Event: November 20th Press Conference on Bank Scorecard
19 November 2013
Scorecard from Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility to Examine Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.
NEW YORK, NY///November 18, 2013///How do America’s top banks stack up in the eyes of concerned investors on such key shareholder issues as executive compensation and risk management? That question will be answered at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday (November 20, 2013) when the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), which represents 300 member organizations with over $100 billion in assets under management, releases a major new scorecard.
ICCR will score seven leading U.S. banks -- Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo – on the basis of a survey of the institutions. The four key themes – executive compensation, political contributions, responsible lending, and risk management – reflect the priorities of ICCR members, who have been engaging the banks on a variety of issues as shareholders for nearly four decades.
- Rev. Séamus Finn, director, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and ICCR board vice chair;
- Laurence Loubieres, director, Advisory Services, Sustainalytics;
- Sr. Barbara Aires, coordinator, Corporate Responsibility, Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, NJ; and
- David Moore, director, Investments, American Baptist Home Mission Society.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013.
1 p.m. EST.
You can join this live, phone-based news conference (with full, two-way Q&A) at 1 p.m. EST on November 20, 2013 by dialing 1 (800) 860-2442. Ask for the "investor’s bank scorecard" telenews event.
A streaming audio replay of this news event will be available as of 5 p.m. EST on November 20, 2013 athttp://www.iccr.org.
or (703) 276-3255; and Alex Frank,
or (703) 276-3264.
Currently celebrating its 43rd year, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility is the pioneer coalition of active shareholders who view the management of their investments as a catalyst for change. Its 300 member organizations with over $100 billion in assets under management have an enduring record of corporate engagement that has demonstrated influence on policies promoting justice and sustainability in the world. To learn more about ICCR’s history and current initiatives, go to www.iccr.org.
Article: Sister Pat Daly speaking at Fairfield University
13 November 2013
Patricia A. Daly, executive director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, talks about social responsibility in financial investments on Nov. 6. Tebben Gill Lopez/The Mirror
Many consumers are content in turning a blind eye to the injustices that save them cents on their dollars. While it may be challenging to understand the social responsibilities that affect the world’s most powerful corporations, one group of investors is constantly directing these corporations to increase their social responsibility: the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.
Senior economics major Arturo Jaras Watts and Fairfield University’s Proactive Investment Club organized an event on Nov. 6 to explain how to invoke social justice in corporations through financial investment. The lecture was open to all but was mostly attended by economic and business majors.
As executive director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment – the largest regional member of the ICCR, featured speaker Patricia A. Daly knows the consequences that can come from certain companies’ financial choices.
She believes investors must know who they are investing in.
“If you’re not engaged, then you might as well sell the stock if it’s really a problem … If it’s making money, then that’s blood on your hands,” she said.
The primary focus of ICCR would be to “align their mission with the mission of their investments,” said Daly. “They’re able to ask companies to be consistent with some basic ethical and moral behavior that most companies would agree would be reasonable.”
By advocating access to health care, environmental justice, climate change issues and natural resource sustainability, ICCR is able to address the many different types of social injustice corporations are normally guilty of, according to Daly.
ICCR was founded in 1971 when the Episcopal Church filed a shareholder resolution asking General Motors to leave South Africa in protest of the Apartheid. Today, the ICCR manages nearly 300 faith-based institutional investors that combine for an estimated $100 billion in investment portfolios.
“On the heels of that faith community … organizations came together to work together in an interfaith setting … knowing that if we pooled our investment power, we’d be able to leverage the power we had before companies,” said Daly.
She said: “We started working together on human rights issues, on ecological issues, all kinds of labor issues … we were introducing the issue to companies at the time.”
After working with companies for over 40 years, Daly said ICCR has “established relationships – really good and respectful dialogues with companies – really continuing to work out all of the details and the metrics of what needs to be in place for a company to truly be sustainable.”
Coverage of Tri-State CRI's Anti-Trafficking Work in the Star Ledger
05 November 2013
By Mark Di Ionno/Star-Ledger Columnist
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on October 01, 2013 at 7:00 AM, updated October 01, 2013 at 11:58 AM
There’s a pre-Super Bowl battle going on, that’s more life-and-death than any football game.
