where checking accounts rebuild communities
Back to homepageInstitutional ReportsSRI Financial Professionals DirectoryToolsNewsSRI Performance and TrendsAbout Us   
Briefs Archive

An Announcement from Needmor Fund
The Needmor Fund is pleased to announce the appointment of Shari Berenbach, President and CEO of the Calvert Social Investment Foundation, to Needmor’s Finance Committee. Shari brings with her a comprehensive background in mission related finance and community investments. Her long tenure at Calvert Foundation has seen it grow from $5 million to $350 million in community investment assets under management.

Widely respected in the community investment world, Shari has long associations with many of Needmor’s key partners in the field. We think there is much that Needmor can learn from Shari and she has expressed the same in her expectation of joining Needmor.

The Needmor Fund, headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, funds community organizing across the nation. They have been pioneers in socially responsible investing, shareholder activism, and community development investing.

Dave Beckwith, Executive Director

Ken Rolling, Board Chair

New Sustainable Transportation ETF to be Launched on NASDAQ
Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC plans to list its PowerShares Global Progressive Transportation Portfolio on the NASDAQ Stock Market on September 18, 2008.

Worldwide economic growth has increased demand for transportation solutions, but in most cases those solutions have not been matched by sustainable improvements in infrastructure. Sustainable transportation meets the needs of society without sacrificing ecological values.

To be traded under the ticker PTRP, the portfolio is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that is based on the Wilder NASDAQ OMX Global Energy Efficient Transport Index. An index-based exchange-traded fund seeks to replicate the movements of an index of a financial market.

The Wilder Index tracks innovative and energy efficient transportation by focusing on businesses that are engaged in cleaner and improved means of transporting goods and people. It includes a global group of companies engaged in four focus areas: alternative vehicles; rail and subway systems; sea, land, air and intermodal; and transport innovation.

Google Heats Up Next Generation Geothermal Energy
More than $10 million in investments and grants will flow from into Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technology. Google is also supporting research into governmental policies on geothermal energy and next generation geothermal resource mapping. explains EGS as the technology needed to create the conditions of geothermal energy manually by passing water through fractured hot rocks and capturing the energy in steam turbines. Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source that could satisfy Google’s search for an energy that is cheaper than coal ( RE).

Fixed Income Classes Get Indexes with ESG Performance Factors
The KLD US Corporate Bond (USCB) Index series is the first US index that applies environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors to fixed income asset classes. Launched by
KLD Research & Analytics, Ryan ALM, and Mergent, the indexes are available as 1-3 years, 1-5 years and 1-10 years bond indexes.

All three indexes are offered for licensing. The bond indexes were created to help fixed income investors apply ESG factors to their portfolios. The KLD USCB indexes are equal-weighted with a 5% cap per issuer.

Investors Still Supporting Clean Energy
London-based New Energy Finance (NEF) reports record high investments by venture capital and private equity investment in the clean energy sector from April to June. $5.8 billion in venture and private equity was invested in clean energy during the second quarter, more than double the $2.6 billion invested during the first quarter of the year.

Public clean energy companies gained $5.2 billion in investments during the second quarter, a huge jump from the first quarter’s investment of $1 billion in public clean energy companies. However, the second quarter numbers were significantly lifted by the flotation of EDP Renovaveis, which raised $2.4 billion.

Charities Should Match Investments to Missions Says 83% of Public
Eighty-three percent of the general public would give less money to a charity if they knew the charity was not investing it ethically, says a newly released survey by the EIRIS Foundation. More than nine out of ten people surveyed agreed with statement “charities should be investing their money in an ethically or socially responsible way.”

However, only 55% of large UK charities have ethical investment plans, according to a 2006 study by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). People are becoming more interested in how charities are investing their funds with 41% of people saying it is very important.

Half of S&P 100 Companies Published Sustainability Reports in 2007
Over a third of the companies found on the S&P 100 are using the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) sustainability reporting guidelines finds the third annual report from the Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network (SIRAN), a working group of the Social Investment Forum (SIF).

The 2008 S&P 100 Sustainability Report Comparison demonstrates a huge leap in S&P 100 companies reporting on their sustainability labors. SIRAN reports 86% of the companies have corporate sustainability (CSR) websites, up from 58% in the middle of 2005.

Report Names Most Controversial Companies
ArcelorMittal, Citigroup, Chevron, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), ExxonMobil, Nestlé, Samsung, Shell, Total, and Wal-Mart were red-flagged by ECOFACT as the most controversial companies in the world. The companies were routinely in the news and criticized by non-governmental organizations in the first half of this year.

The Reputational Risk Index (RRI) by ECOFACT's RepRisk tool ranks companies on negative press and criticism from NGOs on labor, environmental and corruption issues. The top social and environmental issues these ten companies were criticized for during the previous six months were human rights abuses and corporate complicity and negative impact on communities and ecosystems.

The RRI is designed to help investors gauge a company’s relationship to controversial issues and the risks associated with them.

Cleantech Index Goes Global
Adding 33 new companies and dropping three, Cleantech Group has refocused the Cleantech Index (ticker: CTIUS) to reflect global growth in clean tech companies. The two ETFs, including PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio (ticker: PZD), linked to the Cleantech Index as well as structured products will reflect this change.

“The Index went global because Cleantech is a global phenomenon and therefore to reflect that we must be able to include the best clean tech companies wherever they are listed,” Rafael Coven, Managing Partner & Index Manager for Cleantech, told “Previously we were limited to only the big three US exchanges.”

Global companies now make up around half of the Index of 76 companies. CTIUS saw 2007 total returns of 42.9%. The 2008 second quarter returns were 8.2%.

UN PRI Stresses Disclosure
Firms and fund managers who have signed onto the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) could be expelled if they don’t follow through with its disclosure provisions.

Last week UN PRI chairperson Donald MacDonald said that although only a few organizations haven’t responded to the PRI’s survey of ESG practices, the UN PRI is “actively” considering excluding the signatories who aren’t satisfying its requirements. The UN PRI is also considering more comprehensive analysis of the funds that join with the Principles and a stricter certification process.

Community Reinvestment Fund’s Largest Security Offering Ever
Minneapolis-based Community Reinvestment Fund USA (CRF) reports that its largest ever issue equaling $62 million has been fully subscribed, showing investor interest in community development products. Community development funds are stepping in to fill the void left as more traditional leaders are limiting their small business lending.

CRF bundles community-based lenders into security offerings for capital markets. This is the 19th note in CRF’s series and consists of 153 loans from 37 community development lenders in 35 states.

$47 million of the $62 million offering received an AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s. The offering was placed through the securities firm Piper Jaffray & Company.

Spare Change Adds Up for Microfinance
MicroPlace has launched the “Small change. Big change.” campaign to jointly educate investors on the importance of microfinance loans to help the working poor and to provide an easy way for people to invest in microfinance. MicroPlace is an online brokerage offering investors a wide selection of microfinance opportunities that generate a financial return while addressing global poverty.

The title of the campaign comes from idea that the average American has about $100 in spare change and that a microfinance loan of as little as $100 can be enough to help a person start a new business and get out of poverty. Investors in the “Small change. Big Change” Campaign can track the impact of their investment online and read stories from people who received the loans.

More Companies in Emerging Markets Create Corporate Governance Websites
English-speaking investors and stakeholders can investigate the environmental, social, and governance policies of an increasing pool of large cap-companies headquartered in 11 Central and Eastern European (CEE) Countries finds the tenth semi-annual Survey of Reporting on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) released by the Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program.

Annual reports and websites of the ten largest listed companies in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia were examined by the PFS to find disclosure practices. The PFS also examined similar companies in the Ukraine, and in Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) to create a peer group of emerging market companies.

PFS found that, following the trend of previous PFS surveys, there is growing online disclosure of ESG information offered in English, specifically in the social policy arena. However, more information on corporate environmental policies needs to be released in CEE companies' annual reports. Overall, the companies in BRIC had more English language websites and provided more disclosures than CEE companies. As of April 15, 2008, 26% of CEE companies offered online ESG reports in English while 42.5% of BRIC companies offered ESG reports online in English.

New Social Awareness Index Started
Investors have a new tool to screen for socially responsible companies with the May 1 launch of Credit Suisse's Social Awareness Index. The list of companies was created using Innovest Strategic Value Advisors' Global Plus Screen applied to Credit Suisse HOLT database of international companies. The Innovest screen is based on the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact, which cover anti-corruption, environment, human rights, and labor standards.

Credit Suisse furthermore applied factors from its HOLT database to select companies for the index, including operational quality, cash flow valuation, and market sentiment.

Nine More Countries Added to MicroPlace
Mexico, Peru, and South Africa have been added to the countries investors can invest in at MicroPlace. MicroPlace offers online microfinance investment opportunities for investors to help the working poor in twenty countries while generating financial returns. Investments with MicroPlace have generated 20,000 loans all over the world since it started in October 2007.

Brazil, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Paraguay, and Kazakhstan have also been added to countries MicroPlace invests with. Other countries served by MicroPlace include India, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Ecuador, Georgia, Ghana, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Nicaragua, and Tanzania.

MicroPlace is a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay (ticker: EBAY).

The Toxic 100: New Report on Polluting Companies Hopes to Empower Communities and Shareholders
“Better living through chemistry” was the famed slogan of E.I. du Pont de Nemours (ticker: DD), but the company tops the list of most toxic polluting corporations operating in the US, according to a just-released report from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts. The Toxic 100 index updates a previous version released in 2005.

It’s got plenty of company: some of the most famous brands in the world also top the list. Following on Dupont’s heels are Nissan, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bayer (Bayer), and Dow Chemical (DOW).

It remains to be seen whether DuPont will still be high on the list when the next Toxic 100 Index is released. The Louisville, KY plant responsible for more than half of its Toxic 100 score (due to its large emission of the highly carcinogenic chemical chloroprene) is now closed, but its operations were moved to La Place, LA. That prompted concerns by the United Steel Workers Union the hazard was not being reduced, but merely being moved.

According to a statement to by DuPont spokesperson Lori Captain, the company had already reached a goal of reducing air carcinogen emissions by 92% in 2004 and plans to reduce them by another 50% by 2015.

However, interpreting what that really means isn’t easy. Were those reductions mostly of highly carcinogenic compounds, or less hazardous chemicals? Did the reductions occur in a facility in or near a large city where potentially many thousands could be exposed or in a sparsely populated rural area? What track could a given chemical’s plume follow when released? Would it be a Bhopal-like disaster—you’d certainly want 92% reductions, or more, in that case—or a release with low risk of actual harm?

Those are questions PERI’s Corporate Toxics Information Project researchers tackled in their new report. They took data from the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which records only the total pounds of a chemical’s release from a facility. Then they matched it to Risk Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) and prevailing wind data to come up with a weighted index showing the impact of toxic releases on the health of those exposed in surrounding communities.

Since a facility reporting an environmental release may have a different name than its parent company, the researchers also matched firms to owners. For example, Angus Chemical Company reported significant releases of the chemical 2-nitropane, known to cause cancer and suspected of a host of other serious health hazards. Dow Chemical is the parent company. “It’s important for shareholders to know who’s responsible,” PERI’s Corporate Toxics Information Project co-director Michael Ash told

The goal of The Toxic 100 is to give stakeholders “right-to-know” (RTK) information needed to evaluate risks, whether health risks to residents or financial risks to managers and shareholders of companies. The right to information about environmental hazards was codified into law in 1986 in response to the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India, which killed more than 15,000 people and injured up to 100,000.

However, in recent years the U.S. government has tightened access to such information, citing terrorism concerns and fears that reporting requirements are too “burdensome” for companies.

Restricting access to chemical release information could threaten continued progress made in reducing toxic air pollution since the RTK law was enacted, Ash says. Describing The Toxic 100 as an “environmental integrity project,” Ash said PERI hoped it would increase pressure on the EPA to have more effective monitoring and control.

The report has made several improvements over the 2005 version. Foreign firms operating in the US are included for the first time, including Bayer and Nissan (NSANY) in the top five polluters. (In a statement to, Nissan spokesperson Fred Standish said that “inaccurate reporting” was the reason the company received the score it did in the Toxics 100 index and that revision of the data would “decrease Nissan’s ranking, perhaps to the point of being dropped entirely from the list.”)

Visitors to the report’s website can find out what went into each company’s score, such as the names and locations of reporting facilities, the chemicals released, and how toxic they are. The site also features a “look-up tool” giving users access to information on all 7,000 companies in the EPA database used by the researchers.

The authors hope that by using a consumer, market-oriented approach, The Toxic 100 will help stakeholders such as residents, shareholders and managers of companies, workers and unions, and consumers concerned about toxics in products or used in their production, create incentives for companies to have more accurate reporting. Ash told, “Our aim is not to name and shame, but to improve corporate environmental performance.”

2008 Proxy Season Preview Whets Shareholders Appetites
The Proxy Season Preview 2008 is a resource for investors that covers this year’s hottest social, governance, and environmental issues to be voted on at shareholder annual meetings. Released by As You Sow, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, the Preview is available for free at their websites.

Designed to help foundations align their investments with their missions, the preview includes resolutions addressing labor, climate change, health care, and political donations. The Preview also includes a summary of last year’s social and environmental votes. Investors are offered a list of companies with dates of their annual shareholder meetings and issues to be voted upon. An extensive list of voter resources including foundation reports, shareholder advocacy organizations and proxy voting services is also included.

