigans: Companies Dis Shareowners at Annual Meetings (06/09)
Home Depot exemplifies a phenomenon of companies manipulating annual meeting protocols to disempower shareowners, following in the footsteps of Weyerhaeuser, Whole Foods, and others.
Survey Starts to Pry Open Black Box of University Endowment Holdings and Proxy Voting (05/31)
The survey, conducted by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, finds the vast majority of universities and colleges veiling their holdings and proxy voting records in secrecy.
Amgen Recommends Support for Political Donations Resolution, Bolstering Broader Campaign (05/16)
The Center for Political Accountability, which coordinates the political contributions campaign, released a report on trade association contributions that previews its 2007 proxy season strategy.
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.
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.
United Nations Endorses SRI Strategies in Launching Principles for Responsible Investment (05/02)
Some 50 institutional investors globally representing $4 trillion in assets have signed on to the Principles, which promote the consideration of environmental, social and governance factors.
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.
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.
Shareowner Resolutions Overcome Obstacles to Promote Sustainability Reporting (03/29)
A campaign advocating for sustainability reporting refines its strategies, shifting from requiring adherence to recommending Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.
Corporate Action on Climate Change Improves Over Past Three Years, But Still Insufficient (03/28)
A report from Ceres benchmarks corporate governance on climate change, finding steady gains by leaders while some laggards leapfrog toward the top and other laggards stagnate at the bottom.
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.
Book Review--Responsible Investment (03/23)
An impressive and wide-ranging list of contributing writers advance a balance between elucidating the strengths of socially responsible investing while also exposing its weaknesses.
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.
A Serendipitous Match: Davis Advisors Takes Over MMA Praxis Core Stock Fund (03/16)
The portfolio holding of Wal-Mart exemplifies (oddly enough) how both Davis Advisors and MMA Praxis emphasize the importance of stewardship and shareowner empowerment.
Whole Foods Market Gags Shareowners at Annual Meeting (03/10)
A leader on corporate social responsibility, Whole Foods lags on corporate governance by stymieing shareowner democracy.
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.
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.
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.
Shareowner Action on Product Toxicity Shifts from Isolated Resolutions to Become a Campaign (02/09)
Fueling this development is the increasing visibility of product toxicity in the news, with the Environmental Protection Agency issuing record fines.
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.
Two Sides of the Same Coin: Surveys Track Growth of Interest in SRI and CSR (01/31)
Part one of this two-part article focuses on a survey by Mercer Investment Consulting on increasing interest from institutional investors in socially responsible investing.
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.
The Corporate Library Report on Mutual Fund Proxy Voting Finds Stagnation and Even Retreat (01/17)
Part one of this multi-part series discusses the report findings on decreasing mainstream fund support for CSR resolutions; subsequent articles examine unpublished data from the research.
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.
Majority-Vote Director Election Shareowner Resolutions To Top 100, Dominate Proxy Season (01/10)
A memo from corporate law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz opines that majority-vote elections will become universal, but shareowners still seek proxy access to nominate directors.
Wal-Mart Faces Host of Shareowner Resolutions, From Union-Busting to Sustainability Reporting (01/06)
The broad range of resolutions suggests that the sustainability commitments announced by Wal-Mart last year did not convince shareowners that the company has solved all its challenges.
Top Five Socially Responsible Investing News Stories of 2005 (01/05)
Socially responsible investing, corporate social responsibility, and microfinance embraced by the mainstream; shareowner advocates withdraw several climate change resolutions as companies agree to report; and exchange traded funds apply SRI strategies.
Book Review--Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism (12/22)
The newest in the Megatrends series advances a framework for conscious capitalism that highlights socially responsible investing.
EPA Tries to Pull a Disappearing Act on the Toxics Release Inventory (12/16)
In response to the Environmental Protection Agency proposal to dilute TRI, the socially responsible investing community launches the SaveTRI.org website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Citigroup Smith Barney Report Seeks to Bridge Divide Between SRI and Traditional Analysis (11/21)
The report seeks to cross the metaphorical river dividing socially responsible investing analysts, who assess sustainability, from traditional analysts, who examine financial fundamentals.
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.
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.
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.
Transforming the Myth of Democratic Shareholder Power into a Reality (10/27)
A new paper by Harvard Professor Lucian Bebchuk debunks the myth of shareholder power to replace directors, and recommends reforms that could jumpstart the stalled SEC proxy access rule.
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.
Divining the Future of Socially Responsible Investing (10/12)
A study commissioned by Vancity Credit Union surveys 42 SRI thought leaders to identify trends, opportunities, and obstacles, as well as potential developments that defy prediction.
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.
Insurers Behind the Curve on Addressing and Disclosing Risks of Climate Change (09/29)
Two reports, one from Ceres and one from Friends of the Earth, concur that climate change is catching insurance companies, which are particularly impacted by global warming, unawares.
Third Carbon Disclosure Project Survey Finds Increasing Action on Climate Change (09/21)
CDP3, now sponsored by 155 institutional investors with more than $21 trillion in assets, also reveals some significant footdragging by the Financial Times 500 companies.
AccountAbility Cooks Up a New Recipe with Stakeholder Engagement Standards (09/16)
An exposure draft of new AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standards to be released next week may prove useful to the socially responsible investment community of shareholder activists.
A Semantic Hermeneutics of SRI (09/09)
KLD Research & Analytics Founding President Peter Kinder examines limitations of the term socially responsible investing, and identifies both overemphasized and overlooked distinctions.
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.
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.)
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.
TIAA-CREF Creates New Director of Social Investing Post But Refrains From Some SRI Strategies (07/15)
TIAA-CREF enhances its proxy voting and practices some community investment, but finds obstacles to supporting community development financial institutions and SRI venture capital.
Students and States Seek to End Genocide in Sudan Through Divestment Campaigns (06/01)
Students urge Stanford University to follow in the footsteps of Harvard University by divesting, and urge California senators to pass legislation like Illinois did.
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.
Institutional Investors Call on SEC, Wall Street, and Companies to Address Climate Risk (05/11)
The second Investor Summit on Climate Risk focused on information, from the perspectives of disclosure, data generation, and analysis, as a key to transforming climate risk into opportunity.
Virgin Trees in Kleenex: Greenpeace Lambasts Kimberly-Clark Fiber Sourcing (05/06)
Between 15 and 30 percent of K-C tissue products fiber originates from the Canadian Boreal Forest, according to a Greenpeace report, and only 19 percent of its fiber is recycled.
Report Asserts Shareholders Have The Right To Know More About DuPont PFOA Liabilities (05/04)
The report documents information on perfluorooctanoic acid, a Teflon ingredient associated with human health hazards, which DuPont withheld from federal regulators and investors alike.
JPMorgan Chase Environmental Policy Triggers Tipping Point for US Bank Sustainability (04/29)
The JPMC policy surpasses environmental best practice established by Citigroup and Bank of America in some areas, but also lags these sustainability leaders in others.
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.
SRI Funds Vote Proxies More Conscientiously Than Conventional Funds on Corporate Governance (04/13)
A study on proxy voting by socially responsible investment and conventional funds finds SRI funds voting against management more often on social, environmental, and governance issues.
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).
To Screen Or Not To Screen?: That May Not Be The Question For Fiduciaries (03/30)
Part two of this two-part article examines the opportunities and limitations that social and environmental sustainability screens present to pension funds and other institutional investors.
Shareowner Activists on Sustainability Take Baby Steps Into Sustainability Screening (03/25)
Part one of this two-part article surveys the landscape of US public pension fund screening of corporate social and environmental sustainability.
Caterpillar Bulldozes Shareowner Concern Over Aiding Alleged Israeli War Crimes (03/24)
Caterpillar faces a shareowner resolution as well as a lawsuit filed by the family of peace activist Rachel Corrie that cites the Nuremberg Tribunal as precedent in alleging war crime complicity.
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.