This one pits nuns against pimps. And as any Catholic school kid can testify, the smart money should be on the nuns.
Beginning this week, a group of 200 volunteers, including 30 nuns, will be cold-calling or visiting 300 New Jersey hotels to talk about the Super Bowl’s dirty little secret: prostitution.
Make that dirty big secret, because everybody knows hookers follow the game. But most dismiss it with a smirk. They see only a victimless crime, a business arrangement between consenting adults, where the women are willing opportunists and the men just out for a good time.
The nuns don’t see it that way. They see victims. They see powerless women — and girls — exploited because of their poverty. They see human degradation of the worst kind.
"These girls are modern day slaves," Sr. Patricia Daly, a Dominican nun told the audience of volunteers, mostly from faith-based groups, last week at the Jewish Federation of Metrowest in Whippany. "Their stories are absolutely heartbreaking."
Daly is leading the "Hotel Outreach" program for the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
Melanie Roth Gorelick, the coordinator of the coalition, says it has turned its "attention to the Super Bowl" since last April, just before Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation aimed at human trafficking. In the outreach program, the volunteers will invite hotel managers to a Nov. 6 training session at Rutgers-Newark, to help them identify traffickers. If they don’t respond, they’ll invite them again. And again.
Sister Pat Daly with Catholics for Responsible Investment leads the effort for nuns and other volunteers to visit local hotels prior to the Super Bowl to fight human trafficking as law enforcement expects an influx of prostitution.John Munson/The Star-Ledger
"We want to make them understand that looking the other way on prostitution and human trafficking is bad for business," Daly said. "There won’t be any loud protests, just gentle persuasion."
As the executive director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, a group of 40 Catholic dioceses and congregations, Daly has experience pressing corporations to look at the human rights or environmental impact of the policies, by having investors raise concerns.
The volunteers — which include Protestant, Jewish and Buddist congregants — will canvas national luxury brands in nine counties around the Meadowlands (plus Atlantic City) as well as the short stay joints along roads like Routes 1&9.
A second phase of the program will be distributing soap to the budget places, with the coalition’s hotline number on the wrapper, so a girl being forced into prostitution has a lifeline.
In her presentation last week, Daly did not make a huge differentiation between prostitution and human trafficking, because most prostitutes are vulnerable through substance abuse or family problems and coerced by men who can only be described in words not used by religious women.
"Depraved. So low. Something must be really be wrong in their minds," Sr. Mary Beth Lloyd, of the Filippini Sisters at Morristown’s Villa Walsh.
She is the international director for her order’s missions and safe houses in Albania, Brazil, Ethiopia, Eritrea (a small African country on the Red Sea), and India, and said her order rescues girls as young as six.
"It’s hard for Americans to believe, but there are people so poor in the world they sell their young daughters because their families are hungry," Lloyd said. "You have to wonder, how could a mother or father do that? It’s just an awful, awful situation."
"It's hard for Americans to believe, but there are people so poor in the world they sell their young daughters because their families are hungry."
The nuns and the coalition also have a partner in Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman, whose office has "ramped up" human trafficking enforcement, by adding four deputy AG’s to the existing task force. A recent bust of a Lakewood house where girls were kept as sex slaves was just one of the investigations brought to fruition and Hoffman said more are in the works.
The AG, too, is in the training business, and has over 100 law enforcement people also bringing their form of gentle persuasion to the hospitality industry.
"This is the kind of crime where we need the entire community to bring it to the attention of law enforcement," Hoffman said. "But this doesn’t end with the Super Bowl. The game just gives us a chance to let people know we are very serious about this."
Investor Statement on Bangladesh
20 May 2013
"In light of a series of recent calamities in Bangladesh apparel manufacturing plants resulting in an overwhelming loss of life, we, the undersigned investors and stakeholders including 200 organizations representing over 1.5 trillion in assets under management, are calling on industry leaders to implement systemic reforms that will ensure worker safety and welfare, and to adopt zero tolerance policies on global supply chain abuses.
