Corn Field

Tri-State CRI
40 South Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, NJ
(973) 509-8800
Fax: (973) 509-8808

Save the Date: 40th Anniversary Special Event

Join Us May 18th for the Tri-State Coalition's 40th Anniversary Special Event!

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Tri-CRI Commends Walmart for Raising Wages

Tri-State CRI joins colleagues at ICCR in recognizing Walmart's progress on workers' wages:

NEW YORK, NY – Thursday, February 19, 2015 – Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and shareholders of Walmart were heartened by Walmart’s announcement today of measures it is taking to improve both wages and opportunities for advancement for its 1.3 million U.S. employees.

ICCR members who have long engaged the company on employee wage and benefit issues are hopeful that, as the world’s largest employer, Walmart’s announcement will send a strong signal of the importance of raising wages for U.S. workers. The shareholder coalition has engaged companies in a range of sectors, including agriculture, apparel, consumer goods, restaurant, and technology on similar issues throughout their global supply chains.

According to the package of changes the company announced today, Walmart has committed to increasing its base pay rate to $9/hr. in all markets and to raising its current associates’ wages to $10 an hour or higher by early next year. For reference, the current federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr. In addition the company is reforming how schedules are developed for its Associates and investing in capacity-building programs that will provide internal advancement opportunities.

Tri-CRI and Fellow Investors File with ExxonMobil and Chevron on Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals

As part of ongoing corporate engagement on climate change, the Tri-State Coalition led 47 investors, including state pension funds, faith-based investors, healthcare systems, foundations, and socially responsible asset managers, including 9 investor members of the Coalition, in filing a shareholder resolution with ExxonMobil urging the company to adopt greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals for its operations and products.  The resolution comes on the heels of the IPCC’s most recent report, which warns of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” from climate change, as well as policy momentum from the historic joint announcement by China and the US on climate change.  The 400,00-strong People's Climate March and Climate Week have added further momentum from social movements, everyday citizens, and investors, including a Global Investor Statement on Climate Change, signed by investors representing more than US $24 trillion in assets, including many Tri-State Coalition members.  The lead filer on the ExxonMobil resolution, Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ, the Tri-State Coalition and other investors believe Exxon’s lack of greenhouse gas reduction goals has contributed to the company’s poor climate performance, including a 3.7% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from upstream activities between 2011 and 2013, even as production fell by 6.1%.

Seeing inadequate reductions in emissions resulting from Chevron’s annual GHG target, investors identified an opportunity for Chevron to adopt more ambitious, science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets.  Therefore, the Tri-State Coalition filed a new resolution with the company on the issue.  While Chevron was an early leader in the Oil and Gas Sector, establishing year-over-year greenhouse gas reduction goals, these goals have been disappointing. Indeed, Chevron’s 2014 greenhouse gas goal is 1.75% higher than 2013’s goal.  Investors are asking Chevron to once again demonstrate climate leadership and adopt ambitious goals in line with the internationally agreed upon 2 Degree limit for global warming.  This request is part of a broader initiative within the investor and business community pushing for Science Based Targets for corporations.  The initiative, led by CDP, the UN Global Compact, WRI, and WWF, provides guidance for companies on how to set and achieve GHG reduction goals in line with the 2 Degree target.

Investors have been engaged in ongoing dialogue with both companies and are hopeful that bringing the issue before the Board and all shareholders at the Annual Meeting will encourage more meaningful progress at this critical time for climate issues.

Investors Engage Major Food Companies on Water Contamination and Antibiotics

Concerned investors have been addressing the impacts of water pollution from company operations and antibiotic resistance in our engagements with companies for many years. Companies are responsible for significant amounts of water pollution and contamination of public drinking water, an occurrence that will only be heightened by climate change and extreme weather events.  This was brought to the fore with this summer's water crisis in Toledo, Ohio, where 500,000 residents lost access to clean tap water because of toxic contamination caused by an algal bloom, likely associated with fertilizer runoff from local agriculture and farms.  

Members of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment have been working with Tyson, the largest meat producer in the country, for many years because of their troubling history of water contamination. Most recently, they are under investigation by the EPA after a chemical leak from a processing plant led to a major fish kill in Missouri.  After years of dialogue and engagement, investors felt that there had not been a sufficiently meaningful response, and therefore we filed a shareholder proposal asking Tyson to adopt and implement a water stewardship policy that outlines leading practices to improve water quality for all company owned facilities that would also apply to their 5,500 contract farmers. Specifically, the proposal addresses risks of water pollution from nutrient management used for feed production, from animal waste and byproducts at Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), and water discharge from the company's own processing facilities. We are in dialogue with the company and are exploring different avenues to address our concerns about water contamination stemming from animal production.  

A related issue stems from the use - and arguably over-use of antibiotics for non-therapeutic purposes.  The role of antibiotics in the agricultural sector has contributed to significant resistance among humans to commonly used antibiotics.

New Resource: Hotel Outreach Toolkit: Preventing Human Trafficking at Major Sporting Events

We are pleased to share a Toolkit of resources that can be used to raise awareness of the risks of human trafficking around major sporting events.  The documents, templates, and resources here will enable investors and community groups to engage with the hospitality sector to:

1) To raise awareness of human trafficking within the hospitality sector, both around major sporting events and at all times.

2) Encourage long-term prevention and reporting among hotel staff to help identify victims and traffickers; promote long-term human trafficking prevention protocol within the hospitality industry. 

3) To raise general level of education and awareness throughout the community to (1) enable people to recognize signs of trafficking (2) contact appropriate agencies and (3) encourage use of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline – 888-3737-888.

We encourage you to use this toolkit in your outreach and share it throughout your networks.


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