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Note to Gekko: Governance is Good August 3rd, 2011
Interfaith Investor Group Urges Fed and Top Banks to Restore Public Confidence in Financial System April 20th, 2011Citing Widespread Confidence Loss in U.S. Banks, Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Advance Shareholder Proposals at Citigroup and Other Top Banks.
New York, NY
Today, a task force from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) meets with representatives from the Federal Reserve to discuss its progress implementing regulation passed as part of the Dodd-Frank Bill last July. At issue are structures created by the Operations Management Group to monitor the global trading of derivatives in an effort to limit the excessive risk-taking that nearly toppled the financial system in 2008, left millions jobless and homeless, and shook global confidence in the markets to its core.
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Investors Encourage Corporations to Report on Water Use April 16th, 2011
Thirty-three faith-based and socially responsible institutional investors with assets under management of $2.3 trillion have written to encourage companies who failed to submit a 2010 report to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Water Disclosure Project. The investors, which included the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, are encouraging the heavy water-using companies targeted by the Report to complete the questionnaire for 2011, or explain why they are not planning to participate. Company submissions can help identify areas of both strength and weakness in water management.
Many corporations are only now beginning to look seriously at their water use, realizing that a global water crisis could pose significant risks if this vital resource is not managed carefully. Climate Change is widely expected to aggravate worldwide water shortages in the coming decades. Credit Suisse estimates that, by 2020, 37 percent of the global population will face severe water stress.
Increased demand is a major problem. Since the 1940s, the global population has tripled to more than 6 billion people worldwide. Over the same period, global water use has quadrupled. Agriculture uses 70-80% of the water used globally. In many areas, including parts of the US, which are drawing on underground aquifers, this rate of water use is unsustainable, in other words, it is being used at a faster rate than it is being replenished.
While the metrics for reporting on water use are in the process of being refined at an international level, the CDP Water Disclosure is an important step in this process.
The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate have been engaging a range of U.S. companies on water use and reporting issues, and are a signatory to the CDP Water Disclosure Project.
Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI – Director of the Oblate JPIC Office and Board member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility – will give the keynote address on corporate responsibility and socially responsible investing. He encourages people to integrate their beliefs — such as caring for the environment and paying workers a fair wage — into their investment and business decisions.
“You don’t have to sacrifice return on your investment or profit from your business by integrating either your beliefs or your values into that process,” Fr. Finn said.
He sees the issue moved to the front burner because of the string of problems in the Middle East.
“What it does for me is shine a spotlight on that part of the world and ask a question about whether or not the U.S. has been turning a blind eye to the plight of a lot of citizens in these countries and imported refugee labor because we need the oil,” he said.
But Fr. Finn, who has been pushing for social responsibility in business for more than two decades, said he sees reason for hope as more companies put the environment and people first with tags like organic and sweatshop-free.
“There’s a reason to be optimistic I think because the consumer — the person who’s out there buying a computer or a car or some piece of clothing — they’re asking more questions about where these things come from,” Finn said. “What I think is intriguing and encouraging is that it’s not as difficult to get answers to these questions as it was 20 years ago. You can take our your iPhone or Android and if you have a question, you can put it in there and someplace out there in this vast web of Internet connectivity you’re going to get some answers.”
Congo Week of Action: October 17- 23 October 14th, 2010
The Missionary Oblates JPIC office joins millions around the world in commemorating the Congo Week of Action.
Faith communities, civil society groups in fifty countries and about two hundred universities will mark the week-long set of actions which is designed to raise awareness about the devastating situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and mobilize support on behalf of the country’s people. It will take place from Sunday October 17 to Saturday October 23. 2010.
Democratic Republic of Congo remains one of the largest and most neglected humanitarian crises today with more than six million deaths since 1998. Millions of people have been displaced and many thousands of women and children have
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