Sentinel Investments Creates Two New Sustainable Funds
Almost $740 million in assets and 20,000 shareholder accounts transferred from Citizens Funds to Sentinel Investments with the completion of Sentinel’s acquisition of Citizens Funds. Headquartered in Montpelier, VT, Sentinel Investments is the investment management branch of National Life Group.

Sentinel Sustainable Core Opportunities Fund (Class A symbol: MYPVX) absorbed two Citizens Funds: Citizens Core Growth Fund and the Citizens Value Fund. The also newly launched Sentinel Sustainable Emerging Companies Fund (Class A symbol: WAEGX) contains the two reorganized Citizens Funds: Citizens Emerging Growth Fund and the Citizens Small Cap Core Growth Fund.

The Sentinel sustainable funds will continue to apply Citizens’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) screens and proxy voting guidelines. However, the four Citizens Funds (Citizens Global Equity Fund, Citizens Balanced Fund, Citizens Income Fund and Citizens Money Market Fund), which were reorganized into existing Sentinel Funds, will no longer have ESG screens applied.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards Released
Seventy-five companies, cities, states, and non-profits have joined the Climate Registry to make their greenhouse gas emissions public. Members of the Climate Registry now have the tools and rules to make that reporting possible.

Last week the Climate Registry launched “The General Reporting Protocol” to enable the reporting and verification of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases released from companies operating in the North America that must be reported according to the new Protocol include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydro fluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.

Reporting emissions will help companies and organizations manage carbon risks and be better prepared to take part in carbon trading markets.

Citi Addressing Climate Change
Citigroup (ticker: C) has already made its mark in 2008 on the issues of climate change and sustainability. In February, Citi Bank, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley jointly released the Carbon Principles. The Carbon Principles offer guidelines for lenders to US power companies, in light of the increase in financial risks power companies are expecting from pending carbon regulations.

At the end of March, Citi Bank became a Ceres network company, joining with over 70 companies that work as members of Ceres to tackle sustainability and climate change.

In January, Ceres’ report “Corporate Governance and Climate Change: the Banking Sector” was released. The report scored Citi as the highest ranked US bank for their climate change governance practices.

New Northern Trust Sustainability Mutual Fund
Northern Trust launched the Northern Global Sustainability Index Fund on March 5th, the first mutual fund to follow the KLD Global Sustainability Index (GSI). The fund includes companies in 24 developing markets that pass KLD's sustainability screens. The GSI tracks 693 mid cap and large cap companies in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Northern Trust's newest fund was created in response to growing consumer demand for sustainable investing. Northern Trust reports the fund fees are 65 basis points with no sales charge, compared to the average 150 basis points that most socially responsible funds charge.

Currently, Northern Trust manages over $20 billion in socially screened assets.

Shareholders Vote For Genocide-free Investing
In the first of its kind vote on genocide-free mutual funds, 27% of shareholders at Fidelity's Capital and Income Fund and 28% of shareholders at its Select Health Care Portfolio voted for a genocide-free investing proposal. Shareholder activists report they are pleased with the high number of votes cast for the proposal.

Investors Against Genocide, the non-profit organization leading the shareholder action, has submitted similar proposals to a number of other mutual funds, including Barclays, Franklin Templeton, and Vanguard. More votes at Fidelity on the issue will follow in the upcoming months.

The proposals ask for procedures to screen out companies who "substantially contribute" to genocide. Other organizations working on passing the proposals include the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Physicians for Human Rights, American Jewish World Service, Genocide Intervention Network, The ENOUGH Project, The Aegis Trust and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

US companies are already prohibited from doing business with the Sudan government and Sudan oil companies. However, US investors and mutual funds can still buy shares of foreign companies that trade on US stock markets, such as PetroChina, that profit from Sudanese oil.

What Companies Talk About When They Talk About Climate Change
How companies communicate their climate change goals and data is studied in a new report from, the largest provider of online corporate responsibility reports. Looking at corporate sustainability reports from the Global FT500, the "Corporate Climate Communications Report 2007" assesses climate change disclosure as a separate issue from a company's actual carbon performance.

Twenty-nine companies and their voluntary climate related disclosures are analyzed the report. Six sector leaders are also surveyed in depth. The report found that 87% of CSR reports published in the last 15 months addressed climate change, with 65% of the reports including a special climate change section.

New Pax Products on the Way
Pax World recently announced that they have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with KLD Research & Analytics. Pax will be creating a series of funds based on the KLD Global Sustainability Index (GSI), KLD North America Sustainability Index (NASI) and KLD Europe Asia Pacific Sustainability Index (EAPSI).

Pax's new products may include EFTs, mutual funds, and separate accounts and employ passive index, enhanced index, and actively managed strategies. The KLD Global Sustainability Index series uses strong sustainability screens. The Indexes also account for the different sustainability challenges faced by different sectors.

Responsible Businesses are More Competitive
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) isn't just a PR move for businesses, states a new survey conducted for IBM entitled, "Attaining Sustainable Growth Through Corporate Social Responsibility." CSR is a way for businesses to be more competitive and create more opportunities, leading to growth. Sixty-eight percent of businesses surveyed said that focusing on CSR issues generates revenue, while 54% of businesses said that CSR helps give them a competitive edge.

Consumers, armed with the information found on the Internet, are the driving force behind companies increased attention to CSR activities the study suggests. However, it reports that 76% of responding businesses said that they "don't truly understand their customers' CSR concerns."

The number of advocacy groups reporting on companies CSR activities has grown substantially in the last three years, 75% of businesses noted, as has the amount of information businesses are providing about the environmental and social impact of their manufacturing, supply chain, and products.

Economics Push Green Technology
Technology companies are responding to calls to lessen their environmental impact. In a recent study released from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 40% of technology executives said that "significant market opportunities" are arising from the green movement as consumers ask for more environmentally friendly products.

The study, entitled "Technology Executive Connections: Going Green: Sustainable Growth Strategies," further adds that 60% of surveyed business leaders think energy savings is one of the most important factors in their assessment of their companies' environmental impact.

Technology companies are looking at their supply chains for greener practices as well. Likewise, tech companies are working to minimize their own internal environmental risks.

Both hardware and software tech companies are effected by the green movement. Hardware companies are working to reduce waste, use recycled materials and eliminate hazardous materials. Software companies are creating programs for businesses to reduce their energy use and shrink their carbon footprints.

US Carbon Trading on the Way
Economists at New Carbon Finance predict that in less than two decades the US will have a huge carbon emissions market, topping out at $1 trillion, more than twice the EU’s Emissions trading scheme.

Currently, there are 13 climate change bills in front of the US House and Senate, most of which propose market-based carbon solutions such as cap and trade programs. Consumer energy prices would rise as a result of the carbon trading market, but investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency would work to lower energy costs, New Carbon Finance analysts predict.

New Carbon Finance reports that cap and trade systems for carbon seems inevitable with the largest purchasers of greenhouse gas emission credits being coal burning power plants and oil refiners.

All of the leading presidential candidates have endorsed carbon emissions reductions. Federal climate change regulations would most likely also include trade sanctions on imports from countries that do not have mandatory carbon emissions caps.

New York City Fights Workplace Discrimination
In an announcement at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in Manhattan at the end of January, New York City Comptroller, William C. Thompson Jr. and the New York City Pension Funds put their support behind proposals at major companies barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The resolutions were filed at 24 companies found in the Fortune 1000. Gender identity is appearing for the second time in 2008, added to proposals banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The NYC comptroller filed the resolutions on behalf of New York City Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS), New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Pension Fund, New York City Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) and New York City Board of Education Retirement System.

Two New Indexes of SRI Interest
Standard & Poor's in partnership with CRISIL, KLD Research & Analytics, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) recently launched the S&P ESG India Index. The new index includes 50 Indian companies that pass a strict environmental, social and governance (ESG) screens.

The S&P ESG India Index is created from the largest 500 companies on the National Stock Exchange of India. The index differentiates itself from other indexes by equating a company's ESG score to its index weightings.

FTSE, working with Impax, an environmental investment manager, has created the FTSE ET50 Index, which includes 50 of the largest pure play environmental technology companies. These global companies have an investable market cap of $161 billion. The majority of the companies included in the index are alternative energy and energy efficiency companies.

The top ten listing in the FSTE ET50 include Vestas Wind Systems, Suntech Power Holdings, First Solar, Gamesa, Iberdrola Renovables, SolarWorld AG, Novozymes A/S, Q-CELLS, Stericycle, and Pall Corp.

Intel Vows to Buy Green Energy
With the recent announcement that it will buy 1.3 billion kilowatt hours a year of renewable energy certificates (RECs), Intel leads in US green energy use, reports the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Intel includes purchase of renewable energy certificates as part of its broader commitment to the environment and the development of renewable energy.

The EPA's Green Power Partnership program works with companies, state and federal governments, and colleges and universities to help increase the use of renewable energy.

Vast Majority of Emerging Market Companies Disclose Their Sustainability Efforts
Eighty-seven percent of companies in emerging markets have at least some kind of sustainability disclosure finds a new report from the Social Investment Research Analyst Network (SIRAN) and KLD Research & Analytics. Just over half of the 75 companies surveyed published a sustainability report while 81% of companies addressed sustainability issues on their websites and/or in their annual reports.

South African companies led the way in the emerging market companies surveyed, while Chinese-based companies were behind on sustainability reporting. The SIRAN/KLD report notes that only just over a quarter of the companies surveyed used the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting framework, the standard for ESG reporting.

100 Most Sustainable Global Corporations Published
Corporate Knights and Innovest Strategic Value Advisors announced their annual list of the top 100 large-cap sustainable companies. Companies were rated on how well they consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in comparison to other companies within their industries.

Companies from 17 countries were represented on the list with a Chinese company on the list for the first time. The UK had the most sustainable companies with 24, while the US had 16 companies, down from last year's 19.

Corporate Knights reported that 68 of the 100 corporations found on last year's roll remain on this year's list of sustainable companies.

Coke To Try Smaller Delivery Trucks
ZAP Trucks and the Coca-Cola Company are partnering in Uruguay to create a new beverage distribution system in Uruguay's largest city, Montevideo. The new smaller trucks have electric engines and can maneuver in more congested city environments. ZAP and Coca-Cola report that the new distribution model uses about 1/5 of Coca-Cola's former distribution system. If the new distribution model works in Montevideo, Coca-Cola is looking at implementing it in other urban areas.

So far, 30 ZAP Xebras trucks have been ordered for Montevideo. The electric trucks are smaller than the usual delivery trucks used, and are actually classified as a three-wheel motorcycle. The Xebra delivery drivers will also collect payments at the same time as their deliveries, which was not possible using the bigger trucks.

Sharing Patents for the Planet
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and IBM are leading a collaboration of major businesses in establishing a place to share environmentally friendly patents. Entitled the "Eco-Patent Commons," the venture is an online space available to the public. Nokia, Pitney Bowes, and Sony have also pledged to release patents into the "Eco-Patent Commons."

The goal of the "Commons" is for researchers and companies all over the world to have access to environmentally sound patents, and to further create and develop products and services that protect the natural world. The environmental benefits the WBCSD lists from the patents could include: energy conservation or improved energy or fuel efficiency; pollution prevention (source reduction, waste reduction); use of environmentally preferable materials or substances; water or materials use reduction; and increased recycling opportunity.

The "Commons" is open to more environmentally friendly patents at the discretion of the organization.

The Climate Group Grows
The Climate Group has four powerful new partners in its mission of advancing business and government leadership on climate change. The international non-profit saw Goldman Sachs, Dow Chemical, Bloomberg LP and Florida Power and Light sign onto its principles in December. The Climate Group works with partners to create positive change, focusing on how businesses can become low or no carbon while still being profitable.

Goldman Sachs has already invested $2 billion in renewable energy. Dow Chemical is aiming to stop its growth in greenhouse gases by 2025. Florida Power and Light bills itself as one of the US's cleanest utilities as it generates 70% of its power from natural gas and nuclear power. Bloomberg LP is dedicated to cutting its energy consumption while buying renewable products.

Bush Signs Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act
Human rights activists are counting it a victory that President George W. Bush signed into law the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007 (SADA) on December 31, 2007. The new law prohibits federal contracts with companies that support the Khartoum government of Sudan. It also authorizes state and local governments to divest from Sudan.

The Genocide Intervention Network's (GI Net) Sudan Divestment Task Force reports that since 2005, 22 states and more than 50 universities have adopted Sudan divestment policies. The EU has also passed a resolution supporting the divestment from Sudan.

New SIF Board Chair Elected
The Social Investment Forum (SIF) is the national association for the social investment industry. Smith is executive vice president and senior portfolio manager at Trillium Asset Management. Cheryl Smith is taking the reins from Tim Smith (no relation) who was SIF chair from 2002-2007 and who will remain active in the organization.

Three new board member were named as well: Frank Altman, president & CEO, Community Reinvestment Fund; Julie Goodridge, president, NorthStar Asset Management; Michael Lent, chief investment officer, Veris Wealth Partners; and Mary Jane McQuillen, director of socially aware investment, ClearBridge Advisors. The other sitting members include: vice chair George Gay, CEO, First Affirmative Financial Network; vice chair Reggie Stanley, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Calvert; treasurer Meg Voorhes, director, Social Issues Services, Risk Metrics; Joanne Dowdell, director of corporate responsibility, Citizens Funds; and Alisa Gravitz, executive director, Co-op America.

