News Archives » corporate social responsibility
Transparency and Reputation: There Is No Place to Hide April 8th, 2014
Reputation, brand and image are very important priorities for corporations, organizations and institutions. These characteristics and the products and services that they provide are closely related. Because we are now able, in most instances, to put a quantitative value on reputation, brand and image, they are considered as important to overall worth as the products and services that a corporation offers.
Welcome to the age of globalization, the worldwide web, social media and the 24/7 news cycle.
Wells Fargo, a major US bank targeted by faith-based investors for their harmful pay day lending practices, announced today that they would discontinue their Direct Deposit Advance service. This is a huge victory on behalf of those who have fallen prey to this predatory lending.
In a Shareholder Resolution with Wells Fargo, which the Oblates co-filed in 2012 and 2013, and in dialogs with company officials, ICCR members raised serious concerns about these loans, their impact on people, and the risks to the bank by engaging in such practices.
ICCR issued a press release on the bank’s decision:
After a long-term engagement with Wells Fargo to promote more responsible lending products, today members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) wish to commend management for making the right decision in ending its Direct Deposit Advance program. The company issued a statementtoday announcing that it would discontinue the product effective February 1st.
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Financial Transparency Coalition Meets in Africa on Problem of Illicit Financial Flows September 30th, 2013
The new Financial Transparency Coalition is meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on October 1-2. The theme for the conference, is “Towards Transparency: Making the Global Financial System Work for Development.” Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI, US JPIC Office Director, is officially representing ICCR (Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility) at the conference.
Nearly a trillion dollars a year has been secreted out of developing countries, robbing them of revenue needed desperately for development. The coalition was formed to do something about this problem that is central to the development of poor countries. According to the Coalition, half of the illicit financial flows – a staggering $500 billion – is coming from Africa. Flowing from crime, corruption, and tax evasion, these illicit transfers represent a drain on developing economies that is equivalent to eight times the size of global foreign aid.
The US JPIC Office is involved in several inter-connected organizations in Washington, DC, working for greater financial justice and transparency. These include the Tax Justice Network USA, (where Fr. Finn serves on the Board), and the FACT coalition (Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Campaign). The international Financial Transparency Coalition was launched in May of 2013, in response to the growing awareness and activism around the problem of illicit financial flows.
Vatican Hosts Mining CEO’s in a “Day of Reflection” September 11th, 2013
The CEOs of some of the world’s top mining companies went to the Vatican for a day-long meeting last Saturday to discuss better ways to operate in communities that are increasingly protesting the destructive impacts of mining. Communities are fearful – with good reason – of the impacts of mining on their water, land and air.
Saturday’s “day of reflection with the mining industry,” was organized, at the request of leaders in the mining sector, by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. It included the CEOs of Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Newmont Mining, who alone represented companies with well more than $100-billion (U.S.) in market value. The chairmen, presidents or senior executives of dozens of other companies, ranging from AngloGold Ashanti to African Rainbow Minerals, were also present. Fr. Seamus Finn OMI, from the USP JPIC team in Washington DC, was invited to be a part of the team that prepared the day of reflection and offered input during the day. Pope Francis offered a message of greeting and challenge to the group and offered his prayers and blessings on the event.
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Holy See Speaks out on the Need for Greater Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility June 17th, 2013
23rd HRC Session Report of the General Debate on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights, 31 May 2013
A recent Statement on Business and Human Rights at the UNHRC in Geneva by the Holy See Ambassadorial highlighted the importance of increased corporate social and environmental responsibility, particularly in light of the tragic factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed over 1,100 people. The Holy See emphasized the need for “a more complete and deliberate consensus about the role and responsibility of corporations in society.” Continuing, the Ambassador suggested that “While a great number of people and corporate leaders have successfully moved beyond the view that the maximization of profit is the sole reason and purpose for corporations, the support and adoption of the legal framework that can serve as a foundation for this new vision is still in its infancy. The search for a consensus that will provide the desirable balance between the role and responsibility of governments and the public sector, and at the same time the space for private corporations to make their valuable contributions to the common good, continues.”
New Year’s Resolutions and Corporate Social Responsibility January 10th, 2013
The year-end transition is again replete with the consideration of resolutions concerning possible changes in behavior, activities or other patterns of action. Little seems to be known or reported about how many of these benchmarks or objectives are fulfilled or about how contented those who made resolutions are as the New Year unfolds.