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Human Rights / Discrimination policies


Investors Target Chevron for Doing Business in Burma (12/16)
A shareowner resolution co-filed by Azzad Asset Management requests that Chevron cease doing business with the government of Burma until state-sanctioned violence against the Rohingya minority is ended.

Major Pension Funds Still Funding Deforestation (07/29)
Friends of the Earth and As You Sow create a free online database to help educate individual investors about which retirement funds continue to invest in companies engaged in deforestation for palm oil production.

$5 Trillion Investor Coalition Supports Human Rights Benchmark (06/24)
The coalition, coordinated by Boston Common Asset Management, hopes that the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark will help improve corporate human rights disclosures and aid investors in their engagement with companies.

Second Benchmark of Corporate Human Rights Performance Launches (04/30)
KnowTheChain, founded in 2013 to address California's Supply Chain Transparency Act, will initially benchmark the human rights performance of 20 companies in the information and communications technology industry sector.

Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Launched (03/31)
Members of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark complete methodology based in part on UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and plan to publish the first benchmark of corporate human rights performance in November.

Companies Profiting from Mass Incarceration Mapped for Investors (11/25)
The American Friends Service Committee publishes research on for-profit prison companies and recommends that investors divest their holdings in five.

Investors Support Human Trafficking Legislation (09/25)
More than 100 institutional investors call for passage in Congress of The Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015.

The Investment Implications of Mass Incarceration (09/21)
In a three-part series and subsequent conference call, Sonia Kowal of Zevin Asset Management outlines for foundations and other investors the importance of aligning their strategies with their social missions.

Holy Land Principles Calls for Fair Employment in Palestine (09/09)
Modeled on the MacBride Principles of Northern Ireland, the eight Holy Land Principles call on US companies doing business in Israel and Palestine to practice fair employment.

EIRIS Compiles Database of Companies Doing Business in Crimea and Palestine (07/27)
The EIRIS Foundation releases an online database of companies in Crimea and Palestine, providing for investors and other stakeholders objective and independent research about corporate activity in occupied territories.

Investors Tell Corporations to Meet Burma Reporting Requirements (07/01)
Sustainable investment firms representing more than $40 billion in assets under management write to three corporations doing business in Burma, urging them to comply with the Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements.

Verite to Assess Trafficking Risks in Sub-Saharan Africa (06/01)
With economies improving and ample natural resources, the region is at heightened risk for human trafficking violations.

Corporations Improving on LGBT Rights (03/20)
Evolution in social acceptance of diversity, as well as years of shareowner engagement by Walden Asset Management, leads to many companies adopting sexual orientation and gender identity policies.

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.

Widespread Forced Labor in Malaysian Electronics Industry (09/19)
A study by Verite finds that nearly one-third of foreign migrant workers in the Malaysian electronics industry work under conditions of forced labor.

Thai Company Sues Activist for Revealing Human Rights Abuses (09/03)
Instead of addressing human rights violations in its workplace, Natural Fruit sues British activist Andy Hall for defamation, a charge that could land him in jail for eight years.

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.

Human Rights Groups Commend State Department for Action on Thailand (06/23)
The 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report downgrades the status of Thailand due to widespread human trafficking and official corruption in the country's lucrative seafood industry.

Investors Tell FedEx to Distance Itself from Racist NFL Team Name (06/21)
FedEx has naming rights to Washington DC stadium that is home to the Washington Redskins, the professional football team under increasing pressure to change its racist name.

Pope Francis Calls for Sustainable Investment to Help the Poor (06/20)
At a symposium on impact investing held this week at the Vatican, the Pope calls on the capital markets to serve the good of humanity.

US House Passes Human Trafficking Bills (05/22)
Strong bipartisan support for a package of bills that encourage states to provide social services to victims of forced prostitution and impose additional penalties for those engaged in human trafficking.

EIRIS Launches Investment Watch for Burma (05/21)
After President Obama issues an Executive Order continuing the national emergency in Burma, the EIRIS Conflict Risk Network establishes an Investment Watch for Burma to help investors determine the reporting transparency of companies doing business there.

Kidnapping of Nigerian Girls Reminder of Persistence of Slavery (05/14)
Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility call the kidnapping a tragic reminder of the prevalence of human trafficking.

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.

At-Risk Industries Urged to Address Human Trafficking in Supply Chains (12/11)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility announces that members will engage with companies in the food-agricultural and hospitality sectors to ensure that human rights in supply chains are being met.

Nelson Mandela (12/09)
Not only was the late South African leader an icon for international justice and peace; his struggles against apartheid have had a lasting impact on the quest of sustainable investors for social justice in capital markets.

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.

Boston Common Asset Management Receives Business Leader in Human Rights Award (06/29)
The sustainable investment firm is honored by the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project for promoting attention to human rights issues in the corporate sector.

Loopholes in Commitments to Human Rights by US Businesses, UN finds (05/06)
While the US Government has committed to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN Working Group on business and human rights finds that US companies fall short of standards.

Investors Call for Meaningful Immigration Reform (04/23)
A coalition of investors associated with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility call for immigration reform that includes a pathway to legal status and protects the rights of immigrants in US workplaces.

Investors Highlight Human Rights in Corporate Engagement (03/05)
A new report builds upon the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to provide investors with tools for assessing the human rights performance of companies.

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.

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.

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.

Investors Report on Campaign to Address Human Trafficking at London Olympics (10/08)
A coalition of investors led by Christian Brothers Investment Services report that all but one of 33 corporations responded to its letter on the issue, and a number have taken concrete steps to address human trafficking.

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.

Lawsuit Alleging Human Rights Violations by Shell in Nigeria Reaches SCOTUS (09/06)
In an issues brief, Professor John Ruggie wonders if Shell's efforts to undermine the Alien Tort Statute will undermine its claims of corporate social responsibility.

SEC Issues Rules on Conflict Minerals and Payments to Governments (08/24)
Responses by sustainable investors and other stakeholders to payments to governments in resource-rich countries is generally positive, but concerns are voiced over provisions in the conflict minerals regulation. Second of a two-part series.

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.

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.

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.

Trillium Urges Verizon Shareowners to Support Net Neutrality (04/09)
A letter sent to shareowners by the investment management firm outlines the economic and social case for continued net neutrality at the wireless telecommunications company

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.

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.

GRI Publishes Sustainability Guidance for Event Organizers (01/26)
Site selection and community impact are among the key issues for which reporting can enhance the accountability of event organizers, the Global Reporting Initiative says.

Microsoft Says Worker Dispute at Foxconn Plant Resolved (01/12)
Suicide threats by protesting workers at Chinese manufacturing plant recalls 2010 deaths of workers at another Foxconn plant in China.

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.

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.

ICCR Launches Initiative to Improve Social Sustainability Measures (07/14)
The Social Sustainability Resource Guide argues for a focus on long-term impacts of corporate activities in communities, and emphasizes a multi-stakeholder approach in addressing social issues.

Investors Support UN Business and Human Rights Mandate (06/11)
Coalition of socially responsible investors sends a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council supporting businesses' responsibility for human rights.

Disney and McDonald's Take Steps to Protect Global Labor (05/13)
In partnership with prominent stakeholders, the two companies strive to improve working conditions in factories overseas while new data shows an uptick in companies monitoring suppliers' labor practices.

New York City Fights Workplace Discrimination (02/13)
NYC Comptroller Thompson and the NYC Pension Funds plan to push workplace protection for LGBT employees this proxy season.

Contracting Human Rights? Ruggie Teams with IFC on Study (09/26)
Empirical research conducted by John Ruggie and the International Finance Corporation examines if foreign investment contract clauses enable human rights violations.

Ruggie Report Says Voluntary Human Rights Initiatives Set Stage for Binding Global Standards (03/19)
While the report finds significant flaws with voluntary collaborations between corporations and civil society, they currently fill the gap created by nation-states failing to protect human rights.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bush Administration Proposes Axing Equal Opportunity Survey (04/06)
The survey gathers tenure-track and compensation information by gender and race that is unavailable elsewhere, prompting socially responsible investors and others to oppose the move.

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.

Bank Policies Fail to Meet International Social and Environmental Standards, Report Says (02/25)
The 39 banks assessed fall far short on global sustainability standards, and fail to disclose enough information on implementation to even be assessed by NGO coalition BankTrack.

Defining Corporate Complicity in Human Rights Abuses (02/22)
Business and Human Rights Seminar report maps the landscape of corporate complicity in human rights abuses, and addresses the dichotomy of mandatory laws versus voluntary codes.

Financial Wonks Meet Treehuggers: New Tool Places Valuation on Corporate Sustainability (02/14)
The sdEffect analytical framework takes the next step in establishing metrics to translate sustainable development into valuation.

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.

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.

CalSTRS Follows Calvert Blueprint to Capitalize on Money Manager Diversity (08/09)
Both CalSTRS and Calvert see efforts to identify emerging money managers as smart business and socially responsible as well.

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.

Catching a Rising Knife: Sophia Collier Manages the Citizens Value Fund (05/20)
Whereas former portfolio manager Shelly Meyers tried to catch falling knives, Ms. Collier shifted to a more conservative strategy that has generated much better returns.

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.

New Indexes Seek to Link Corporate Governance and Diversity to Financial Performance (12/15)
A DiversityInc index and joint FTSE-ISS indexes try to answer if diversity and corporate governance, respectively, correlate to financial outperformance.

Gap-Verite Collaboration Exemplifies Award-Winning Practice on Social Responsibility (12/02)
Verite wins a Social Capitalist Award for labor standards monitoring such as its work with the Gap, whose Social Responsibility Report earns a Social Reporting Award.

FTSE4Good Raises the Bar With New Supply Chain Labor Standards Criteria (11/30)
Launched last week, the new criteria allow companies already in FTSE4Good indexes limited time to implement policies, systems, and eventually reporting on supply chain labor standards.

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.

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.

Book Review--Raising the Bar: Creating Value with the United Nations Global Compact (07/27)
Primarily a guidebook for companies to navigate Global Compact participation, the book also reports on a study suggesting a Global Compact market premium.

How HIV/AIDS Impacts Corporations, and How Corporations Can Impact HIV/AIDS (07/14)
The World Economic Forum and the International Labor Organization report on the impact of HIV/AIDS on business, but will companies respond by addressing HIV/AIDS?

Calvert Group Launches Code for Corporations to Profit by Promoting Gender Equality (06/29)
Calvert links equality for women to sustainable development, making the ethical and business cases for implementing its corporate code of conduct for empowering women.

ExxonMobil Mocks Climate Change, Maine Treasurer Finds It No Laughing Matter (05/27)
Senior management remains resolute in its disbelief of climate change risk.

The Diversity of Diversity Best Performance Rankings (04/27)
A comparison of the DiversityInc list of the top 50 companies for diversity and a report from Diversity Best Practice and Business Women's Network that reviews 45 such lists.

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.

Philips Extends Sustainability Expectations to Suppliers, Including Child Labor Ban (03/29)
In its 2003 Sustainability Report, Philips Electronics introduced provisions requiring its 50,000 suppliers worldwide to practice social and environmental sustainability.

Occidental To Adopt Formal Human Rights Policy, Shareowners Withdraw Resolution (03/18)
Successful shareholder action results in steps towards Occidental formalizing its human rights policy.

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.

Cintas Defamation Suit Challenges Shareowner Free Speech Rights (02/10)
Cintas files a defamation lawsuit against Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management for alleging that the company uses sweatshop labor in Haiti.

