See Sea Change Co-Director Bill Baue interview Sanford Lewis of the Investor Environmental Health Network about its new report in a video — 8 Loopholes: Corporations and the Investor Crisis of Confidence — co-produced by Sea Change Media and IEHN. You can also listen to a press briefing about the report, which links the history of companies hiding known asbestos risks to human health and to their financial health with the lack of disclosure on the parallel risks documented today on nanotechnology.
Jim Boyce of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst talks about the new report, Justice in the Air. It looks at EPA data showing that the toxins spewing from company smokestacks hit minorities and the poor hardest. And Leslie Lowe of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility talks about Chevron’s refusal to disclose the $27 billion liability it faces in a court case happening in the Amazonian rainforests of Ecuador. The company is accused of dumping toxic oil byproducts from years of drilling, damaging the environment and the health of residents.
Longtime shareowner activist Steve Viederman discusses the notion of community governance, where communities reclaim democratic power of self-determination from corporations and other external forces. Exemplifying community governance is the Fair Trade Towns movement, where communities commit to supporting Fair Trade commodities such as coffee and cocoa. Continue reading
Late last year, Harrington Investments President John Harrington filed shareholder resolutions at banks that received billions of taxpayer dollars under the Trouble Asset Relief Program. Congress bailed out the banks because they are essential to the stability of our economy, so the resolutions ask for board committees to oversee US Economic Security. Ironically, Citigroup and Bank of America have petitioned the SEC for permission to ignore the resolutions. Continue reading
The Social Investment Forum (SIF) submitted a letter to President Obama listing a series of policy proposals, from proxy access allowing shareholders to nominate board candidates to “say on pay” giving investors a vote on executive compensation. SIF also urges the Obama Administration to establish an Office for Innovation in Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR. This idea dates back to the early 2000s, propounded first by Susan Aaronson at the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, and supported by a Government Accountability Office report finding major lack of coordination on federal CSR initiatives. SIF CEO Lisa Woll explains the rationale behind the recommendations, and how they will promote advancement toward sustainability.
Each January for the past several years, Bill has surveyed the top Corporate Social Responsibility news stories of the past year for CSRwire.com, where he is a contributing writer. Here’s this year’s edition:
A “green” recovery from economic and environmental meltdowns; the advent of Shareholder Activism 2.0 with binding resolutions at TARP banks; CSR adopts Web 2.0 strategies for sustainability reporting; is Wal-Mart really green?; and much more…
The economic meltdown of 2008 mirrors the simultaneous environmental meltdown fueled by the climate calamity – both share common roots, and many in the Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) community believe they share a common salvation. Continue reading
Today, Sea Change Radio talks with Nick Robins of HSBC and Cary Krosinsky of Trucost about their book, Sustainable Investing. We also visit the Responsible Investing Forum, produced in association with the Social Investment Forum, where we speak with Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management about shareowner activism and hear the excerpts from the keynote of John Ruggie, the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights.
Tim Smith, an early innovators of shareowner activism in the 1970s, analyzes this year’s proxy season. Smith was head of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. ICCR practically invented the process of filing shareholder resolutions at companies they invest in raising concern around the environmental, society, and governance — now known as ESG. For years, he attended companies’ general meetings during proxy season when investors vote on shareholder resolutions.
Charlie Cray of the Center for Corporate Policy gives his take on the opportunities — and dangers — of the transition to the Obama Administration. Continue reading