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Dupont, eBay Asked to Report on Lobbying Expenditures and Activities April 25th, 2013
ICCR shareholders, led by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, filed shareholder proposals at DuPont and eBay, asking that they report on their comprehensive lobbying activities, policies, and oversight mechanisms. The vote garnered 34% at Dupont and 24% at eBay, higher than usual figures.
In 2012, activist investors, coordinated by the Association of Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and Walden Asset Management in Boston, fostered a campaign calling for disclosure on lobbying activities and policies. Resolutions were submitted at 40 companies, 20 of which came to a vote, averaging 24% shareholder support. This 2013 shareholder proposal is the first time that a shareholder resolution on lobbying activities and policies has been filed at DuPont. The proposal at eBay was apparently irregular, but Management allowed a vote on it.
The proposals were non-binding and requested of the company that it annually report on its lobbying-related activities, policies, and oversight mechanisms. The Dupont proposal called on the company to report on:
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Oblates Press Citigroup in Shareholder Meeting on Political Contributions and Executive Compensation April 25th, 2013
The Missionary Oblates is currently leading dialogs with Citigroup on political contributions and executive compensation. A shareholder resolution filed with the company on political lobbying disclosure garnered some 25% of votes at the Citi AGM on April 24th, a strong showing. At that meeting, Mariela Vargova, Ph. D. (a Senior Sustainability Analyst with Rockefeller Financial Asset Management) presented a statement on behalf of the Financial Services Team of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility. (Read the statement here)
The political lobbying disclosure proposal reportedly inspired several comments about the bank not being very transparent in the way they spend corporate assets to lobby on public policy, with a particular focus on Citi’s participation in trade associations. The CEO was said not to have given a very satisfactory answer as to why the firm does not disclose its membership in trade associations, which dissatisfaction generated further discussion.
Shareholders, NGOs, raise questions about Newmont Mining’s social and environmental risks at company’s Annual General Meeting April 26th, 2012
Shareholders and NGOs at the Newmont Mining annual meeting in Wilmington, DE on Tuesday, April 24, questioned company senior management and the Board of Directors about the operational and reputational risks Newmont faces in Peru, and emphasized the need for the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of local communities where Newmont operates. In addition, the group strongly encouraged additional disclosure by the company on its environmental and social guidelines and practices, including Board oversight of these issues. The Missionary Oblates are involved in the dialog with Newmont, with particular concerns about the company’s operations in Peru, the Congo and Indonesia.
In 2007, in response to a shareholder proposal filed by members of The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), Newmont agreed to conduct a global review of its policies and practices related to community opposition in its mining operations. At this year’s annual shareholder meeting, the lead proponent of that proposal, Julie Tanner, Assistant Director of Socially Responsible Investing at Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS), expressed frustration over Newmont’s lack of disclosure on the implementation its Community Relations Review (CRR).
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Break the Silence – Congo Week 2011 October 19th, 2011
Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is far from over. Insecurity continues to plague parts of the eastern Congo and horrifying stories of rape and other forms of human rights abuses are still being reported. In order to raise awareness around the world of this situation in Congo, Break the Silence – Congo 2011 is being marked from October 16 to October 22, 2011. The aim of Congo advocacy is to raise awareness about the devastating situation in the Congo and mobilize support on behalf of the people of the Congo.
DRC is a major source for many minerals such as coltan, which is used in electronics like cell phones and laptops. Unfortunately, funding for armed groups in Congo comes from the sale of these minerals often to technology companies in Europe and North America.
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The statement called on companies to develop human rights policies addressing the issues of human trafficking and modern day slavery and integrate these into corporate business plans. The group clearly articulated the business case for adopting such policies.
The statement also called for companies to report publicly on these measures and to work in collaboration with other stakeholders to eradicate these egregious human rights abuses.