Sea Change Media is producing a year-long series of monthly podcasts called The Arc of Change: The ICCR Story recounting how the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility helped pioneer the practice of shareholder activism since its 1971 founding. In the first episode, Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon of Sea Change Media interview ICCR Executive Director Laura Berry about how ICCR got started, the guiding principles that empassion its movement, and its place in the larger universe of the financial markets. The press release generated a lot of interest, and the story got picked up by CNBC, MSN Money, ABC, Yahoo News, and EarthTimes.
Sea Change also produced a preview podcast, giving a taste of some of the stories that will be recounted over the next year in the Arc of Change series. Check it out!
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.” Shareholder activists have long promoted transparency in corporate reporting. Now, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) acknowledges its rules governing company disclosures aren’t good enough. So FASB is proposing new rules. Today, we speak with Corporate Watchdog Radio co-founder Sanford Lewis about his shareholder activism promoting better corporate disclosure on environmental and human health risks. Lewis, who serves as general counsel for the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN), identifies several strengths — as well as some disconcerting weaknesses — in the proposed rules. IEHN has issued an action alert outlining these strengths and weaknesses to guide submissions during the public comment period ending August 8.
CWR ViewPoint: read.
Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, comments on toxics in cosmetics. Malkan points out that companies are allowed to label products ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ and still use harmful synthetics. Her award-winning book, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry (New Society, 2007), tells the inside story of the campaign’s five-year effort to hold the beauty industry accountable to women’s health.
In a 2006 Rolling Stone interview, Al Gore infamously likened the practice of extracting oil from tar sands to “junkies find[ing] veins in their toes” to inject heroin. Gore’s image simply extends to its logical conclusion George Bush’s 2006 State of the Union “addicted to oil” metaphor. Clean, renewable energy represents a healthy cure for petro-addiction. Tar sands, which increase the carbon intensity of petroleum extraction, represent an exacerbation of the climate-changing addiction–kind of like trying to cure heroin addiction by injecting arsenic. CWR co-host Bill Baue speaks with Shelley Alpern, director of social research and advocacy at Trillium Asset Management, about her shareholder activism asking oil companies such as ConocoPhillips and BP to assess and disclose the social, environmental, and financial risks of tar sands exploitation. We also hear from the Environmental Integrity Project and Environmental Defence Canada about their brand new report, Tar Sands: Feeding U.S. Refinery Expansions With Dirty Fuel.
—Shell frets over Canadian tar sands
—Postal services around the globe to begin tracking emissions
—Labor organization charges the US violates rights of workers
—James Bond to go after greenwashing villain
Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council with NRDC’s take on tar sands.