Indigenous People Rights Threatened by Companies
Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS) and CAER recently released the paper, “Indigenous rights, indigenous wrongs: risks for resource sectors.” The paper outlines the opportunities and trials for companies that operate in the areas where indigenous people live. Looking at seven large companies that operate in these areas, EIRIS and CAER report that while most of the companies show some basic public commitment to indigenous rights, none of the companies are doing enough to protect rights of indigenous people. Looking at the high-risk sectors, the paper reports that the oil and gas sectors were more responsive than the forestry and agriculture sectors to indigenous rights.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange Updates its SRI Index
Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has partnered with Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS) in enhancing its Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index. The four-year old index measures the environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices of South African companies. Besides ESG issues, the index also considers issues that are pertinent to its local economies, for instance, black economic empowerment, skills development, and HIV/Aids. The index now will include the criteria endorsed by the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and FTSE4Good’s Environmental Criteria as well.

Charitable Giving Remains Important for Companies
Although companies’ social responsibility programs have been in the news in recent years, a survey developed by Robert Half Management Resources shows that companies have been actively giving back to their communities and non-profits for years. Seventy-three percent of CFOs surveyed said that charitable giving and other corporate social responsibility programs are important to their companies. These programs not only attract and keep engaged workforces, socially responsible programs also augment companies’ reputations.

ICCR Warns Against Video Game Violence
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) reminds holiday shoppers to be cautious when buying video games for children. ICCR reports that 80% of video games are sold during the holiday season. In its annual Holiday Letter, the ICCR outlines the retailer chart regarding the rating system for video games created by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESBR). “Mature” (M) rated video games may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language and are not appropriate for children. ICCR has been working for over five years with retailers on creating industry best practices for selling video games and protecting children from mature themed video games.

Google Puts Big Money into Green Energy
Google recently announced its new initiative to decrease the cost of green energy. The company will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the new program to reduce pollution that Google has named “RE.” Hiring engineers with experience in energy, Google plans to invest in solar, wind and geothermal power systems to produce a “gigawatt” of green power in the next several years. A “gigawatt” of energy is enough to power a city the size of San Francisco. Its goal is to make green energy cost less per kilowatt than energy produced from coal. As a company, Google plans to be carbon-neutral by the end of this year.

Sentinel Investment acquires Citizens’ SRI Funds
Sentinel Investment, headquartered in Montpelier, VT, has come to an agreement with Citizens Advisers, located Portsmouth, NH, to acquire Citizens’ socially responsible mutual funds advisory business. Citizen’s eight funds will be folded into either new and existing Sentinel Funds including two new Funds launched by Sentinel: Sentinel Responsible Investing Core Opportunities Fund and Sentinel Responsible Investing Emerging Companies Fund. The acquisition is still pending Citizens Funds shareholder approval.

SEC Likely to Make Temporary Decision on Proxy Access
After receiving a huge number of comments against limiting shareholder proxy access, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will probably vote to temporarily stop proxy access. Many Democratic members of Congress, institutional investors and unions have spoken out against this move. SEC Chairperson Christopher Cox has hinted that the commission will return to the proxy access issue in Spring of 2008 when the commission’s seats are filled. Currently, it is short one Democratic member while another Democratic has given her resignation. Cox also plans to revisit the 5% threshold on stock ownership that allows a shareholder group to propose changes to director nomination bylaws.

Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund Lends a Hand
Firsthand Funds has recently announced the launch of it Alternative Energy Fund (ticker: ALTEX). The mutual fund will invest with alternative energy and clean tech companies including solar, wind, biomass, and energy efficiency. Firsthand is planning to donate a portion of its management fees to environmentally focused non-profits with shareholders directing the giving. Headquartered in the Silicon Valley, Firsthand’s founders have experience in the tech sector and bring this knowledge to investing in technology stocks and other clean sectors.

Winslow Launches Green Solutions Fund
Individual green investors have a new mutual fund from Winslow Green Mutual Funds with the launch of the Winslow Green Solutions Fund. The new fund will invest in global mid-sized growth companies whose revenues come from green products and services. Since 2003, institutional investors have invested in a similar Green Solutions fund. Winslow will continue to offers its Green Growth Fund, which focuses on small cap growth companies. Due to the growth in the green marketplace, the number of mid-sized green companies has expanded significantly, and this Fund reflects the increase in green investment opportunities.

PAX Acquires Women’s Equity Fund
Pax World Funds announced the acquisition of the assets of the FEMMX Financial Company, the advisor to the Women’s Equity Fund. The Women’s Equity Fund was the first fund to consider companies’ policies and practices in regards to women’s rights and equality. A report from Catalyst, a non-profit corporate research organization, notes that large companies with the highest number of female board members have significantly higher financial performance than companies with fewer females on the board. The fund will be renamed the Pax World Women’s Equity Fund.

Iran Compliance Product Offered by KLD
In response to the growing number of engagement and divestment mandates of companies that do business in Iran, KLD recently offered a new Iran Compliance Product. The Product meets all current US states requirements of divestment from Iran and will be updated monthly. As of the end of October, KLD has named 36 companies whose involvement in Iran meets KLD’s criteria, for example, companies with contracts with the government or with oil/mineral extraction accounting for more than 10% of their operations. KLD has not identified any US companies with involvement in Iran that met their criteria.

SRI Returns on Par with Mainstream Investments
Investors that include environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in their investment making decisions have similar returns with other investors finds the new report, "Demystifying Responsible Investment Performance.” Written by Mercer and The Asset Management Working Group of the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative, the report examines socially responsible investing (SRI) and financial performance. Looking across a wide array of academic writings, peer-reviewed and broker studies, the report found that including ESG factors didn’t lower returns. The report notes, however, more work needs to done to understand other factors that could influence SRI investment returns, including shareholder activism. Launched to Help End Poverty
eBay recently launched, making it possible and simple for people to invest over the Internet in microfinance. Calvert Foundation, which helped develop MicroPlace, was named as the first issuer to sell investments on the site. The website is hoping that it will create a “self-sustaining marketplace” which allows capital to reach the working poor effectively. Calvert Foundation will be in charge of investing the capital generated from MicroPlace in global microfinance institutions. Online, investors are given options of different locations around the globe to allocate their investments.

RBC Makes its Largest Charitable Commitment Ever
RBC announced a 10-year $50 million grant program to support water-related programs, both in Canada and globally. The RBC Blue Water Project will help fund, in part, access to clean drinking water, water conservation, and watershed protection projects. The RBC Blue Water Project offers multi-year grants to global organizations working on water issues; annual grants to organizations working in North America; and community action grants focusing on organizations in Canada, the US, and the Caribbean. RBC also committed itself to reducing its own environmental footprint and revised its environmental policy to account for issues such as climate change, biodiversity and the rights of indigenous peoples.

Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Snaps up Proxy Advisor
Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) recently bought the proxy advisor Glass Lewis (GL) for $46 million. GL, the second largest proxy advisor after RiskMetrics, was sold by the scandal ridden Xinhua Finance. Last year OTPP looked into starting a proxy advising service, but now it will be able to help create a conflict-free proxy advisor company with its acquisition of GL. OTPP’s CEO Claude Lamoureux plans to focus especially on disclosure and product quality.

Huge Number of Shareholders Oppose SEC Proposals
A record-breaking number of shareholders have voiced their opposition to SEC’s proposals regarding limits on the rights of shareholders to file resolutions and to have active roles in nominating board members. The Social Investment Forum reports that the SEC staff said that approximately 22,500 investor comments were made during the commentary period. Only a small number of public comments were made supporting the proposals. A survey by nine large institutional investors mirrored the huge opposition to the SEC proposals. The survey found that less than a third of investors supported any of the five potential SEC proposals.

ISS Governance Publishes 2007 Postseason Report
ISS Governance, a unit of the RiskMetrics Group, released its annual wrap-up of this year’s proxy season. Shareholders showed strong support for proposals asking for greater board accountability, ISS Governance notes. This year also saw more companies and shareholders working together on issues of concern. ISS Governance reports that proponents withdrew over half of the shareholder proposals on majority voting, stock option reforms and sustainability reporting after dialogue with companies. Many social and environmental proposals were likewise withdrawn. Forty executive pay proposals were in front of shareholders and averaged 42% support. This compares to only seven proposals on executive pay in 2006.

New Guide for Colleges and Universities to Invest Responsibly
Amnesty International USA and the Responsible Endowments Coalition have created a handbook for colleges and universities to make their investments more socially and environmentally sound. The guide is available for free on-line at Amnesty International reports that higher education endowments are over $340 billion and the impact of investing these monies responsibly for the environment and social programs would be huge. The handbook offers best practices and step-by-step directions for incorporating social, environmental and governance issues into investment decisions.

Wachovia Announces NEXT Awards Semifinalists
The Wachovia NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance in a partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have released this year’s ten semifinalists. The semifinalists are ACCION Texas, San Antonio, TX; Boston Community Capital, Boston, MA; Clearinghouse CDFI, Lake Forest, CA; Community First Fund, Lancaster PA; Community Loan Fund, Concord, NH; Corporation for Supportive Housing, New York, NY; Housing Development Fund, Inc., Stamford, CT; IFF, Chicago, IL; Latino Community Credit Union, Durham, NC; and Southern Bancorp, Arkadelphia, AR. Two semifinalists will be chosen to receive capital and grants for a total of $8.75 million.

Hewlett-Packard Works to Reduce, Recycle and Reuse Old Technologies
Hewlett-Packard recently announced a new project to research how old computers and other electronic waste is being dumped and recycled in Africa. Health and environmental issues can arise from the improper disposal and harvesting of electric waste. This is especially problematic in Africa where old equipment is mined for its expensive elements such as gold and copper. The European Union has in place programs and legislation for companies to accept outdated electronics. Although Hewlett-Packard is experiencing growing sales in Africa, no African country has mandated technology recycling programs.

Walgreen Pulls Some Air Fresheners
An influential group of environmental organizations has filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, calling for stricter regulation of air fresheners. The group, which includes the Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club, cites the health risks of some of the chemicals found in air fresheners. In response to the petition, Walgreen has removed three air fresheners from its 5,850 stores. The environmental groups would like manufacturers of air fresheners to conduct more safety tests and to list all ingredients in the air fresheners.

Concerned Investors ask S.E.C. to require Climate Change Disclosure
Ceres, the Environmental Defense, and several large institutional investors have filed a petition with the Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) requiring companies to disclose the risks that climate change could pose to companies’ profits. More than half of S&P companies are not currently disclosing their climate risk Ceres said. In line with the environmental groups’ petition, New York’s Attorney General Andrew Cuomo recently began an investigation into five energy companies to see if they are sufficiently disclosing the financial risks from ownership in coal-fired power plants, well-known producers of greenhouse gases.

Business Group Proposes Forestry and Carbon Policies
The Sustainable Forest Products Industry (SFPI) working group of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) advocates the creation of public policies to regulate and protect the forestry sector’s carbon cycle. In a new publication, the group presents key messages for policy makers, including the support of policies that advance accelerated depreciation rates, the effective use of biomass through the value chain and the promotion of biomass energy. The SFPI also supports the attempt to have more of the world’s forests under sustainable management. The group points to the unique opportunities and challenges found in the forestry sector.

Proxy Advisor Company in Flux
Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis is back on the market as its owner of nine months, Xinhua Finance, has decided to sell, reports Global Proxy Watch. One of the most interested buyers for Glass Lewis is RiskMetrics, who currently already owns rival proxy advising firm, Institutional Shareholder Services. Xinhua Finance is selling Glass Lewis at a huge loss after a governance scandal rocked Xinhua. Questions about RiskMetrics ownership of both proxy advisory firms abound. Global Proxy Watch states that if the purchase was to go through, RiskMetric would own more than 80% of the proxy advisory market. This virtual monopoly could start a regulatory investigation.

College Students: Vocal, Voting, and Socially Aware
Get ready for a new generation of informed voters and consumers. A new study of college students aged 18-30 reports 94% of students are planning to vote in 2008. Alloy Media + Marketing’s 2007 Alloy College Explorer also reports that students are actively helping drive corporate responsibility, and, as consumers, are conscious of choosing brands and companies they consider socially responsible. Fair labor practices and the environment are students’ leading factors in determining if a company is socially responsibility. Students named Ben & Jerry’s, Yoplait and Burt’s Bees as the top socially responsible brands.

Investor Groups Organize to Oppose SEC Proposals is a new web-based effort launched by the Social Investment Forum (SIF) and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) to oppose proposals by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that would weaken the rights of shareholders to present resolutions at shareholder meetings. The SEC proposals will also make it more difficult for investors to nominate directors. The web site will allow institutions and financial professionals to sign a joint statement opposing the proposals and offer a space for individual investors to file comments, with copies going to both the SEC and members of Congress.

New Collaboration between the Center for Political Accountability and The Wharton School
The Center for Political Accountability (CPA) and the Wharton School's Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research recently announced a new collaboration focusing on corporate political accountability and corporate governance. The new partnership will study how directors execute their oversight responsibilities and examine political accountability and disclosure frameworks at both the country (US and foreign) and corporate levels. A survey of the codes of conduct of S&P 500 companies and how they regulate political spending is also being designed. In late February 2008, CPA and the Zicklin Center will co-sponsor a conference on corporate governance and corporate political accountability.

Climate Change Engagement High During 2007 Proxy Season
Ceres recently reported that this year saw the highest ever support for shareholder resolutions concerning climate change with an average voting support of 21.6%. Forty-three climate-focused resolutions were filed, 15 of which went onto votes. Shareholders withdrew 15 proposals after reaching agreements and starting dialogues with companies. Allegheny Energy received a record breaking 39.5% support on a global warming resolution. This year is also the first time shareholders voted on requests for companies to establish greenhouse gas reduction targets. Thirty-one percent of voters at ExxonMobil supported greenhouse gas reductions targets.

