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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Vatican Radio interviews Fr. Séamus Finn on the impact of mining operations on local communities October 9th, 2015

Father-Seamus

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.

 

 

 

 


Climate Finance Pursued by Faith-Based and Socially-Responsible Investors April 14th, 2015

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:

PUTTING CAPITAL TO WORK IN THE GREEN ECONOMY

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Fossil Fuels: Divestment vs Engagement April 13th, 2015

13637493455_5821f554da_oTrying 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.”

Laura Berry

Executive Director, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility


Fr Seamus Finn, OMI Elected Chair of ICCR Governing Board September 2nd, 2014

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI and Sr. Judy Byron, OP at the ICCR meetings

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI and Sr. Judy Byron, OP
at ICCR meetings in NY

Our own Seamus Finn, OMI has been elected Chair of the Governing Board of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. This is an acknowledgement not only of his substantial experience in the field of faith constant and socially responsible investing, but also of the value of his strategic thinking in this area, for ICCR and other faith-based investing initiatives.

Learn more about ICCR here.

 

 


Engaging Corporations to Stop Human Trafficking October 17th, 2012

Human trafficking – the recruiting, transport, harboring or receiving of persons through force, coercion or fraud – targets vulnerable people who are then exploited through forced labor, bonded (debt) labor, prostitution or other sexual exploitation, or as child soldiers. It is a crime without borders; every country in the world has been touched by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims.

Thus begins an article on human trafficking describing the work of members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). “Leveraging Corporate Power in the Fight Against Human Trafficking,” explains how ICCR work on conflict minerals, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, and investor work around the London Olympics has helped to reduce the incidence of human trafficking, and to raise awareness of this heartbreaking issue.

Read the article…

Interested in more information on how corporations can address the issue? Read Corporate Strategies to Address Human trafficking, a joint publication of Christian Brothers Investment Services, ICCR and ECCR. 


Oblates Active in ICCR AGM in Boston June 10th, 2012

Simmons College, Boston, MA

The Oblates participated in the Annual General Meeting of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) that met at Simmons College in Boston from June 4-8. The corporate engagements over the last proxy season were evaluated – with successes celebrated, and plans laid for the 2012-2013 season. Areas in which the Oblates are active include: access to finance, extractives, global access to health, water, human trafficking, toxic chemicals, corporate governance and supply chain (labor) issues. John Ruggie, Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School and the UN Special Rapporteur behind the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Business was honored at a reception Wednesday evening.

The work on the financial services sector continues to be a high priority for ICCR members and has generated significant media attention. Resolutions and statements by religious investors continue to draw attention to the extensive moral and ethical responsibilities that corporate actors in this space assume. The enduring impact of the destruction of nearly 17 trillion dollars of wealth since the near financial meltdown of September 2008 is a clear justification of the need for such vigilance. This work by ICCR members has strongly supported the efforts of numerous homeowners in places like the San Fernando Valley CA and Prince William County in VA to stay in their homes and restore their communities.

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI and Sr. Judy Byron, OP at ICCR

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