Faith-Based and Environmentalist Shareowners Withdraw Climate Change Resolutions at Six Companies (03/22)
The six oil and gas companies commit to measure, mitigate, and disclose data related to global warming, and evangelicals join their faith-based compatriots in concern over climate change.
Biting the Hand That Feeds: Mutual Fund Ties to Corporate Clients Can Affect Proxy Voting (03/10)
Study reveals that individual mutual fund firms do not alter proxy voting whether companies are clients or non-clients, but fund firms with more clients tend to vote and adopt voting policies favoring management.
Taco Bell Agrees to Pay Florida Tomato Pickers A Penny More Per Pound to End Boycott (03/09)
Shareowner activists will also withdraw their resolution if parent company Yum! Brands agrees to join agricultural supply chain working group to address industry-wide reform.
Comparing Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase Policies: Which Stems Illegal Logging in Indonesia? (03/08)
Before providing funding, financial institution policies requiring documentation certifying legitimate timber sourcing may help promote sustainable logging in Southeast Asia.
Campaign to Enhance Pharma Industry Accountability Broadens Shareowner Action (03/04)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility sent letters to over 2,750 institutional investors seeking support for three resolutions filed at nine pharmaceutical companies.
Carrots and Sweets: Tying Executive Remuneration to Extra-Financial Performance Indicators (03/02)
A report from Henderson Global Investors and Universities Superannuation Scheme finds incentives for extra-financial performance tied to short-term instead of long-term indicators.
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.
Binding Resolutions and Coordination Circumvent Structural Limitations of Shareowner Action (02/18)
A preview of the 2005 proxy season reveals tactics that challenge the systemic imbalance of power favoring corporate management and directors over shareowners.
Deafening Silence: Corporate Political Contribution Non-Disclosure Impacts Shareowner Value (02/17)
A Center for Political Accountability report documents corporate secrecy on political donations, and a Common Cause report reveals how mutual funds fail to support contribution transparency.
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.
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.
Speaking From Both Sides of the Mouth: The Art and Science of Corporate Tax Avoidance (02/04)
Three reports--by a US tax watchdog, a pair of US academics, and a UK socially responsible investment firm--find troubling trends in corporate tax strategies.
Two Socially Responsible Investment Exchange Traded Funds Launch (02/01)
The iShares KLD Select Social Index Fund seeks broad diversification and low risk, while the PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio ETF invests in renewable energy companies.
Reigning In Raines on Bonuses Based on Earnings Before Restatements (01/26)
With restatements of financial earnings reaching record levels in 2004, the question arises whether executive bonuses based on incorrect earnings statements should be recalculated.
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.
ConocoPhillips Bows Out of Arctic Power, Green Century Withdraws ANWR Resolution (01/12)
The oil company left the group lobbying to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a year ago and neglected to inform resolution filers, who were nonetheless pleased with the development.
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.
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.
Corporations Fight to Keep Political Contributions in the Closet (12/09)
The Center for Political Accountability expands its campaign by advancing shareowner resolutions asking companies to disclose political donations and to provide a business rationale for them.
Two Reports Reveal Proxy Votes Rubber-Stamp Management Recommendations (12/08)
One finds the majority of top US mutual funds voting against climate change resolutions, the other finds contradictory proxy by Canadian pension fund managers.
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.
ICCR Spends World AIDS Day Preparing Shareowner Resolutions for Upcoming Proxy Season (12/01)
This year's resolution has expanded to cover operations in India and China as well as Africa, and ICCR is campaigning for pharma companies to provide better access to medicines for children.
Are Electronic Components Producers Ready for Environmental Regulation? (10/20)
A Citizens Advisors study surveys 26 electronics components companies, and projects that many of them will be unprepared for European Union laws taking effect in 2006.
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.
Book Inspires Symposium on How Governance Codifies Excessive Executive Pay (10/14)
The book is written by Harvard Law Professor Lucian Bebchuk and Berkeley Law Professor Jesse Fried, and the Symposium is hosted by Columbia Law School.