KLD Makes Public its Catholic Values 400 Index
After calculating the Catholic Values 400 Index (CV400) internally for almost ten years, KLD recently announced the launch of the Index. Developed as a custom index in 1998, the CV400 is based on KLD’s DSI 400 and the socially responsible investment guidelines developed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2003. These guidelines incorporate a screen for fetal tissue and embryonic stem cell research, manufacture of contraceptive products, and support of abortion. KLD has also started an advisory committee to the CV400 that will meet regularly to review changes to the Index in light of emerging Catholic values.

Coca-Cola Remains Off KLD Index
KLD Research and Analytics continues to exclude Coca-Cola Company and two of its largest bottlers, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) and Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, from its index of socially responsible companies, KLD’s Broad Market Social Index (BMSI). One ramification of not being on the KLD index is that TIAA-CREF’s CREF Social Choice Account will not allow investments in the three companies. TIAA-CREF is the largest SRI fund and last year sold 1.25 million shares of its Coca-Cola stock with plans to sell more of its Coca-cola holdings. Meanwhile, many colleges and universities, including the recent additions of Smith College and Rutgers University, have kicked Coke off campus to protest the company’s labor and human right abuses.

Indian Court Rules Against Novartis
An Indian Court has ruled against Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis’ attempt to challenge an Indian law that allows the country to refuse a patent for an existing medicine. Oxfam and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility call it an important victory for global public health. This ruling supports the right of developing countries to use the World Trade Organization’s guidelines to balance public health and protection of intellectual property. Novartis had received numerous petitions to pull the case and had been questioned by many political groups from India, Europe and the United States. Currently, more than two-thirds of the generic drugs manufactured in India go to developing countries.

KLD Launches New Sudan Targeted Divestment & Compliance Product
The launch of KLD's Sudan Targeted Divestment & Compliance Product will help pension funds divest from companies with ties to Sudan in response to the growing number of divestment mandates. KLD's new product meets the requirements of divestment of the Sudan Divestment Task Force (SDTF). The product uses a targeted approach that focuses on divestment from high impact companies like military, oil, and mining companies. Currently more than 20 states and other organizations are using SDTF's criteria for targeted divestment related to Sudan.

Progressive Asset Management Announces Possible Merger
Earlier this month, Progressive Asset Management (PAM) announced it has started discussions with Financial West Group (FWG) concerning a possible merger between the companies. FWG owns a 40% interest in PAM, a publicly traded broker, and is the office inside FWG that specializes in SRI. PAM has 65 financial professionals who are also registered with FWG. FWG has 350 registered representatives and is a privately held broker/dealer firm whose representatives have more than $4 billion under management.

Shared Interest Sees Great Growth in South Africa Last Year
Shared Interest guarantees bank loans to low-income communities in South African and works with partner organization Thembani to help build human capital as well. The non-profit, with headquartered in New York City, is a social investment fund that raises money by donation and investments. Their 2006 annual report, released this month, states that they have doubled the number of low-income people benefiting from their guarantees from 450,000 in their first ten years to 975,000 by the end of 2006. Shared Interest had almost $11 million in assets at the end of 2006.

Co-op America’s Campaign Prevents Dominion Power from Building Coal-fired Plants
The Climate Change Program, run by the non-profit Co-op America, credited its consumer awareness campaign with influencing Dominion Power Company’s decision to halt the building of three of four new coal-fired power plants. However, Co-op America indicated that the public needs to continue addressing clean energy issues with Dominion, as it still plans to build a coal-fired power plant and a nuclear power plant in Virginia. At the most recent annual meeting, Dominion shareholders also asked the company to address climate change issues.

First ETF based on Sudan Divestment Launched by Claymore
Claymore Securities, headquartered in Lisle, IL, has launched the Claymore/KLD Sudan Free Large-Cap Core ETF (ticker: KSF). It is the first ETF to use the divestment from Sudan as its organizing factor. It tracks the KLD Large Cap Sudan Free Social Index, the first index linked to Sudan divestment. The Index screens, in part, against businesses that own property or assets in Sudan, obtain goods or services from Sudan or issue loans to companies in Sudan. The ETF will invest at least 90% of its total assets in common stock and ADRs from the KLD Index. KLD also offers Sudan Compliance Service which helps institutional investors implement divestment from the Sudan.

Eurosif Reports on ESG challenges in the European Food Production and Insurance Sectors
The European Social Investment Forum (Eurosif) recently published two reports on the environmental, social, and governance issues that the food production and insurance sectors face in Europe. Eurosif’s goal with these reports is to outline risks that are not usually part of traditional financial analysis, which could affect companies’ assets. The reports are the fourth and fifth in a series following Eurosif’s reports on the hotel and tourism, chemical, and automobile sectors. Eurosif researched the food production report in-house and partnered with Bank Sarasin researching the insurance sector.

French SRI Sees Huge One-Year Growth
An annual survey of the French SRI market by Novethic reports that by the end of 2006 French SRI assets had risen 88% from 2005. 16.6 billion euros are held in the French SRI market with 63% of these assets belonging to institutional investors. Mutual funds still hold the majority of the SRI assets; however, the survey showed that dedicated management for institutional investors is rapidly growing with 5.6 billion euros in assets under dedicated management, a 178% increase from 2005. In 2006, employees of large corporations had more access to investing assets following SRI principles and took advantage of the opportunity with a 118% increase.

Greater Accountability for the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Plenary
In a meeting hosted by the US Department of State, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Plenary agreed to formal participation criteria. The Voluntary Principles are a broad stakeholder initiative that works to guide companies' safety and security as it acts to protect human rights. The new performance-based criteria include a dispute resolution process and more transparent methods for including new members. Last year it was decided that companies and NGOs could join the Plenary even if their home governments did not participant. Both this year's and last year's new criteria should lead to an increased membership.

JPMorgan Offers Climate Change Research Freely
Climate change research from JPMorgan is now available at The research studies the economic, legislative, and business developments of current and projected carbon controls. JPMorgan states that they are releasing their research publicly as an example of their commitment to the environment. They also have worked to reduce their carbon emissions and are the lead sponsor for C40 Large Cities Climate Summit in New York City. JPMorgan’s investment portfolio in renewable energy is $1 billion.

The Business Case For Asking Communities for Consent
A new report from the World Resources Institute (WRI) finds that companies and financial institutions that work with local communities for their consent have an advantage over those businesses that do not gain approval. Entitled “Development Without Conflict: The Business Case for Community Consent,” the report provides methods for creating and implementing community consent practices into development and investment strategies. The report details four case studies of best practices in Argentina, Peru, the Philippines, and Thailand. The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) has endorsed the report.

Human Rights Watch Reports on Wal-Mart’s Unfair Labor Practices
Human Rights Watch recently released its newest report, "Discounting Rights: Wal-Mart’s Violation of US Workers’ Right to Freedom of Association." The report details Wal-Mart’s tactics toward associates who try to form unions. By interviewing past and current workers at Wal-Mart and studying cases filed against Wal-Mart at the National Labor Relations Board, the report shows the company challenging their associates’ right to free association. Some of the report’s suggestions for Wal-Mart include stopping all tactics that undermine freedom of association and pledging neutrality on union formation.

A Sweeter Greener Apple
As a result of a shareholder resolution from the As You Sow Foundation, Apple recently announced it is setting new goals for recycling old computers. Apple is the third major computer maker, after Dell and Hewlett Packard, to create take back programs for computers after working with As You Sow and other shareholders. Apple is developing a system to track and measure returned computers based on past sales. In 2006, Apple took back approximately 9.5% of the computers it sold 7 years ago. By 2010, Apple’s goal is to reclaim 28% of sold computers.

The Principles for Responsible Investment Celebrates Happy First Birthday
On its first anniversary, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) announced last that week over 180 institutional investors from around the world—with over $8 trillion in assets under management—have signed on to its principles. Organized by the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative and the UN Global Compact, the PRI is a framework to help investors analyze ESG issues in the investment process. The PRI Engagement Clearinghouse is the first global forum for sharing information and resources for action on ESG issues.

First Unit Investment Trust Focusing on Climate Solutions Chain
KLD Research & Analytics and Fixed Income Securities (FIS) have partnered to create a unit investment trust (UIT) based on the KLD Global Climate 100 Index (GC100). The GC100 Index is the first global index that focuses on the climate solutions value chain. The UIT is called the KLD Global Climate 100 Index Portfolio, Series 1 and is the first investment product for US investors to be based on the GC100 Index. The GC100 Index was launch July 2005 to address the risks and opportunities of global warming and, as of March 31, 2007, has had a 42.4% cumulative total return.

Pax World Announces Julie Gorte as Senior Vice President
Pax World Management Corporation named Dr. Julie Gorte to fill its newly created Senior Vice President, Sustainable Investing, position. Previously, Gorte worked at Calvert Group as Vice President and Chief Social Investment Strategist. For many years, Gorte has endorsed the integration of ESG factors into financial decisions. She has also held nonprofit and public policy positions including almost 14 years at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Headquartered in Portsmouth, NH, Pax World started the first socially responsible mutual fund in 1971. Today it works to identify and invest with companies that embrace sustainable business models.

Parnassus Adds Portfolio Manager to their Fixed-Income Fund
San Francisco-based Parnassus Investments recently appointed Ben Allen as the co-portfolio manager for the Parnassus Fixed-Income Fund. He will be working with Todd Ahlsten who is the lead portfolio manager for the Fund. Allen has been with Parnassus since 2004, first as intern and then full time as a senior research analyst and portfolio manager in 2005. The goal of the Fixed-Income Fund is a high level of current income with the safety of capital. As of the end of March, the Fund had $66.9 million in net assets.

Laura Berry New Director for ICCR
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) recently announced the appointment of Laura Berry as its new Executive Director. Berry is coming from four years as Senior Vice President for Philanthropic Service for the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. During her time at the Community Foundation, its revenues tripled. The ICCR is an international coalition of 275 faith-based institutional investors with combined portfolios worth an estimated $100 billion. The organization works to include social values in investment decisions and is one of the world’s principal shareholder advocacy organizations.

Insurance Companies to Disclose Risks Related to Climate Change
Bethesda, MD-based Calvert Funds Group reports that the insurance companies Prudential Financial and Hartford Financial Services Group have agreed to emend their disclosure of their financial risks from climate change. The companies’ disclosures will also include their strategies for mitigating climate change risks. Calvert has withdrawn its shareholder proposals regarding climate change at both companies. Prudential Financial, based in Newark NJ, and Hartford Financial, headquartered in Hartford CT, have both stated the importance of addressing the uncertainty caused by climate change.

PAM’s Portfolio Suite has Sweet First Year
Progressive Asset Management (PAM) reported that its new Progressive Track Investments (PTI) had an outstanding first year, which ended March 31. The nation’s first comprehensive portfolio suite, PTI is composed of seven benchmark tracking portfolios across seven asset classes: large-cap growth, large-cap value, mid-cap growth, mid-cap value, small-cap growth, small-cap value and international. Each portfolio is also screened on social and environmental issues. PAM states that the PTI’s performance sends a powerful message to investors who want to invest responsibly but also want to use well-known benchmarks and diversify across major asset classes. Based in Oakland, CA, PAM was the first US full-service investment broker to specialize in SRI.

Executive Compensation Bill Heads to House for Vote
After passing out of the House Financial Services committee on March 28, HR 1257 faces a full vote in front of the House of Representatives. The bill gives shareholders an advisory vote on executive compensation. Furthermore, it includes the right for shareholders to have another non-binding advisory vote if the company awards a "golden parachute"—exit packages of cash, stock or retirement benefits—as it is also negotiating the purchase or sale of the company. More than fifty companies face shareholder resolutions regarding this issue this proxy voting season. The Social Investment Forum supports this bill and urges concerned investors to contact their Representative. The US Chamber of Commerce opposes the bill.

UBS Offers New Socially Responsible Unit Investment Trust
International financial firm UBS announced the launch of a new unit investment trust (UIT), the KLD Dividend Achievers Social Investing Series 2007A as part of the UBS Equity Opportunity Trust. Created for US investors who are interested in socially responsible investing, the UIT will have a life span of approximately 15 months. All portfolio stocks are screened for their ESG records and must show at least 10 years of consecutive dividend growth. UBS formed this new UIT in partnership with KLD Research & Analytics, Inc., a leader in corporate social and environmental research, and Mergent, Inc, a leading supplier of financial and business data on internationally publicly traded companies.

SIO Survey Highlights Growth in Canadian SRI Assets
A survey from the Social Investment Organization (SIO) reports growing institutional interest in Canadian socially responsible investing, with an increase in SRI assets to more than $500 billion in 2006. Only two years before, SRI assets were almost an eighth the size, at $65 billion. SIO links this huge growth in SRI assets to including $446 billion in assets that have ESG proxy voting guidelines attached to them, which were not counted in previous SIO surveys. The SIO also credits the increase to the adoption of SRI policies and practices by a number of public pension funds over the last couple of years. This biannual survey was sponsored by Acuity Funds Ltd., Alterna Savings, Desjardins Trust, Meritas Mutual Funds and The Ethical Funds Company.

Parnassus Puts MicroVest On its Portfolio
Maryland-based MicroVest recently announced that The Parnassus Equity Income Funds has invested in MicroVest I, LP with a two-year, $500,000 note subscription. MicroVest is a private equity fund that works to provide debt and equity capital to microfinance institutions in emerging markets. Housed in San Francisco, Parnassus Investments invests in SRI companies and has $1.3 billion in assets under management. MicroVest reports that in the past mutual funds have not looked to invest in the microfinance industry. However, Parnassus' new subscription dovetails with the Equity Income Fund's objective of a 2% allocation to community investments.

OXFAM Calls on Starbucks to Resolve Trademark Issues With Ethiopian Coffee Farmers
OXFAM has issued a reminder to Starbucks shareholders that the company has not signed a royalty-free licensing agreement giving Ethiopia ownership of its coffee trademarks. Ethiopia is working to build the value of its coffee brands, such as Sidamo, Harar, and Yirgacheffe, because coffee is one of the nation’s most valuable commodities. The Ethiopian government argues that trademark ownership would give farmers a larger share of the profits from their coffee sales. Starbucks jointly announced with the Ethiopian government in February that the company would not stand in the way of the country getting the trademarks. However, since then Starbucks has neither signed a voluntary licensing agreement nor engaged in good-faith discussions with Ethiopia according to OXFAM.

CalPERS Responses to HP Proxy Vote
The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) advocated for a proposal at Hewlett-Packard (HP) that would have allowed large shareholders to nominate candidates to the board of directors. The proposal was created after the spying scandal involving HP’s board. In proxy voting, the proposal was voted down with 52% against it and 39% of the total shares in favor. Supporters argued that the measure would work toward board accountability. CalPERS issued a statement commending shareholders who "took a stand in favor of democracy." CalPERS believes that shareholders have a basic right to nominate directors in extreme situations like at HP.

Verite wins Skoll Award
Verite, a non-profit social auditing and research organization, has been awarded one of ten Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship in 2007. The award, which comes with a three-year $1 million grant, recognizes Verite’s work to improve global working conditions and corporate social responsibility. Verite will use the grant in part to support its newly launched RAISE Institute. The Skoll Award is bestowed by the Skoll Foundation, started by eBAY founder Jeff Skoll. It invests in organizations that work on creative solutions to complex social problems.

Companies Moving Off and On FTSE4Good Global Index
Twenty-five companies have met FTSE Group’s corporate responsibility standards and will be added to the FTSE4Good Global Index series. Seventeen companies will be taken off of the Index, as they no longer meet FTSE’s criteria. More than 450 companies have been added to the Index since it started in 2001, while 160 companies have been removed. Criteria for acceptance in the Index include environmental sustainability, shareholder relations, and respect of human rights. FTSE reports that over 310 companies have changed their company policies and practices in response to its criteria to remain part of the FTSE4Good Global Indexes.

NorthStar Calls for Divestment from ExxonMobil
Boston-based SRI investment firm, NorthStar Asset Management has called on other firms and individuals to divest from ExxonMobil. NorthStar pointed to the rising cost of oil production and global warming as undermining shareholder value. NorthStar believes that there is nowhere for ExxonMobil stock to go but down. NorthStar’s call to action comes after five years of trying to work with the oil company on other issues including board diversity and equal employment through the resolution process.

Europe's F&C to offer Ethical Investing in US
For the first time, London-based F&C Management Limited is offering US institutional investors and high-net worth individuals a sustainable international equity strategy. F&C is well known as Europe's largest SRI fund manager with $5.4 billion in ethically screened assets. Benchmarked by the MSCI EAFE, F&C's strategy will only offer non-US companies. F&C will use positive and negative screening to find European, Asian, Japanese and emerging market businesses that demonstrate high ethical standards.

Albright Capital and PPGM Working in Emerging Markets
Albright Capital Management and PGGM have come together to create a long term, multi-asset class emerging markets fund. PGGM, a Dutch pension fund that serves the healthcare and social work sectors, will serve as Albright Capital's strategic investor with $329 million. Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright sits as Chair of Albright Capital, a registered investment advisor. Albright Capital is part of The Albright Group, a
global strategy firm. The goal of the portfolio is to achieve absolute returns with a low correlation to PGGM's other investments.

Two Natural Foods Grocers Propose Merger
Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey startled investors last week with a proposed merger with Wild Oats Markets. Wild Oats would be the largest acquisition for Whole Foods to date, following its mergers with Fresh Fields and Bread & Circus. Whole foods would offer $18.50 a share for Wild Oats, a 23% premium over last month’s average share. It would also take over $106 million in debt. The acquisition would include Whole Food’s 110 stores in 24 states and British Columbia with annual sales of $1.2 billion.

New European Study on Venture Capital for Sustainability
The European Social Investment Forum (Eurosif) recently published a study focusing on Venture Capital for Sustainability (VC4S). With this type of venture capital, profits are married to a mission of sustainability. VC4S accounts for 6% of the European venture capital market including funds that focus on renewable energy and funds that work to create social equality. This survey of European venture capitalists reports that as of 2006, €1.25 billion has been raised. One interesting finding is that VC4S’s growth can be credited to high-net worth individuals and family foundations instead of institutional investors.

Canada Backs Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
In a move to support governmental accountability, Canada announced its endorsement of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). An international coalition of governments, industries, NGOs, and investors, EITI helps resource-rich countries with improved governance by publishing companies' payments and government revenues for the oil, gas and mining industries. In addition to an annual pledge of $CAN100,000, Canada made a contribution of $CAN750,000 to the EITI Multi-Donor Trust Fund. Working with top Canadian mining companies, Canada has also promised technical support.

CRO Magazine lists 2007's "100 Best Corporate Citizens"
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters tops CRO Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" for the second year in a row. Published for the organization of corporate responsibility officers, CRO Magazine released its eighth annual survey of companies that practice corporate responsibility. The list has become an indicator of best practices of corporate responsibility. Using the research of KLD Research & Analytics, the survey looks at more than 1,100 of the largest US publicly traded companies, examining companies' environmental, social and governance practices. Advanced Micro Devices, Nike, Motorola, Intel, International Business Machines, Agilent Technologies, The Timberland Company, Starbucks Coffee Company and General Mills are also found in CRO's top ten.

Two Connecticut-based Companies add Gender Identity to Nondiscrimination Policies
In response to shareholder proposals, Hubbell Incorporated and FuelCell Energy have agreed to add gender expression to their equal employment opportunity policies. Northstar Asset Management, which filed both proposals, withdrew them when the companies agreed to change their policies. Hubbell Incorporated, an electrical equipment manufacturer, already prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation as does FuelCell, a developer and marketer of clean fuel cell power plants. Since 2006, Northstar has been asking for both sexual orientation and gender expression to be included in nondiscrimination policies.

London-Based FTSE Group Outlines new Climate Standards for its FTSE4Good Index Series
The FTSE4Good was created by FTSE to help investors identify socially responsible companies and as a best practice framework for those companies. In early February 2007, FTSE added new criteria to help balance climate change to its FTSE4Good Index. FTSE divides companies into three sectors based on environmental footprint, and anticipates compliance with the standards over the next two years. The framework includes companies implementing climate change strategies, disclosure and performance. Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS), a FTSE research and review partner, embraced the new climate change criteria.

Portfolio 21 Names its 2006 Top Ten Green Companies
Portfolio 21, a global mutual fund from Portland, OR, released its top ten money-making companies that use environmentally conscious business strategies. Portfolio 21, created in 1999 and managed by Progress Investment Management, invests in companies that provide services and products that help create a sustainable society. The fund believes investors can make big returns when companies follow business models that understand environmental constraints and risks. Portfolio 21 reported that their top ten companies posted returns in 2006 from 41% to 131%. Vestas Wind Systems, Fuel Systems Solutions, JM, Interface, British Land, Acciona, Ormat, Canon, Hewlett-Packard, and Novozymes were the companies named by Portfolio 21.

Two Mutual Funds Guided by the Teachings of the Catholic Church to Merge
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based Schwartz Investment Counsel Inc, announced the proposed merger of the Catholic Equity Fund into the Ave Maria Rising Dividend Fund (AVEDX). Catholic Equity Fund shareholders still need to approve the merger although the boards of both funds have already endorsed the move. At the end of 2006, Ave Maria Mutual Funds’ net assets totaled over $435 million. The mutual fund invests in companies that support the teachings of the Catholic Church. Schwartz Investment Counsel is the advisor to Ave Maria Mutual Funds and Catholic Financial Services Corporation, which is a subsidiary of the Catholic Knights of Milwaukee, WI.

Tesco CEO Pledges To Stimulate Green Consumption
On January 18 2007, Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco, Britain’s largest supermarket chain, spoke in London about the long reaching effects of climate change. Addressing Forum for the Future and Tesco Stakeholders, Leahy promised that Tesco would help create a low-carbon economy. Pointing out the huge growth in sales of organic foods, Leahy said that consumers and companies could work together towards sustainability. Making clear information available to consumers on the carbon cost of products is one of Tesco’s goals. He announced that Tesco would track carbon use by developing a Sustainable Consumption Institute with input from the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University.

SEC Responses to HP No-action Request
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a January 22, 2007, letter to Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) legal team, left open HP’s no-action request on its current protocol for nominating members to its board of directors. In late 2006, a collection of shareholder groups proposed a change in HP’s bylaws that would require HP to release the name of any person nominated for election to its board. However, HP intends to exclude this proposal from its proxy materials. The SEC currently is unable to agree or disagree with HP’s legal interpretation of rule 14a-8(I)(8) and could express no view at this time.

New Sudan-Free ETF to be Launched
Claymore Securities, Inc will soon have a new Index Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) screened by KLD. The new KLD-Certified Sudan Free Large-Cap Social ETF will employ a screen to filter out all companies that do business in the Sudan. A traditional socially responsible investing screen will also be applied. This is one of fourteen new ETFs Claymore filed with the SEC in early January for the right to launch. Claymore is expecting the fund to be open to investors by the end of the first quarter.

Faith-Based Investors Call For Generic Cancer-Fighting Drugs
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) recently released a letter to Novartis CEO Dr. Daniel Vasella asking Novartis to withdraw its legal challenge to Section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act in regard to the cancer drug Gleevac/Glivec. ICCR credits Novartis’ work in neglected disease research, policy development and stakeholder engagement. However, ICCR points out that public perceptions could turn against Novartis if the company continues its case like it did when Novartis and other drug companies challenged South Africa’s right to generic AIDS drugs.

TIAA-CREF and ShoreBank Working Together
January 10, 2007, TIAA-CREF revealed it would place multiple Certificates of Deposit worth $22 million with ShoreBank and ShoreBank Pacific, subsidiaries of ShoreBank Corporation. TIAA-CREF is one of the largest providers of retirement saving products with focuses in academic, medical, and cultural fields. This move represents TIAA-CREF’s largest deposit with ShoreBank and is an example of their commitment to community investing. ShoreBank is the US’s largest community development bank and provides financing and information to individuals, nonprofits, foundations and small businesses to help them create affordable housing and community development programs.

EPA’s New TRI Ruling Angers Green Investors
Many environmental organizations oppose the recent December 18, 2006, EPA ruling that reduced toxic reporting requirements for companies that emit toxic chemicals. The Social Investment Forum Foundation (SIF) has joined with many concerned citizen and environmental groups to confront the EPA’s weakening of Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI was created in response to the 1984 Bhopal catastrophe and this new ruling is the first time in 18 years that the EPA has limited the public’s right to know about pollutants. SIF has expressed concern that green investors will have less information without the full TRI disclosure on which to base investment decisions. The SIF calls on the EPA and elected officials to restore the EPA’s previous polices.

The first mutual fund investment in MicroVest
came from the Canadian Meritas Jantzi Social Index Fund to the tune of $300,000. Meritas is committed to investing up to 2 percent of its mutual fund assets into community development investments such as supporting microfinance through Bethesda, Maryland-based MicroVest, a $25 million private equity fund founded by three nonprofits: CARE, Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), and the Seed Capital Development Fund (SCDF).

A roadmap of best practices on compensation consultant independence
can be drawn from responses by 18 companies to an October 2006 letter sent to compensation committee chairs at the 25 largest US companies in the S&P 500 from institutional investors representing $849.5 billion. The ten companies cited by the investors as appearing to have "best practice" policies include some companies currently being criticized for excessive compensation, including Goldman Sachs (GS) and Home Depot (HD). The six nonresponding companies so far include Hewlett Packard (HPQ), Merck (MRK), Citigroup (C), JPMorgan
Chase (JPM), Texas Instruments (TXN), and Verizon (VZ)--Wal-Mart (WMT) has communicated to the investors with a promise to respond.

The first major insurer to go carbon neutral is UK-based Aviva
(AV.L). Since 2002, Aviva has cut building and travel-related carbon dioxide emissions by 54 percent, and currently 64 percent of electricity used the company globally is obtained from zero emission sources. Aviva will offset the remaining emissions by purchasing carbon credits that support tree planting and carbon-free power sources such as solar and wind.

Transparency on compensation consultant work took a step forward when General Electric
(ticker: GE) disclosed information beyond that mandated by new SEC requirements. In response to an October letter signed by large institutional investors and pension funds. GE revealed that its CEO, Jeff Immelt, was not involved in the selection of compensation consultant Frederic W. Cook & Co., which does no other work for a client beyond compensation consulting without the consent of the compensation committee chair. Pfizer (PFE) has also submitted a filing with the SEC noting that it uses Cook as its compensation consultant for CEO and other executive compensation, but not for any other services. For more on the letter sent to GE and 24 other top S&P 500 companies, read the related SocialFunds article.

Political donations disclosure concessions
have been made by Verizon (ticker: VZ), Monsanto (MON), and General Dynamics (GD) in response to shareowner resolutions and activism coordinated by the Center for Political Accountability (CPA). The three companies join 12 others that adopted disclosure practices in the 2005/2006 proxy season by posting a complete list of corporate political contributions on their websites and disclosing guidelines for their political giving. Monsanto and General Dynamics also agreed to establish board oversight of their political spending. Verizon reports that their board already receives reports on these contributions annually, and will continue to do so. General Dynamics has also agreed to report and have board oversight of its payments to trade associations that are used for political purposes, representing a significant expansion of political donations disclosure.

The Ecuadorian Attorney General issued a formal request that the US Justice Department investigate Chevron
(ticker: CVX) on allegations of fraud made by the Amazon Defense Coalition in report entitled Rainforest Catastrophe: Chevron's Fraud and Deceit In Ecuador. The report is related to a lawsuit currently in Ecuadorian courts over environmental damages caused by Chevron subsidiary Texaco during three decades of operation in the Amazon rainforest. For more on this suit, read the related SocialFunds article.

The Sixth Annual Australian Sustainability Awards
were announced by Ethical Investor. The Ethical Fund of the Year Award this year went to BT Ethical Share Fund. Insurance Australia Group was named the Sustainable Company of the Year, Blackmores the Sustainable Small Company of the Year. A Special Award for Environment went to CO2 Group; Special Award for Social/Community to Suncorp-Metway; Special Award for Corporate Governance to Wesfarmers; and Special AWard for Labor Relations to ANZ Banking Group.

Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis is being acquired by Xinhua Finance.
Shanghai-based Xinhua purchased an initial 19.9 percent of San Francisco-based Glass Lewis in August 2006 and the purchase of the remaining 80.1 percent is expected to close in early 2007. "XF is not well known, but critics are already questioning whether a company assumed to have close ties to Beijing should influence sensitive corporate voting outcomes around the world," stated the December 15, 2006 edition of Global ProxyWatch from Davis Global Advisors. The newsletter also noted that GL may no longer be perceived as free from conflicts of interest: "Parent XF owns investor relations firm Taylor Rafferty, whose clients are mostly corporates."

A new Working Group on Responsible Property Investment
--or the Property Working Group (PWG) has been launched by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).

A December 13 vote on whether shareowners should have access to the proxy to nominate directors has been postponed for the second time by the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC). Until it proposes new rules, the SEC has said that the decision by the Federal Appeals Court to allow shareowners to file resolutions to nominate directors will stand.

Two new members have joined the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights
(BLIHR)--General Electric (ticker: GE) and Ericsson (ERICY). BLIHR seeks to find "practical ways of applying the aspirations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights within a business context and to inspire other businesses to do likewise."

In support of a shareowner resolution on warrantless government surveillance of phone records at AT&T
(ticker: ATT) and Verizon (VZ), Working Assets posted an Action Alert urging people to write the CEOs of AT&T and Verizon asking the companies to adopt the proposals. The As You Sow Foundation filed the resolution, along with co-filer Calvert and the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

A new survey finds that many UK pension schemes are not disclosing their socially responsible investing policies and practices,
according to FairPensions, a coalition launched in 2005 including Amnesty, Oxfam, and WWF. The survey finds that only five of the UK’s 20 largest pension schemes disclose policies on social and environmental responsibility and only of 20 discloses proxy votes.

The US Supreme Court will start hearing oral arguments in the Massachusetts v. EPA
case to decide whether the Clean Air Act authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the pollution that causes global warming. This decision will also have a direct bearing on the eleven states across the country that have adopted global warming tailpipe emissions standards for cars and trucks. Under the Clean Air Act, states may decide to adopt the California tailpipe emissions standards in lieu of the federal standards. California has adopted regulations that would reduce fleet-wide global warming emissions from new vehicles by 25 percent in model year 2009, rising to a 30 percent reduction in model year 2016.

A survey on 54 sustainability professionals
on their company efforts connecting corporate social responsibility to overall business strategies has been released by the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). The findings, available in an executive summary, short slide show, and complete slide show, reveal that CSR has a high profile inside their companies, with 72% of respondents stating that their CEO publicly communicates their company’s commitment to CSR.

Three Canadian SRI mutual fund CEOs recommend amending the Clean Air Act to address climate change.
In an open letter to party leaders in the House of Commons, the CEOs Ethical Funds, Inhance Investment Management and Meritas Mutual Funds as well as the executive director of the Social Investment Organization (SIO) urge lawmakers to establish strict targets for emission reductions and establish a cap-and-trade system of carbon trading in Canada, among other recommendations.

Reaching its 2009 goal on recycled content use in its marketing publications, Dell
(ticker: DELL) announced it now uses an average of 50 percent recycled paper content--and even up to 90 percent in many publications. Dell estimates the increased recycled content paper is avoiding the use of nearly 35,000 tons of virgin fiber paper per year--the equivalent of saving more than 250,000 trees or more than the number of trees required to print three Sunday editions of the New York Times. Dell also currently sources between 15 and 20 percent of paper from Forest Stewardship Council-certified sources exceeding an interim goal to source 10 percent of paper requirements with FSC certification by 2006 and nearing its 2009 goal of 25 percent. Dell committed to these goals in October 2004 in its Forest Products Stewardship Model.

To reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operating facilities globally, HP
(ticker: HPQ) has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund-US (WWF-US) to identify the best technology and practices to reduce energy use 15 percent below 2006 levels by 2010. HP will also continue to investigate and purchase cost-effective renewable energy. HP is also committing to a series of other initiatives, including reporting and verifying carbon dioxide emissions from its facilities based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the World Economic Forum's Global Greenhouse Gas Register, develop energy efficiency measurements for its product categories.

Calvert Foundation Wins Wachovia Corporation Excellence Award

Bethesda-based Organization Recognized for “Innovation,” Work to Strengthen Economically Disadvantaged Communities

¬¬BETHESDA, MD.///November 8, 2006///The Calvert Social Investment Foundation is one of just four groups to be honored nationwide with the Seventh Annual Wachovia Excellence Awards for Opportunity Finance presented by the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). The Calvert Foundation was singled out for praise as a national leader for “Innovation.”

Honored for their outstanding efforts to provide jobs, affordable housing and vitally needed community facilities in “communities of opportunity” across America, the 2006 recipients of the awards were chosen for excellence in four categories: Calvert Foundation, Bethesda, Md. (Innovation); Enterprise Corporation of the Delta, Jackson, Miss. (Advocacy); Lenders for Community Development, San Jose, Calif. (Community Impact); and Illinois Facilities Fund, Chicago, Ill. (Financing).
Calvert Foundation won the Wachovia Excellence Award for Innovation for making their Calvert Community Investment Notes available through conventional commercial brokerage channels, putting in place sales agreements with 400 top brokerage houses. The Calvert Foundation has also created a new initiative to lend to Social Enterprises via an online application process. The online submission of loan requests allows Calvert Foundation to efficiently assess and manage its pipeline. The Foundation “private labels” its notes and helps others to offer similar community investment products which allows for broader distribution to wider groups and has led to additional $32 million to be channeled to low income communities.

“Calvert Foundation demonstrates that the opportunity finance industry is on the brink of real, transformational change,” said Opportunity Finance Network President & CEO Mark Pinsky. “We congratulate them for contributing so much to their communities and to the future of our industry.”

“As Calvert Foundation proves every single day, opportunity finance institutions play a crucial role in strengthening our communities,” said Wachovia Director of Community Relations Mike Rizer. “We’re proud to sponsor this event, which honors organizations that work so tirelessly to revitalize lower-income communities.”

Calvert Foundation Executive Director Shari Berenbach said: “We are delighted to be recognized for our work. Innovation is at the core of our ability to reach out and impact more and more communities in a direct and powerful way through investment. We are thrilled to be recognized as national leader in “Innovation”.

Each Wachovia Excellence Award for Opportunity Finance Presented by Opportunity Finance Network comes with a $1,000 prize.

Community development financial institutions invest in individuals, small businesses, quality affordable housing and vital community services that benefit economically disadvantaged people and communities. They are financial intermediaries that have community economic development as their core mission and make up a key emerging financial industry area addressing some of the most pressing community needs.


In addition to Calvert Community Investment Notes, the Calvert Foundation ( makes available a wide range of other innovative financial instruments and services, including the Community Investment Profile Database, the Calvert Giving Fund, and Community GiftShares. Calvert Foundation’s total loan portfolio now reaches $92 million. In 2005 alone, the Foundation disbursed $12.89 million to borrowers ranging from coffee cooperatives, affordable housing developers, and small business support centers to international microfinance intermediaries. These groups are subjected to industry-leading due diligence by Calvert Foundation to ensure both portfolio strength and high social impact.

Please note: Calvert Foundation is a separate entity from Calvert Group Ltd. and its products should not be confused with any Calvert Group-sponsored investment product.


Wachovia Corporation (NYSE:WB) is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services companies, providing a broad range of retail banking and brokerage, asset and wealth management, and corporate and investment banking products and services. Including the Golden West merger, which closed on October 1, 2006, Wachovia has retail and commercial banking operations in 21 states with 3,400 retail banking offices from Connecticut to Florida and west to Texas and California. In addition, two core businesses operate under the Wachovia Securities brand name: retail brokerage with 737 offices in 49 states and in Latin America, and corporate and investment banking in selected industries nationwide. Other nationwide businesses include mortgage lending in 39 states and auto finance covering 46 states.
Globally, Wachovia serves clients through more than 40 international offices. Online banking is available at; online brokerage products and services at, and investment products and services at At September 30, 2006, Wachovia had assets of $559.9 billion and market capitalization of $88.2 billion. On the same date, based on pro forma data, Wachovia’s combined assets were approximately $700 billion and combined market capitalization was $107 billion.


The Opportunity Finance Network is the leading network of private financial intermediaries with a proven expertise in lending prudently and productively in unconventional markets often overlooked by conventional financial institutions. Working in urban, rural, and reservation-based markets we deliver sound financial returns and real changes for people and communities. The Members of Opportunity Finance Network originated more than $11 Billion in financing through 2005. This has generated or maintained 170,693 jobs; 35,441 businesses; 484,943 housing units; and 5,153 community facility projects. With cumulative net charge-off rates of less than 1% we are dedicated to closing the gap between promising opportunities and real accomplishments for our nation’s people, communities, and markets that are outside the economic mainstream today. For more details, go to

CONTACT: Pat Mitchell, for Calvert Foundation, (703) 276-3266 and; Aimee Worsley, Wachovia, (704) 715-2005 and

EDITOR’S NOTE: Digital photos of the winners from the award ceremony will be available for download on November 2, 2006 at

The buyout of proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services
(ISS) was announced by RiskMetrics Group, a financial risk analytics firm spun-out of JP Morgan in 1998. ISS will operate as a separate, wholly-owned subsidiary of RiskMetrics Group with operations largely unchanged. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A socially responsible large cap equity index strategy tracking the Domini 400 Social Index
(DSI) for institutional investors has been launched by Northern Trust Global Investments (NTGI), which manages more than $20 billion in socially-screened assets.

A new reputational risk report service has been launched by Institutional Shareholder Services
(ISS) to address corporate environmental and social issues. The reports will be written by ISS's Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Analytics division. Beginning in 2007, ISS will offer an online platform to allow investors to view detailed sustainability reports for 1,400 US, Canadian and European companies, and to compare each company against its industry peers across national boundaries.

The 2006 Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing
has been awarded to Professor Brad Barber of the University of California at Davis for his study, Monitoring the Monitor: Evaluating CalPERS' Shareholder Activism. For more information, read the socialFunds article on the study. The Moskowitz Prize is awarded annually by the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business, in cooperation with the Social Investment Forum (SIF), for the best empirical research on socially responsible investing. Honorable mentions went to Harrison Hong and Marcin Kacperczyk for their Princeton University Working Paper, The Price of Sin: The Effects on Social Norms on Markets and to Baruch Lev, Christine Petrovits, and Suresh Radhakrishnan for their Working Paper from New York University’s Stern School of Business, Is Doing Good Good for You? Yes, Charitable Contributions Enhance Revenue Growth.

Financial support for two new nuclear power plants near Belene, Bulgaria has been withdrawn
by UniCredit Group and Deutsche Bank (ticker: DB), according to BankTrack. The move comes one week after Standard and Poor´s downrated the Bulgarian utility NEK from "developing" to "negative" because of its 51 percent participation in Belene, a project with estimated construction costs of between 2 and 3.5 billion euros.

A new socially responsible investing fund has been launched in South Korea
by Nonghyup CA Asset Management--the Nonghyup CA New Honours SRI fund. Ecofrontier is providing the rating information based on the methodology of its partner company, Innovest Strategic Value Advisors.

The world's first certification program
for providers of sustainable responsible investment (SRI) products and services has been launched by the Ethical Investment Association (EIA) in Australia. Completing an online course qualifies providers in four categories--fund managers, superannuation funds, dealer groups, and financial advisers--to license and display an official symbol validating their certification. It is anticipated the categories will extend to community banks, credit unions, and charitable and religious investors in the future.

A report outlining how US insurance companies can address climate change
was released by Allianz (ticker: ALVG) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The report makes a number of recommondations, including for both governments and insurance companies to help correct market distortions, for US insurers to begin incorporating future potential climate change impacts such as continued sea level rise and longer fire seasons into planning (rather than relying only on historical data of past weather events), and for insurers to influence land use development and planning in high risk areas.

