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PBS interviews ICCR leadership for segment on corporate responsibility January 12th, 2016
PBS recently conducted interviews with Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) leadership, including Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI (ICCR’s board chairman), Cathy Rowan and David Schilling for a piece on faith-based groups and their work around corporate responsibility. Watch the 8-minute segment here.
Vatican Radio interviews Fr. Séamus Finn on the impact of mining operations on local communities October 9th, 2015
Father Séamus Finn, OMI recently moderated a conference in the Vatican for Church representatives and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of major mining conglomerates to discuss the impact of mining operations on local communities.
After the conference Devin Watkins of Vatican Radio spoke to Fr. Séamus in a wide-ranging interview about the goals of the meeting. Listen to the interview at this website.
Two Years After Rana Plaza… May 1st, 2015
Two years after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, concerns linger. These include the timeliness of major remediation efforts, the establishment of factory health and safety committees, and corporate commitments to a victims’ fund. A coalition of global investors representing $2.5 trillion in assets – including the Missionary Oblates – have sent letters to corporate members of the Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety (Accord) and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance). The letters request that companies disclose their efforts to safeguard the lives of workers in Bangladesh garment factories.
“Invested in Change: Faith-Consistent Investing In A Climate-Challenged World” is a document produced by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), intended to catalyze discussion around practical solutions needed to speed the shift to low-carbon and sustainable energy alternatives. It is offered as an open invitation to companies, investors and advocates to share their gifts in the collective work to build more sustainable and climate-resilient economies, businesses and communities.
The Missionary Oblates, along with other ICCR members, are trying to limit climate-related risk by advancing research and dedicated investment in climate change solutions. These Climate Finance initiatives are being pursued by faith-based and socially responsible investors to propel the shift we need to a low-carbon economy.
What is lacking is a favorable policy environment that can ensure optimal risk-adjusted returns, which, investors, as fiduciaries, are required to achieve. As articulated in the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change (endorsed by 265 investors including ICCR, and representing $24 trillion in assets), private investment will only flow at the scale and pace necessary if it is supported by clear, credible and long-term policy frameworks that shift the risk-reward balance in favor of less carbon-intensive investment. For this reason, ICCR members are working with others in the investment community to press for the climate policy shifts that will unleash this flow of capital and drive clean energy investment. At the same time, members are seeking to educate the broader responsible investment community about both current and future climate finance opportunities.
Here are some examples of initiatives in which the Missionary Oblates have been active:
Click here to read more »
Fossil Fuels: Divestment vs Engagement April 13th, 2015
Trying to shift the global economy away from polluting, dangerous fossil fuels that we use very day – to clean, renewable fuel sources that can power our economy well into the future, is a complicated task. While the rate of growth of renewable energy sources is increasing rapidly, it is still far behind what we need to avoid pushing past a 2degree limit on temperature increase. The climate change movement, 350.org, has spearheaded a movement to pressure institutions, from charitable Foundations to universities, to divest from stocks of fossil fuel companies. While there are good financial arguments for doing so, based on concern about stranded assets, there is also an argument to be made for continued engagement with oil and gas companies on climate change issues. Laura Berry, Executive Director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), makes the case for engagement in a letter to the UK-based Guardian newspaper, in response to a recent article.
Here is her response:
“Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a coalition of more than 300 faith-based institutions representing more than $100bn in invested capital, have been engaging the fossil fuel industry to address climate change since before the term was coined. You could say they are gnarled veterans of shareholder engagement with an industry, like tobacco, that is “on the ropes” due to a product offering that continues to be in high demand yet is widely known to present clear public health risks. The conundrum responsible owners of these companies face is not new; it is a tension that they have faced for decades. The divest/engage debate fuelled by your article (Climate campaigners losing faith in value of engaging with fossil fuel firms, theguardian.com, 7 April), which seeks to oversimplify the issue and to divide climate activists, only underscores the complexities of the problem and the genuinely difficult tasks we all face in shifting the energy industry, and our economy, on to a more sustainable path. Is shareholder engagement difficult and slow? Most definitely. Is it enough? Of course not. But do we still believe engagement is a powerful tool for social change? We do.”
“Responsible investors are deploying all their tools – divestment, engagement and everything between – to advance green energy solutions because we believe multiple and collective, inside and outside strategies are needed for what is a herculean task. Is the cause best served by discrediting the methodologies of our allies or leveraging the complementarities? Should we focus on our tactical differences or concentrate our collective energies on our common climate change enemies: investor apathy and policy inertia? We propose the latter.”
Executive Director, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility