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Showing posts with the label SRI

40th Anniversary of the Birth of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

May 18, 2011 – Reverend Leon H. Sullivan, a Baptist minister, African American civil rights leader and economic justice leader/activist joined the Board of Directors of the General Motors Corporation (GM) on March 1, 1971, and was the first African American to hold a Directors seat on a major U.S. Corporate Board.

May 21, 1971 marks the date of the first stockholder's meeting attended by Reverend Sullivan. At that meeting, he challenged GM to leave South Africa until apartheid ended. This set the stage for the integration of U.S. Corporate Boards and for the development of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Reverend Sullivan “was best known for creating the Sullivan Principles, a set of ethical guidelines later signed by officials from more than 125 US corporations working in South Africa." The principles were one of the first benchmarks used for corporate social responsibility (CSR), and are a methodology still in use today.

His work “illustrates the most fully developed in…

Major SEC shareholder resolution policy change

According to the Responsible Investor and SEC websites, in a major policy reversal, "the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (will) allow shareholder resolutions (concerning) companies’ environmental and social risks.. Similar resolutions had previously been blocked under policies dating back to the Bush administration. The move was unveiled in new guidance by the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance under new director Meredith Cross. As a result, companies will no longer be able to automatically exclude resolutions seeking information on the risks of environmental, human rights and other social issues." Shareholder resolutions are now sure to include executive compensation, community development, diversity, gender, SRI, ESG and CSR issues.

See: http://www.sec.gov/interps/legal/cfslb14e.htm

Obama - Socially Responsible Investor

According to Slate.com:

"For a couple in their mid-40s, the Obamas' investment holdings are arguably too conservative. One of the single largest chunks of their money (between $US150,000 and $US350,000 as of year-end 2006) was invested in the Vanguard Wellington Fund, which has about 65 per cent in stocks, 33 per cent in bonds, and 2 per cent in cash. Obama reportedly sold this fund after learning it was invested in Schlumberger, a French oil-field-services company that does business in Sudan. He put that $US180,000 in proceeds into the Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund, a socially responsible fund that invests in large and midcap stocks. The Obamas had another $US100,000 to $US250,000 in Vanguard's Wellesley Fund, which allocates 60 per cent of its money in high-quality bonds. Considering the Obamas have more than 20 years to go before retirement, many financial advisers would tell them to be more aggressive and increase their stock exposure to 80 per cent of their portfoli…

The SEC backs off

On July 20, 2007, "SEC Chairman Christopher Cox issued the following statement concerning disclosures filed with the Commission concerning public company activities in countries that the U.S. Secretary of State has determined to have repeatedly supported terrorism:
Since the SEC added to our Internet site a web tool that permits investors to obtain information directly from company disclosure documents about their business interests in countries the U.S. Secretary of State has designated 'State Sponsors of Terrorism,' the site has experienced exceptional traffic. Between June 25, when the web tool was unveiled, through July 16, visitors have 'hit' material posted on the site well over 150,000 times. Iran was the country most frequently clicked on, followed by Cuba, Sudan, North Korea, and Syria. Those who went to a country list most often clicked through to the text of companies' own disclosure (in the case of Iran, they did so overwhelmingly), indicating that …

GS Sustain Focus List

On June 22, 2007, Goldman Sachs launched the GS Sustain Focus List, “companies from established industries, which have been selected by incorporating our proprietary Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework into long-run industry drivers and returns-based analysis and valuation in order to pinpoint structural improvement and sustainable competitive positioning.” The list of stocks is "aimed at long term long only performance with low turnover.." The creation of the focus list and the required methodology suggest that Goldman, like other firms, has come to see the value of incorporating a “socially responsible” framework into traditional investment analysis. While we applaud Goldman's incorporation of the ten principles of the UN Global Compact into an investment analysis framework and the firms’ tacit recognition of “socially responsible” investing, we feel the firm is ethically and ethnically challenged, and that these factors may negatively influence both t…

This Week's events and news

Social Investments Forum will be held in Vladivostok

According to the Vladivostok Times, "The goal of the Forum is to promote the idea of social investments through creation of partnerships among local/regional authorities, businesses and non-commercial organizations (NGOs) for successful Territory"s socio-economic development. The New Eurasia Foundation Russian Far East Affiliate Office, in partnership with the Primorsky Territory Administration will hold SOCIAL INVESTMENTS FORUM IN THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST on July 27, 2007 in the framework of the first Pacific Economic Congress "Russia and Asia-Pacific - from cooperation to integration."
St. John’s Endowment Investments Outperform Those of a Majority of Higher Education InstitutionAccording to St. John's University, "A recently released NACUBO study indicates that St. John’s surpassed 90 percent of 700-plus colleges and universities in average annual rate of return on investments in the three-year period end…