The annual BENNY Awards
have been granted for outstanding achievement in advancing corporate ethics by the Business Ethics Network (BEN). The $15,000 First Prize went to the "Think Outside the Bottle: Challenge Corporate Control of Water" campaign by Corporate Accountability International targeting Coca-Cola (ticker: KO) and PepsiCo (PEP). The $10,000 Second Prize went the the Sakhalin II campaign by Sakhalin Environment Watch and Pacific Environment targeting Shell (RD). And the $5,000 Third Prize went to the Clean Up Ecuador campaign by Amazon Watch targeting Chevron (CVX).

A new report on global energy consumption and carbon emissions
has been issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Entitled The World in 2050, the report compares a "business as usual" approach with a "Green Growth Plus" approach that calls for emission reductions due to a greener fuel mix, annual energy efficiency gains over and above the historic trend, and widespread use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. Of the scenarios considered in the report, only this "Green Growth Plus" strategy stabiliZes atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations by 2050 at what the current scientific consensus suggests would be broadly acceptable levels.

A federal judge has dismissed an Alien Tort Claims Act case against two Coca-Cola
(ticker: KO) bottlers in Colombia filed by the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) in 2001 alleging they hired paramilitary groups to kill labor union organizers. However, the ruling opens the door for ILRF to appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

A collaborative initiative to educate independent corporate boardmembers on climate change opportunities and risks
has been launched by the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Ceres, and insurer Marsh (ticker: MMC), which is providing $250,000. Initial training of more than 200 independent US board members of Fortune 1000 companies will begin this winter through a newly created curriculum--the Sustainable Governance Forum.

A $500,000 grant has been awarded by the International Finance Corporation
(IFC) to KLD Research & Analytics, India-based CRISIL, and Standard & Poor’s, as well as TruCost and CLSA, to study environmental and social data on emerging market equities for pension funds and other institutional investors.

A survey to help identify consultants and advisers for institutional investors interested in socially responsible investing
(SRI) is being conducted jointly by PLANSPONSOR and the Social Investment Forum (SIF). The deadline for completing this survey, which is 30 questions long and takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete, is Thursday, October 5. The survey is specifically oriented to the defined contribution market. To fill out the survey, click here

Trillium Asset Management has adopted a Sudan Investment Policy.
The policy prohibits investment in foreign companies conducting business that props up the genocidal government in Sudan. Trillium first engages in shareowner dialogue with companies trying to dissuade them from conducting business with the Sudanese regime. If these dialogues are unsuccessful, Trillium will divest current holdings and remove the companies from its buy-list. Current US law prohibits US companies from conducting business (except for humanitarian purposes) with Sudan, which is defined by the US State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Cynthia Richson has been appointed CEO of the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute,
the non-profit institute established with the proceeds from the sale of the commercial operations of IRRC to Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) in July 2005. Ms. Richson was previously chief governance officer of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, and before that, served as an attorney and director of corporate governance for the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. The IRRC institute seeks to continue the original mission of IRRC of providing objective and useful research data and material for the investing public and institutional investors on environmental, social and governance issues.

Four banks continue to invest in cluster munitions despite pledging to withdraw,
according to a report by Belgium-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) Netwerk Vlaanderen. These banks include AXA (ticker: AXA), Dexia (DEX.BXS), Fortis (FTS) and ING (ING).

IW Financial and EIRIS
announced that IW Financial will be the sole distributor of EIRIS international social and environmental research in the US. UK-based EIRIS, among other activities, conducts research for the FTSE4Good index. EIRIS coverage on over 1,500 companies outside the U.S. will be made available through IW Financial's IWF Workstation.

Ceres/ACCA is calling for submissions
to the Ceres-ACCA North American Awards for Sustainability Reporting 2006. The awards recognize best practice in reporting on sustainability, environmental and social performance by corporations. The judging criteria address completeness, credibility and quality of communication. Interested parties can begin their application by reading the Applicants' Info Flyer (pdf). The deadline for submissions is October 27, 2006.

is seeking feedback on the development of new FTSE4Good Climate Change criteria. Stakeholders are being asked to give their feedback by the end of September through a Market Consultation document which takes around 20 minutes to complete.

Professor Aneel Karnani critiques the Bottom of the Pyramid
(BOP) concept in a July 2006 paper, arguing it is "at best a harmless illusion and potentially a dangerous delusion." Prof. Karnani also argues against alleviating poverty by viewing the poor as consumers, and instead proposes viewing them as producers as a means of raising the real income of the poor. BOP theorist CK Prahalad (who happens to be a University of Michigan colleague of Prof. Karnani) responds to the three main lines of critique on the World Resources Institute NextBillion blog.

Responses to a consultation paper on long-term, long-only
(LTLO) were released by the Marathon Club, a UK-based group of about 18 institutional fund trustees and senior executives promoting more long-term and responsible investing. Key themes of the responses included: lengthening the term of the investment contract while maintaining a quarterly review focusing on performance alone will not change short-term behavior and that the approach suggested in the paper was too narrow and should extend to other investment approaches.

The California Assembly passed the Honest Corporate Reporting Act
(AB 675), which would require large corporations to explain any differences between the profit numbers they report to tax authorities and profit numbers they report to shareholders if Governor Schwarzenegger signs the act into law in the next month. The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) calculates that corporations would contribute an additional $1 billion to $1.5 billion a year to the California state budget if they paid taxes on the income numbers that they tout to their shareholders, according to a new report by the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG).

The Gulf Coast Recovery Initiative has directed $1.6 million in loans
through Calvert Foundation Comm unity Investment Notes to help redevelop the regions devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) working in the region that received the loans include: Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Enterprise Community Partners collaborating on the Community Recovery Fund, Affordable Housing Resources, and ASI Credit Union.

A report projecting scenarios around global water issues through 2025
was released by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to coincide with World Water Week in Stockholm this week. The report covers issues such as water in China, climate change and water, and global water rights, and asks such complex questions as whether wars will be fought over access to water in the future.

First-year performance for the RepuTex SRI Index in Australia
of 15.85 percent outpaced the S&P/ASX 300, which rose 14.08 percent. The index launched on August 8, 2005.

Lisa Woll has been appointed the first Chief Executive Officer of the Social Investment Forum
(SIF). The SIF board of directors chose Ms. Woll from a diverse pool of over 220 candidates considered in a five-month search process. Ms. Woll has served as executive director of the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) and authored the Convention on the Rights of the Child Impact Study.

Two new studies report upsurge in venture capital and private equity investment in clean energy and technologies,
according to Research from the Cleantech Venture Network finds a record $843 million of venture capital invested in clean-tech in North America in the second quarter of 2006 Clean-tech investing in North America, the eighth consecutive quarter of growth. Research from New Energy Finance estimates that more than $2 billion in venture capital and private equity investment flowed into clean energy companies globally, three times the amount invested the previous quarter and more than double the figure for the same quarter in 2005.

Two new socially responsible investing funds have been launched by King & Shaxson Asset Management
(KSAM), the UK-based subsidiary of Singaporean financial services group PhillipCapital. One will be a cautious Balanced Income fund, the other a higher risk Green Solutions fund. Both will invest in equities, fixed income, property, commodities, and cash, and both will screen out companies involved in air and road transport, animal testing for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, armaments, fossil fuels, gambling, intensive farming, nuclear power, pesticides, pornography, and tobacco.

The North Carolina General Assembly approved $1.5-million in funding for two Durham-based community credit unions,
Latino Community Credit Union and Generations Community Credit Union. The credit unions will use the funding to provide mortgage assistance to low-income North Carolinians, with the former focusing on the Latino community and the latter focusing on the African American community.

The Federal Reserve will host an "expert chat" on its Fiscal Impact Tool
on August 3, 2006 at 2 pm Eastern Standard Time. The Fed launched the Financial Impact Tool in 2004 as an automated system that analyzes the potential impact of economic development projects. Speakers at the "chat" include William Michael Cunningham, CEO of Creative Investment Research, a socially responsible investing advisory firm.

Changes to the social and environmental screening policies at Pax World
were approved by its funds' boards of directors, according to a July 20 prospectus supplement. Pax World is making the move to update the screens to address issues such as climate change, sustainable development, sexual orientation non-discrimination, and other issues "that were not fully appreciated at the time when the screens were first adopted in 1971," according to the supplement. "Additionally, zero-tolerance or exclusionary screens in the areas of alcohol and gambling will be modified in order to provide the Funds with flexibility to make investment decisions based on a company's entire social responsibility profile," it continues. The changes are subject to shareowner approval at a September 28, 2006 meeting.

A new Country Sustainability Ratings tool has been launched by the Ethical Investment Research Services
(EIRIS). The tool provides analysis on 64 countries worldwide to socially responsible investment managers wishing to invest in sovereign fixed income securities. INVESCO Asset Management Deutschland is already using the service to aid in the management of their Fonds für Orden und Ökumene fund.

The recent reconstitution of the KLD Broad Market Social Index (BMSI) resulted in the deletion of Coca-Cola
(ticker: KO) over environmental, social, and governance issues--specifically due to concerns about selling caloric drinks in schools, community water supply depletion (particularly in India), and labor rights issues at bottling facilities (particularly in Colombia.) The deletion prompted TIAA-CREF to divest the 1.2 million Coke shares worth $52.4 million from the CREF Social Choice Account (SCA), the largest socially screened retail fund in the US with almost $8 billion in assets and the biggest licensee of the BMSI.

The latest socially responsible investing (SRI) organization to go carbon neutral is Winslow Management Company,
offsetting 100 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions from its business operations and travel by purchasing renewable energy credits and carbon offsets from TerraPass. Winslow follows in the footsteps of other carbon-neutral SRI-related organizations such as Walden, Calvert, and Social Venture Network SVN.

For the first time, a majority of Fortune 500 companies (253, or 51 percent) offers domestic partner health insurance benefits,
according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s The State of the Workplace 2005-2006 report. In addition, 430 (86 percent) of the organizations include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies, and 81 include gender identity and/or expression, marking a tenfold increase from 2001.

A report geared toward the service sector on managing greenhouse gas emissions
was recently released by the World Resources Institute. Entitled Hot Climate, Cool Commerce, the report acts as a practical guide and step-by-step manual for service-sector businesses ready to begin responding to climate change.

The Belgian government is requiring a 10 percent allocation to socially responsible investing by all public pension funds.
"Moreover, they must also justify their choice of investment on an annual basis," according to a recent newsletter from Brussels-based Dexia Asset Management.

Over 100 SRI mutual funds may soon be available through retirement plans at 3,500 businesses
in the Co-op America network through an agreement with Social(k). Co-Op America is introducing Social(k) to companies in its network, encouraging them to adopt the platform for their retirement programs. Whereas most retirement accounts offer only one or two SRI options (if any!), Social(k) provides access to funds from Calvert, Citizens, CRAFund Advisors, Domini, Parnassus, Pax World, Portfolio 21, Sierra Club Mutual Funds, TIAA-CREF, Women's Equity Mutual Fund, and Winslow.

Pax World Funds lowered expense ratios for the Pax World High Yield Fund
(ticker: PAXHX) from 1.50 percent to 0.99 percent for the individual investor class and from 1.15 percent to 0.74 percent for the institutional class. To achieve these reductions, Pax World Management Corp., the Fund’s investment adviser, lowered the management fee from 0.91 percent to 0.50 percent of average daily net assets for both individual and institutional investor class shares and also lowered the 12b-1 fee from 0.35 percent to 0.25 percent of average daily net assets for individual investor class shares and agreed to reimburse the Fund to the extent its "Other Expenses" exceed 0.24 percent of average daily net assets.

Italy-based Avanzi SRI Research is integrating into Vigeo Group,
a socially responsible investing and corporate social responsibility research firm which was itself the result of the 2005 merger of France-based Vigeo and Belgium-based Stock at Stake.

Co-op America's Campaign Prevents Dominion Power from Building Coal-fired Plants
The Climate Change Program, run by the non-profit Co-op America, credited its consumer awareness campaign with Dominion Power Company's decision to halt the building of three of four new coal-fired power plants. However, Co-op America indicated that the public needs to continue addressing clean energy issues with Dominion, as it still plans to build a coal-fired power plant and a nuclear power plant in Virginia. At the most recent annual meeting, Dominion shareholders also asked the company to address climate change issues.

Extra Financial Research Awards
This year's evaluation of the best extra-financial research was announced by the Enhanced Analytics Initiative (EAI). Of the 33 research providers assessed by sustainability consultancy onValues, nine produced extra-financial research outstanding enough to qualify for EAI members to allocate five percent of their brokerage commission budgets for the second half of 2006. Winning research came from Bernstein Research, Citigroup, CLSA, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Oddo Securities, and UBS Investment Research.

Wal-Mark Hires RMI
Wal-mark has contracted RMI to provide sustainability consulting. Specifically, RMI is helping Wal-Mart reduce energy use in its truck fleet and will also be helping the company expand green initiatives relative to their retail locations. "Why has Wal-Mart cultivated contacts and relationships with organizations such as Conservation International, Blu Skye and Rocky Mountain Institute?" asked Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott in a statement about the company's sustainability initiative. "Wal-Mart is taking a fresh look at these groups' work. And listening to them—as well as others like them—can help us envision our potential and grow in more sustainable ways. It positively serves every stakeholder in our company."