Material Risks of Genetic Engineering Undisclosed by Food Companies, Report Says (09/28)
A survey of the 35 largest food processors finds only two mentioning genetic engineering risks in their annual reports, and none analyzing these risks.
SEC Asked to Let the Sun Shine on Corporate Political Contributions (09/17)
A group of state and city treasurers and a watchdog group sent letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting mandatory political contributions disclosure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Value of Transformation: The Catholic Equity Fund (08/11)
After transforming itself from three actively managed funds into one index fund, the Catholic Equity Fund works to transform corporate practice through shareowner advocacy.
Senate Calls on the SEC to Enforce Environmental Disclosure Regulations (07/16)
A series of reports issued at a Senate symposium detail how insufficient disclosure of environmental liabilities results from lack of SEC enforcement.
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.
Rule Proposal Requires Canadian Mutual Funds To Disclose Proxy Votes and Guidelines (06/15)
New Canadian Securities Administrators rule closely resembles the US Securities and Exchange rule.
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.
UK Prepares To Mandate Environmental and Social Reporting (05/28)
Proposed guidelines for Operating and Financial Review reports require British company directors to discuss the effects of social and environmental issues on business.
ExxonMobil Mocks Climate Change, Maine Treasurer Finds It No Laughing Matter (05/27)
Senior management remains resolute in its disbelief of climate change risk.
Companies Ignore Majority Votes on Shareowner Resolutions (05/20)
Some high-profile companies are taking advantage of the non-binding nature of shareowner resolutions.
Carbon Disclosure Project Report and Greenhouse Gas Protocol Release Second Editions (05/19)
Climate change initiatives get a significant boost this month with the release of two revised editions of a report and a protocol for addressing global warming.
Shareowner Resolution Withdrawn as JP Morgan Chase Addresses Environmental Risks (05/14)
A group of socially responsible investment advocates withdrew a shareowner resolution from JP Morgan Chase when the company established an office of environmental affairs.
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.
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.
Three More Companies Address Climate Risk, So Shareowners Withdraw Resolutions (05/04)
Shareowners withdrew climate change resolutions at Southern Company and TXU, which agreed to issue reports, and at Reliant, which agreed to expand disclosure.
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.
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.
Sustainability Report Awards Reward Disclosure on Environmental, Social Performance (04/28)
Canada-based Suncor and Dofasco, Texas-based Dell and Kinko's, and Michigan-based Ford win sustainability reporting awards from CERES and ACCA.
Forget Sit Ins: Student Activists Now Promote Socially Responsible Investment (04/22)
Students and alumni from 22 prestigious colleges and universities launch the Responsible Endowment Coalition to urge schools to practice socially responsible investing.
Tyco Recommends Vote in Favor of Shareowner Resolution, Joining Three Others (04/21)
While companies routinely recommend voting against shareowner resolutions, four companies so far this proxy season have bucked this standard approach.
Thirteen Pension Funds Call on SEC to Require Disclosure on Climate Change Risk (04/16)
Institutional investors ask the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue a clarification that climate change is a material risk which must be disclosed in filings.
Socially Responsible Investment Runs the Gamut on Animal Welfare and Testing (04/07)
Investors who prioritize respect for animals have a range of options, from funds that use shareowner action alone to specialty SRI firms with stringent animal welfare screens.
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.
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.
Report Urges Foundations to Vote Their Proxies (03/04)
Surprisingly few foundations regularly vote their proxies, according to a new report written by the As You Sow Foundation, an advocate of active proxy voting.
Five Companies Comply with Terms of Shareowner Resolutions in One Week (02/24)
In less than seven days, Dover, Masco, Cinergy, AEP, and Bank of Montreal all abided by the requests of investors, a major achievement for shareowner action.
Study Dissects SRI Performance by Different Social and Environmental Factors (01/28)
A Pictet study correlates financial performance with specific aspects of socially responsible investment, such as corporate governance and stakeholder relations.
Community Investment Advocates Question Bank of America/FleetBoston Merger (01/23)
Bank of America is responding to critics of its proposed merger with FleetBoston.
