I am delighted to announce that Kalpona Akter, a former garment worker from Bangladesh who is the executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, will have access to the floor of the WalMart ($WMT) annual meeting on Friday, June 7 in Bentonville, Arkansas. She has been an outspoken critic of sweatshop conditions in Bangladesh where Wal-Mart is the second largest producer. Ironically, she will be presenting my proposal to allow shareowners to call a “special meeting.” Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | ESG
Colleges and universities, philanthropic foundations, and other endowed institutional investors could see better financial returns and lower their portfolio risk by divesting from fossil fuels, according to a new report released this morning by Tellus Institute, Responsible Endowments Coalition, Sustainable Endowments Institute, and 350.org. Continue Reading →
As always, you can keep up to date on vacancies at the PRI by visiting their website.
• Director of Policy and Research – position summary
Let’s just label these notes as “for entertainment purposes only.” Attending the conference was a real pleasure. Unfortunately, I was too busy catching up with people to take more than impressionistic notes at a few of the discussions. Prepare to be frightened about global climate change and our irresponsibly slow pace addressing the catastrophic consequences we are already beginning to see all around us. Save April 30 and May 1 for Ceres Conference 2014 in Boston. Continue Reading →
When it comes to fast-food marketing to children, McDonald’s ($MCD) is one of the worst offenders. For decades, the fast food giant has profited richly at a staggering cost to our children’s health.
Corporate Accountability International‘s latest initiative is rallying moms across the country to call on McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson to stop the corporation’s predatory marketing to kids. Join the action! Post this image today on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram…wherever you hang out online. Don’t forget the hashtag #MomsNotLovinIt. Continue Reading →
The following guest post is from Martin Hart-Landsberg, PhD who blogs at Reports from the Economic Front. I’m republishing his post (I added the subtitle to his Beyond Growth) because I believe those concerned with corporate governance need to look at corporations in context. Are corporations helping society or adding to its burdens?
Cross-posted at Reports from the Economic Front.
While newspapers give a lot of ink to arguments about whether reducing the budget deficit will boost or reduce growth, they seem to have little interest in the related issue of whether economic growth really benefits the great majority. Continue Reading →
A three-year engagement by PRI signatories has resulted in improved transparency and disclosure of anti-corruption strategies, policies and management systems by several global companies with significant exposure to corruption risk. Continue Reading →
New investment advisory firm, Sustainvest Asset Management LLC focused on sustainable and responsible investing (SRI), has started operations. The firm focuses on investment management for individuals, foundations and non-profit organizations who are searching for an investment advisor who uses the 3 pillars of SRI: Continue Reading →
The Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition recently announced it had invested contributions from 450 donors in a socially responsible fund withheld from Harvard University. The Fair Harvard Fund, designed as an alternative endowment fund, will be invested in the Portfolio 21 Global Equity Fund.
According to Harvard undergraduate and investment committee member Michael Danto: Continue Reading →
G&A Institute inaugurated its Awards & Recognitions program to assist client companies in navigating the increasing number of leadership awards and recognitions now available for corporate sustainability and responsibility leaders. Continue Reading →
Guest Post from Stephen Viederman, Fellow, Governance & Accountability Institute, reposted here with the permission of Viederman and Accountability-Central.com. James McRitchie, Publisher of Corporate Governance reformatted the original to bring the footnotes up, hide urls and generated those wonderful ads.
The Spring madness of annual corporate meetings (referred to as AGMs) is upon us. Continue Reading →
The subtitle of the book edited by James Meadowcroft, Oluf Langhelle and Audun Ruud is Governance, Moving Beyond the Impasse. Progress on important issues such as climate change, biodiversity, sustainable management of lands and oceans is blocked. The book’s essays, by some of the world’s leading thinkers, explore how we got here and how we might move beyond the current impasse. Although there is some discussion of accumulation, commodification, profit motive, greed, and corporate governance, more focus on those areas is needed to make more substantial progress. Continue Reading →
Climate Change Portfolio Exposure
Boston Common Asset Management has a proposal that will appear on the proxy of PNC Financial Services ($PNC) requesting that it report to shareowners on the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from its lending portfolio and its exposure to climate change risk in its lending, investing, and financing activities. Watch for your proxy. The annual meeting will be held on April 23, 2012. According to the proposal, Continue Reading →
Key Characteristics of Prominent Shareholder-sponsored Proposals on Environmental and Social Topics, 2005-2011, released by the IRRC Institute (IRRCi) and researched by Ernst & Young LLP finds environmental and social (E+S) shareowner proposals are gaining increased support from investors at US companies. Download the report, presentation, press release and even replay the webinar from IRRCi’s website. Continue Reading →
The following guest post comes from Usman Hayat, was published by the CFA Institute on 13 February 2013, and is republished here with permission.
Why, how, and to what effect do faith-based investors engage with companies to seek positive social and environmental change? A recent report, “Believers in the Boardroom: Religious Organizations and Their Shareholder Engagement Practices” by International Interfaith Investment Group (3iG), addresses this question.
The report offers case studies from three faith-based investors — Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Church of England, and Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust — who lobbied financial giants such as Goldman Sachs (GS) and Bank of America (BAC), to varying degrees of success. Continue Reading →
Harvard Management Company, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Harvard University that manages Harvard’s endowment, will establish a new senior level position devoted to overseeing the environmental, social, and corporate governance-related aspects of the university’s investments. Continue Reading →
The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute will host a webinar on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 1 PM ET to review the findings of a new study that finds environmental and social (E+S) shareholder proposals are gaining increased voting support from investors at U.S. public companies. From 2005-2011, average support for these proposals more than doubled, from about 10 to more than 20 percent. Continue Reading →
As students around the country are asking their university endowments to do the climate math and divest from fossil fuel companies, the financial community is responding with its own math, the “investment math,” to determine the risk impact of carbon divestment. Aperio Group LLC, a financial advisory firm that manages customized portfolios for a range of values-based investors, released its latest analysis of the risks of divesting from carbon: Do The Investment Math: Building a Carbon Free Portfolio. Continue Reading →
Elroy Dimson, Oguzhan Karakas, and Xi Li analyze an extensive proprietary database of corporate social responsibility engagements with US public companies over 1999–2009. Engagements address environmental, social, and governance concerns. They are followed by a one-year abnormal return that averages 1.8%, comprising 4.4% for successful and zero for unsuccessful engagements. Continue Reading →
CalPERS launched the Sustainable Investment Research Initiative (SIRI), in an effort to drive innovative thought leadership that will inform and advance the organization’s understanding of sustainability factors and the impact they have on financial performance. Continue Reading →
Chevron’s subpoena of e-mails in this case goes well beyond the individual players and is a threat to the communication rights of all shareowners. Action: Please take 60 seconds right now to send a message similar to the following to Chevron:
I write to protest Chevron’s subpoena seeking emails and communications from Trillium Asset Management and Simon Billenness to hundreds of organizations, investors and individuals active in challenging Chevron on its oil pollution crisis in Ecuador.
Your action is without precedent. Never before have shareowners faced such a legal challenge for merely communicating with each other. This is a brazen attack on shareholder rights. I urge you to reconsider your position and withdraw your subpoena.
I share the following from the Needmor Fund and Zevin Asset Management on behalf of everyone who is concerned with the rights of shareowners and the rights of people: Continue Reading →
(Reuters, 18 December 2012) The number of S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies managing and reporting performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues more than doubled from 2010 to 2011, according to an analysis by Governance & Accountability Institute.
G&A Institute, the data partner for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in the US, UK and Ireland, says in last year’s report, 19 percent of the S&P 500 reported. In the 2012 report, the number jumped to 53 percent. Continue Reading →
FT reports that a survey by Aviva Investors found that ninety per cent of equity and fixed-income fund managers polled, with about £4tn of combined assets under management, recognized the importance of ESG to end owners and consultants although a smaller percentage, 79 per cent, said they were likely to Continue Reading →
A Conversation With Marjorie Kelly & Chuck Collins. 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at the Unitarian Universalist Association, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA. To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Facebook event. Continue Reading →
Guest post from Kent Greenfield. Author, ‘The Myth of Choice’; law professor at Boston College. This article is adapted from a more substantial essay in the Fall 2012 issue of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and appeared previously on Huffington Post, 9/15/2012.
GMI and Trucost announced a strategic partnership to incorporate Trucost environmental performance data into the GMI Analyst research platform. The agreement strengthens GMI’s existing governance analysis and will enable GMI clients – leading institutional investors, banks, insurers, auditors, regulators and corporations – to incorporate a measure of environmental risk alongside traditional financial metrics. Continue Reading →
GMI Ratings has long maintained that the increasing frequency of Black Swan events in capital markets will continue to challenge traditional approaches to risk modeling and portfolio management. For at least the past two decades, doubts have been mounting about the ability of classical economic theories and portfolio management philosophies to reliably describe, explain or predict anomalous trends and events in the stock market. Value-crushing scandals, such as those at Chesapeake Energy, Carnival, Wal-Mart, Halliburton, MF Global, News Corporation and BP have become all too familiar. Continue Reading →
On February 15th, the Responsible Endowments Coalition honored Anuradha Mittal, the Executive Director of the Oakland Institute. Anuradha spoke about university investments in land grabs—the act of buying up vast tracts of land in poor countries that often result in environmental destruction and violations of human rights. Continue Reading →
The Global Unions’ Committee on Workers’ Capital (CWC) is an international labor union network for dialogue and action on the responsible investment of workers’ capital. The CWC Secretariat is hosted at the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), a leader in responsible investment services for institutional investors. In her capacity as International Program Director at SHARE, Priya Bala Miller executes strategic planning, coordination and program development for the CWC. Prior to joining SHARE, Priya worked with UN agencies and international NGOs as an advocate for corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Continue Reading →
A new report, Environmental, Social and Governance Investing by College and University Endowments in the United States, finds environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) efforts by endowments are less prevalent than often believed, particularly given their history as pioneers dating back to 1970s anti-apartheid campaigns. These findings are particularly surprising at a time when ESG factors are increasingly factored into investment the decisions of mainstream investors. Continue Reading →
Sociological Images (Boys Want Success, Girls Want Boys) noted a recent Acuvue contact lens commercial aimed at teens that reinforces both gender and racial stereotypes.
The teens look forward to their futures. For the boys, these involve future career success — notice the African American teen dreams of being a famous athlete, while the White boy’s Continue Reading →
Reflecting on my Experience on the Blyth Fund got me thinking about the 6,000 plus university-based student-run investment funds in the U.S. Many are moving away from pure stock-picking to consider sustainability and social issues. What if they also started looking at corporate governance and began Continue Reading →
Last week the Wall Street Journal printed an article describing how CEOs around the world spend their time. The article drew on data from a larger study, the Executive Time Use Project, and relied on reports of time use by CEO’s personal assistants. The article indicates that assistants only tracked activities that lasted Continue Reading →
The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute will host a webinar to review the findings of a new study, Finding Common Ground on the Metrics that Matter, on Friday, March 16, 2012 at 11:00 AM ET. The report authors will review the findings and respond to questions. Register. Download the report Continue Reading →