The November fire in the Tazreen garment factory, the collapse in April of the Rana Plaza, and a second deadly fire on May 8th in a sweater factory in Dhaka have resulted in the death of over 1,500 garment workers and at least another 1,000 seriously injured. While these individual incidents have different root causes, collectively, they are a grave indictment of the human rights record of Bangladesh, and an illustration of the failure of the global companies that manufacture and source their products there to ensure humane working conditions.
We call on brands and retailers to collectively pledge to implement the internationally recognized core labor standards of the International Labor Organization. Further, we expect companies to acknowledge their human rights responsibilities as delineated in the “protect, respect and remedy” framework of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These principles affirm the duty of governments to protect the human rights of their citizenry and the responsibility of companies to respect human rights regardless of where they do business, and further, to provide remedy in the case of human rights abuse.
Acting alone, companies can and do bring about meaningful and positive changes in human rights in the countries where they source and manufacture, and we encourage companies to be part of the solution to ensure better working conditions in Bangladesh. But when faced with intransigence of the type we have historically seen in Bangladesh on worker safety issues, we are convinced that systemic change will only occur when companies take action together. They must use the full force of their commercial power to press for reforms. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Export Association has a special responsibility to bring its members into compliance with basic safety measures.
As an immediate response to the crisis in Bangladesh we appeal to companies to:
- Join the multi-stakeholder initiative--the Accord on Fire and Building Safety--that includes the International Labor Organization, non-governmental organizations, trade unions and companies, to implement plans with measurable goals to address all aspects of fire and building safety in a timely manner.
- Commit to strengthening local trade unions and to ensuring a living wage for all workers.
- Publicly disclose all their suppliers including those from Bangladesh, the programs they have in place to ensure the safety and health of all their workers and their performance against these goals including any corrective action.
- Ensure that appropriate grievance mechanisms and effective remedies for affected workers and families, including compensation, are in place.
The horrific loss of life in Bangladesh serves to once again highlight the difficulties in building accountability into global supply chains. As investors, we also bear responsibility to enhance the power of the private sector to effect positive change by engaging companies to ensure that human rights remain at the core of their business models.
We will engage the relevant companies we hold, asking for meaningful and transparent implementation of safeguards to prevent future Rana Plazas from occurring."
To read more, visit ICCR.
Pepsi Responds to Shareholder Concerns on GMOs
19 March 2013
For years, the members of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, along with our colleagues at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility have been sounding the alarm regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food supply. Increased pesticide and energy use, as well as weed resistance, are among our concerns. In addition to these environmental factors, social injustices such as a disregard for honoring human rights in seed saving communities and a lack of a robust system of monitoring long-term health effect also worry TriCRI members. Furthermore, many citizens feel that GMO-foods should be labeled. According to a 2010 poll conducted by Reuters Thompson, that belief is held by more than 90 percent of Americans.
This year, TriCRI and ICCR members filed resolutions at Abbott, ConAgra, Kraft, Pepsi asking for labeling of any product produced through genetic modification. In addition Dow, Dupont, and Monsanto received resolutions asking for a disclosure of risk in regards to GMOs. Investors have also sent letters to companies that funded opposition of Proposition 37 in California. These letters encouraged corporations to explain that if they do not support the efforts of Prop 37, what actions for consumer's right to know do they encourage.
In March, PepsiCo responded publicly to investors regarding this shareholder resolution:
"We have appreciated the dialogue ICCR has conducted directly with representatives of PepsiCo’s food safety department to share insights and challenges to the current system." The company also stated that "... it should be noted that PepsiCo does offer certain products which do not utilize GM ingredients to provide consumers with choices, which is the hallmark of PepsiCo’s overall portfolio".
TriCRI and ICCR members look forward to robust conversations with PepsiCo regarding risk, human rights, and protecting our food supply. While we recognize the challenges for corporations, safety of the world's people, planet and food systems are our primary concern.
To keep up-to-date on all of our work regarding genetically modified food, follow us on Facebook.
For the full letter, visit ICCR's website.