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.
Underreporting of Material Environmental Liabilities Persists (12/23)
Despite clear documentation of the problem, multiple solutions proposed, and petitioning to enhance enforcement, corporate underreporting of material environmental liabilities continues.
Top Five Social Investing News Stories of 2003 (12/19)
The major social investing news stories of the year include SEC reforms, stock exchanges mandating social, environmental, and corporate governance practices, and climate risk assessment defined as a fiduciary duty.
2003 Proxy Season Roundup: Shareowner Action Success Measured On and Off the Record (12/17)
While the 2003 proxy season produced some impressive numbers, shareowner advocates also define success in ways that are not easily quantifiable (Part one of a two-part article.)
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.
Resolutions Ask TIAA-CREF to Practice the Good Corporate Governance It Preaches (10/14)
TIAA-CREF faces several resolutions asking it to reconcile its strong corporate governance advocacy with what filers describe as its own weak governance policies.
SEC Opens Proxy to Shareowner-Nominated Directors, Critics Bemoan Triggers, Thresholds (10/09)
New SEC rules will allow shareowners to use companies' proxies to nominate director candidates, but corporate governance advocates point out potential pitfalls.
Walden Asks Companies to Allow Shareowners to Ratify Auditors (10/03)
Walden Asset Management wrote letters to 45 companies asking them to allow shareowners to ratify the board's choice of auditor, a procedure that is routine.
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.
Identifying the Effects of Interlocking Directorships on Board Independence (09/26)
A new report from The Corporate Library uncovers ways interlocking directorships impede board independence, though shareowner activists could leverage this interlock to push corporate governance reform.
AFL-CIO Advocates Active Ownership as a Way to Enhance Shareowner Value (09/16)
The AFL-CIO coordinates resolution filing, assesses managers' proxy voting records, and identifies worker-friendly investments for union pension funds.
Influential Institutional Investors to Form National Coalition for Corporate Reform (09/10)
The National Coalition for Corporate Reform, championed by state treasurers and pension funds, seeks to restore investor confidence through better corporate governance.
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.
Report Connects the Dots Between Corporate Governance and Climate Change Risk (07/10)
A report reveals the degree to which 20 major global companies use corporate governance to address climate change risks and opportunities.
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.
Summer Reading List, SRI-Style (07/02)
Prominent figures in the socially responsible investing community recommend SRI- and CSR-related books, and as well as some great titles from outside the field.
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.
Apria Democratizes Director Elections (06/24)
Apria Healthcare Group set a precedent as the first company to allow shareowners to nominate candidates for board of director elections.
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.
Shareowner Advocates Tell SEC How Best to Democratize Board Election Process (06/11)
The question is not whether shareowners should have access to the proxy to nominate directors, but what percentage of stock ownership qualifies shareowners to make nominations.
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.
Increasing Shareowner Action Fuels Record Proxy Season (05/20)
Shareowners are increasingly recognizing and practicing their right to influence corporate practices and policies by filing and voting on shareowner resolutions.
Report Asks When ExxonMobil Will Wake Up to Climate-Related Risks (05/15)
For the second year in a row, a report tells ExxonMobil shareowners to beware of the significant risks the company faces in terms of how the oil giant addresses climate change.
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.
PepsiCo Shareowners Will Address the Business Risks of Water Scarcity (04/02)
The SEC is requiring PepsiCo's to allow its shareowners to vote on a resolution regarding the business risks of water scarcity.
The Key to Director Independence: Equal Access to Corporate Board Elections (04/01)
A growing number of investors are demanding that shareowners be given the right to nominate candidates for board of director elections.
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.
ExxonMobil Receives 23 Shareowner Resolutions on Issues Ranging from Climate Change to Corporate Governance (02/26)
Concerted shareowner action this proxy season targets ExxonMobil over such issues as its refusal to address climate change and its coupling of CEO and Chairman of the Board.
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.