‘Tis the Season to Bar Sexual Orientation Discrimination (12/26)
The New York City Employees Retirement System files a shareowner resolution asking 11 Fortune 500 companies to explicitly bar sexual orientation discrimination.

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.

Two New Real Assets Funds Attract $25 Million in Their First Two Months (12/03)
The Real Assets Social Leaders Fund and Social Impact Balanced Fund are off to a flying start, re-invigorating social investing in Canada.

UN to Hold Corporations More Responsible for Human Rights and the Environment (08/26)
A UN sub-commission adopted a resolution calling for transnational corporations to be held more accountable for human rights protection and environmental stewardship.

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).

Members of Congress Consider Social and Environmental Disclosure in SEC Filings (07/11)
A group of Senators and Representatives summoned a symposium on the need for social and environmental disclosure by companies in their SEC filings.

Nike and Others Increase Transparency into Their Global Labor Practices (06/04)
The Fair Labor Association releases a report today on the internal and independent external monitoring of apparel and footwear manufacturers' global labor practices.

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.

Corporate America Less than Halfway to Gender Parity (05/22)
A Conference Board report documents the evident and the less-apparent obstacles to achieving male-female equality in the workplace.

Will Dover Heed Shareowners' Loud Call for Sexual Orientation Nondiscrimination? (04/29)
Almost half of Dover shareowners want the company to explicitly add sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy, but the company has yet to commit to such a decision.

Ford and Fannie Mae Top List of 50 Best Companies for Diversity (04/24)
DiversityInc's new corporate survey strives to identify the business value of diversity.

National Wildlife Federation and Amnesty International USA Embrace SRI (02/11)
Two well-known advocacy organizations have made a commitment to lowering the wall between their program activities and their investments.

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.

Record Shareowner Vote Prompts Cracker Barrel to Bar Sexual Orientation Discrimination (12/12)
Reversing more than a decade of opposition, Cracker Barrel's parent company bars sexual orientation discrimination in it Equal Employment Opportunity policy.

SRI Gains Momentum in University and College Endowment Investments (12/04)
U.S. academic institutions are increasingly applying socially responsible investment principles, although not comprehensively.

SRI Community Reaps Success in Washington (10/09)
Recent proposals from the SRI community enacted as public policy are creating momentum toward more potential legislation and regulations that support SRI goals.

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.

Rio + 10 Series: Two UNEP Reports Chart Past, Present, and Future Course of Sustainable Development (07/13)
Assessments of the progress since the Rio Summit guide the blueprints for the Johannesburg Summit.

Calls for Shareowner Action Continue to Rise on U.S. Campuses (06/05)
Swarthmore this year became the first college to singly file a shareowner resolution since the end of the anti-apartheid movement, and campuses across the U.S. are calling for divestment from Israel.

Labor Law Database Eases Companies' Compliance Efforts (05/30)
A new database service aids corporate compliance teams in gathering information on national and local labor laws.

Labor Standards Resolutions Garner Support in 2001 Proxy Season (07/11)
Ten international labor and human rights proposals that came to vote this year received 10 percent or more support from shareowners.

Wal-Mart Booted Out of the Domini 400 (04/17)
KLD cites lack of leadership on labor controversies among reasons for removal.

Shopping for Responsibility (04/02)
Internet site is helping consumers base shopping decisions on values.

Labor Issue Database May Lighten Social Research Workload (02/22)
International Labour Organization compiles database of Internet sources of information on corporate social responsibility-related employment and labor issues.

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.

Texaco Three Years After the Fall (01/13)
Rising from the ashes of a racial discrimination scandal, the oil giant has become a model for challenging corporate racism.

Meyers Pride Value Fund Is Bullish on Open Workplaces (01/12)
Fund managers assert that companies with progressive policies toward gays and lesbians will be leaders in the 21st century.

Advocates Muster to Support Massachusetts Burma Law (12/24)
As the deadline for filing a brief of support with the Supreme Court approaches, human rights advocates urge their local and federal representatives to sign on.

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