Global Warming Shareowner Resolution Filed at "Filthy Five" Electric Companies (01/17)
A coalition of institutional investors has filed a shareowner resolution calling on five electric power producers to report on the business risk of their greenhouse gas emissions.
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.
Social Investment Forum Outlines "Next Wave" of Corporate Governance Reforms (12/20)
Additional reforms besides those already on the table will be necessary to create meaningful corporate governance reforms, according to the U.S. Social Investment Forum.
Social Investors Spur Social and Environmental Upgrades at Intel (12/17)
Over the past five years, Intel Corporation's program of engagement with the social investment community has helped the company boost its competitive advantage.
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.
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.
SEC Chair Proposes Eliminating Ordinary Business Exception in Proxy Rules (09/25)
SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt proposed abolishing a rule that allows companies to exclude shareowner resolutions from their proxy statements because the resolution concerns the companies' day-to-day business.
SEC Proposal Would Require Mutual Fund Companies to Disclose Proxy Voting (09/20)
The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rules requiring all mutual fund companies and investment advisers to disclose proxy voting guidelines and votes.
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.
South African Community Growth Fund Celebrates Tenth Anniversary (07/17)
The Community Growth Fund invests in South African companies committed to sustainable development and triple bottom line reporting.
Connecticut Fights to Keep Stanley Works from Disappearing to Bermuda (07/09)
Officials from Connecticut contend that Stanley Works continues to mislead shareowners about the effects of reincorporating in Bermuda.
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.
New York Stock Exchange Calls for Tighter Corporate Governance Standards (06/12)
At the SEC's request, the New York Stock Exchange drafted recommendations to fortify corporate governance standards and restore investor confidence.
Two Perspectives on the Business Case for Ethical Corporate Behavior (05/17)
Robert Monks defends the business case for corporate ethics against Sir Geoffrey Chandler's recent editorial attacking the business case as amoral.
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.
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.
SEC Chair Calls Proxy Voting a Fiduciary Duty (03/29)
In a February letter, the SEC Chair acknowledged that proxy voting is a fiduciary responsibility for all fund managers
Bush Plan on Corporate Responsibility Criticized as Vague, Unenforceable (03/13)
Critics slam President Bush's ten-point plan on corporate responsibility for lacking specifics, penalties, budget support, and consideration of corporate social responsibility.
Consulting Firm Promotes Online Reporting of Triple Bottom Line (12/31)
SustainAbility, a British research and consultancy firm, recently released a report on how companies, their stakeholders and customers use the Internet to communicate about sustainable development.
Resolution Urges ExxonMobil to Strip Chair from its CEO, a Global Warming Naysayer (12/21)
Robert Monks' resolution claims that ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Lee Raymond's denial of global warming is harming the company's reputation and shareowner value.
Study Correlates Shareowner Rights with Strong Stock Price Performance (12/07)
Through the 1990s, stock in firms that preserved shareowner rights outperformed companies that bolstered management's power, according to an academic paper.
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.
Shareowners Rally to Defeat Online Annual Meeting Provision in Massachusetts (09/21)
Online annual meetings viewed as reducing shareowners' and the public's ability to hold companies responsible for their actions.
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.
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.
Major UK Fund Manager to Require Environmental Reporting (04/19)
Institutional investors are increasingly seeing the need for environmental disclosure.
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.
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.
Friends Ivory & Sime Engages Companies on Human Rights (04/12)
The London-based social investment firm launches a unique human rights initiative through dialogue with company management.
Disney Shareholders Get Animated About Employee Ownership (02/22)
Despite the omission of their resolution urging Disney to make all employees shareholders, activists rise to the occasion to highlight economic inequality.
SEC Commissioner Speaks Out on Mutual Fund Proxy Voting (01/28)
Commissioner Paul Carey brings the shareholder voting priorities of mutual fund investment advisers to light.
Will Dot-com Businesses Rewrite the Rules of Corporate Governance? (01/25)
A conference hosted by IRRC draws attention to how high-tech businesses will shape, and be shaped by, the corporate governance movement.