The request by 16 institutional investors to meet and discuss climate risk with the independent directors of ExxonMobil
(ticker: XOM) was rejected. Instead, management employees will be available to meet this summer. "It's the board's job to oversee the company's strategy on important issues like climate change," said Andrew Logan Ceres, which coordinates the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR). "This seems like a diversion, which seems to be their approach to climate change in general."

The latest university to divest its endowment holdings from companies doing business with the genocidal state of Sudan
is the University of Washington. The university's board of regents, fiduciaries for the $1.7 billion portfolio, voted to implement the policy that would result in the divestment from at least one company--Shell (ticker: RD).

Sales of Calvert Community Investment Notes surpassed the $100 million mark,
according to the Calvert Foundation. Calvert Notes generate social as well as financial returns from community investing and microfinance that support affordable housing and small businesses in low-income areas around the world.

President George W. Bush appointed Henry Paulson as Treasury Secretary.
As CEO and chair of Goldman Sachs (ticker: GS), Mr. Paulson has presided over the implementation of a comprehensive environmental policy for the company that addresses climate change, though it is too early to tell the degree to which Mr. Paulson might apply this environmental consciousness to his new position.

A shortlist of the Financial Times Sustainable Banking Awards
includes Deutsche Bank (ticker: DBKG), Citigroup (C--in two categories, including Sustainable Bankers of the Year), HSBC (HBC--in two categories, including Sustainable Deal of the Year), and ABN AMRO (ABN--in five categories, including Sustainable Bank of the Year). The awards, created with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), recognize banks that have shown leadership and innovation in integrating social, environmental and corporate governance objectives into their operations.

Among the corporate winners of the 2006 Climate Protection Awards from the Environmental Protection Agency
are Baxter International (ticker: BAX), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and International Business Machines (IBM--the first company to win the award twice). The awards recognize exceptional leadership, outstanding innovation, personal dedication, and technical achievements in climate protection.

Robert Schwartz, called "the grandfather of socially responsible investing"
by John Harrington of Harrington Investments, Inc., died of heart failure at the age of 88 on May 9, 2006 in Manhattan. Read the New York Times obituary.

The first major US insurer to adopt a climate change policy was AIG
(ticker: AIG), which posted the policy without fanfare or announcement on its website last week.

More than 25.8% percent of ConocoPhillips
(ticker: COP) shareowners voted in favor of a resolution filed by Green Century Capital Management asking the company to recognize--and eventually stay out of--sensitive areas within the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, particularly areas near Teshekpuk Lake. This represents the highest vote ever given by shareowners on a question of wilderness preservation.

Student SRI portfolios outperformed the S&P 500
in the Lehigh University SRI Contest, a 160-day event based on hypothetical $500,000, 20-stock portfolios with self-defined social and ethical criteria using IW Financial ratings. First-place winner Chris Huether (who received a $225 prize) created a portfolio with positive screens for human and worker rights, national defense, and minority leadership, and a negative screen for contraceptive producers that generated 14.8 percent returns, almost doubling the 7.71 percent returns for the S&P 500. Read a related SocialFunds article on a Villanova student-managed fund based on IW Financial ratings.

A database of emerging managers and financial service provider firms
is being developed by Altura Capital for the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) to increase diversity in the field. The database will be made available free of charge to other institutional investors and plan participants. Emerging firms--such as those run by women or minorities--can join the database free of charge. The deadline to participate is July 17, 2006. For background on this issue, read the related SocialFunds article.

Proxy season update:
The political donations disclosure resolution received 33 percent support at Verizon (ticker: VZ) and 21 percent at General Dynamics (GD). A resolution asking Chevron (CVX) to adopt a comprehensive human rights policy received 25 percent support, while the resolution requesting an accounting on spending related to the Ecuador lawsuit received over nine percent support. An argument reportedly erupted at the Chevron annual general meeting (AGM) between CEO David O'Reilly and stakeholders concerned about the company's handling of the Ecuador situation. "As the argument at the AGM proceeded, one shareholder apparently not involved in the dispute called upon the company to help the situation regardless of whether it was actually liable," reported Mallen Baker of Business Respect.

On the same day that 7.4 percent of shareholders supported a shareholder resolution asking Kimberly-Clark
(ticker: KMB) to adopt sustainable forestry practices, 20 activists blockaded all shipments of pulp and forest products into and out of a Kimberly-Clark factory in Ontario to as an act of civil disobedience protesting the cutting of ancient Boreal forests for use in Kleenex and other paper products. For more information on a report issued by Greenpeace (which coordinated the blockade) on this issue before last year's annual meeting at Kimberly-Clark, read the related article.

The seventh annual list of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens
was released by Business Ethics magazine. Topping the list, which is based on social research from KLD Research & Analytics, are Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (ticker: GMCR), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Motorola (MOT), and Agilent Technologies (A).

A new survey of registered investment advisors (RIA's)
found that the average respondent has only 2.5% of assets in SRI funds, and only 20% researched and recommended SRI funds. The survey, sponsored by Citizens Advisers, also found that 40% said they would find it very easy to fit SRI funds into asset allocation models.

SRI guidelines have been added to Northern Trust Compliance Analyst®,
a Web-based tool that monitors investment portfolio guidelines. The tool will now be able to tell users whether they are investing in companies that obtain revenue from ten restricted areas. Research will be provided by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS).

Eleven members of the US Congress filed an amicus brief
in support of victims of the 1984 chemical leak disaster in Bhopal, India by US chemical firm Union Carbide, now owned by Dow (DOW). Led by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), founder of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, the brief was in response to a New York Court of Appeals that refused a submission from India for a formal statement of relief.

The amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment decreased four percent from 2003 to 2004,
according to Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for that period released on April 12, 2006 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has proposed changes to TRI that would increase the threshold of toxic releases triggering the need to report and decrease the frequency of reporting from yearly to every other year.

A new exchange traded fund (ETF) based on the Dow Jones Euro STOXX Sustainability 40 Index
(DJSI EURO STOXX) is being launched by Indexchange, a German ETF provider. The DJSI EURO STOXX comprises the 40 biggest sustainability leaders in the Euro zone, weighted according to sustainability scores based on the results of the annual assessment by Sustainable Asset Management (SAM).

The top prize in the 2006 North American Awards for Sustainability Reporting
from Ceres and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is shared by Nike (ticker: NKE, in recognition of its groundbreaking disclosure of its global factory supply chain, and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). Commendation for social reporting goes to Gap Inc. (GPS); commendation for integrated (financial and non-financial) reporting to Dofasco (DFS.TO); and best small and medium enterprise report award goes to Seventh Generation.

Less than .01 percent of voting shareholders supported a resolution calling into question
the new Environmental Policy at Goldman Sachs (ticker: GS). The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires first-year resolutions to receive at least three percent support to qualify for re-filing, thus precluding the Free Action Enterprise Fund (which identifies itself as anti-SRI and anti-CSR) from submitting this resolution again.

The first Canadian member of the Enhanced Analytics Initiative
(EAI) is the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. EAI encourages investment research that considers the impact of extra-financial issues on long-term company performance. EAI members allocate at least five percent of annual broker commissions to those research organizations with the best extra-financial analysis.

Citizens Advisors has called for divestment of business activities in Sudan
by companies within its portfolios, namely Citizens Funds. Letters will be sent to the CEOs of approximately 20 companies.

Bennett Freeman has been hired as senior vice president for social research and policy
at Calvert. Mr. Freeman is the former deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor and former head of the global corporate responsibility practice at Burson-Marsteller.

A $1 million investment in microcredit purveyor
Oikocredit has been made by the Presbyterian Foundation, an arm of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Oikocredit provides microloans to help alleviate poverty in more than 50 countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Calvert passed the portfolio manager reins for the Calvert World Values International Equity
(ticker: CWVGX) from Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (GMO) to Acadian Asset Management.

The first green investment to enter the FTSE All-Share Index
in the UK is Impax Environmental Markets (IEM), an investment trust that holds small and mid-cap growth stocks active in global water, waste, and new energy markets.

About 2,000 women protesting mass cultivation of eucalyptus trees invaded a plantation in southern Brazil owned by Aracruz Cellulose
(ticker: ARA), the world's biggest producer of bleached eucalyptus pulp used to produce cellulose, the main ingredient of paper. The protesters caused what the company said was millions of dollars of damage and losses, according to a Reuters article posted on the Planet Ark website. Small farmers and environmentalists say the cellulose plants ruin soil, cause rivers to dry up, and pollute the environment.

Hoping to strengthen social and environmental standards, some 16 groups with concerns about Burma have written the Asian Development Bank
(ADB) an open letter in response to the lender's discussion note on its safeguard policies update. Although the ADB has not given any new loans to Burma since 1986, the ADB supports a range of regional projects which involve large-scale development projects in Burma--two controversial projects include the Asian Highway component of the East-West Economic Corridor initiative, and the Ta Sang Dam on the Salween River of the proposed Mekong Power Grid. EarthRights International, one of the letter signatories, has written a report identifying problems with the East-West Economic Corridor.

Lawyers in Ecuador have sent the International Commission of Jurists
(ICJ) a letter requesting trial observers to stem corruption in a lawsuit pitting 30,000 residents of 80 communities affected by pollution from oil exploitation by Texaco from 1964 through 1992 against parent company Chevron (ticker: CVX). The letter also outlines various forms of harassment those close to the trial have been experiencing.

A report on the food and beverage industry response to the increasing obesity problem
was issued by SRI research firm Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS). The report analyzes six companies--Cadbury-Schweppes (ticker: CBRY.L), Coca-Cola (KO), Kraft (KFT), McDonald’s (MCD), PepsiCo (PEP), and Unilever (UN), and finds that although a number of positive steps have been taken, producers are not yet doing enough to manage their risks.

A settlement over the $1.2 billion fraudulent earnings manipulation scheme from 1997 to 2000 at Xerox
(ticker: XRX) was reached between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and four former KPMG partners. Three partners agreed to permanent injunctions, payment of record civil penalties ($250,000), and suspensions from practice before the Commission with rights to reapply in from one to three years. The fourth partner agreed to be censured by the Commission.

A Small Business Initiative has been launched by the CRA Qualified Investment Fund
(ticker: CRAIX) to raise $50 million ($15 million has already been raised) to support loans small businesses in low- to moderate-income, minority and emerging communities, including areas hit by Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters. Partnering on this initiative is the Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF) and other groups.

First year financial performance of 20.8 percent for the Australian SAM Sustainability Index
(AuSSI) from Sustainable Investment Management (SAM) Group beat out the S&P/ASX 200, the overall market benchmark, by 0.7 percentage points as of February 17, 2006, the one-year anniversary of the index's launch.

A group of over 85 influential Evangelical Christian leaders concerned over climate change
launched the Evangelical Climate Initiative with a statement containing four claims: 1. Human-Induced Climate Change is Real; 2. The Consequences of Climate Change Will Be Significant, and Will Hit the Poor the Hardest; 3. Christian Moral Convictions Demand Our Response to the Climate Change Problem; and 4. The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate changestarting now.

A shareowner resolution asking for a report on data behind opposition to climate change science has been withdrawn
by Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) and other Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) members because ExxonMobil (ticker: XOM) has issued the requested report. While the report delivers the specific information requested in the resolution, concern remains in the socially responsible investing community over the company's governance on climate risk and opportunity, as well as its vision for the future of energy.

To help companies address the strategic and financial challenges associated with global climate change,
Ceres and the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) have published a toolkit that covers how to assess climate risks and opportunities and how to implement policies and action plans to manage risks and capitalize on opportunities. The toolkit also includes case studies from companies that have developed successful climate strategies, including General Electric (ticker: GE), American Electric Power (AEP), Ford (F), and Bank of America (BAC).

Seeking disclosure of corporate greenhouse gas emissions data,
a group of 211 institutional investors with assets of $31 trillion under management is writing to 1,800 of the largest quoted companies in the world by market capitalisation in the fourth iteration of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Whereas the first three requests were sent to the 500 largest corporations by market capitalisation in the world (FT 500), CDP4 is expanding its scope more than threefold by sending requests to the largest companies in the US, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil, as well as the 300 largest electric utilities globally.

A new index merging sustainability criteria with Islamic investing principles
has been released by Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) and Dow Jones Indexes. The 105 companies included in the Dow Jones Islamic Market Sustainability Index are components of both the Dow Jones Islamic Market Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.

The most irresponsible corporations were named
in the second annual Public Eye Awards, awarded by the Berne Declaration and Pro Natura at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting to Chevron (ticker: CVX) in the environmental category for the legacy of subsidiary Texaco's contamination of the Ecuadorian rainforest; Walt Disney (DIS) in the social category for labor and human rights violations of Chinese suppliers; and Citigroup (C) in the tax category for abetting tax evasion. The first "Positive Award" went to the Mexican labor union National Revolutionary Union of Euzkadi Workers (SNRTE) and two German nongovernmental organizations, Germanwatch and Food First Information & Action Network (FIAN), which protested the unlawful closure of the Euzkadi factory of tire multinational Continental (CON.DE), leading to the reopening in February 2005 with the workers as joint owners of the factory.

The Sovereign Assessment Tool,
a new investment research tool analyzing country-level policy and performance on human rights, labor rights, the environment, and governance, has been launched by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors. The tool initially focuses on the EU-25 countries and the emerging markets, assessing such specific issues as securities regulation, transparency, banking supervision and money laundering. The country screens will also consider the arms trade looking at conventional weapons, nuclear weapons, chemical weapons as well as landmines and involvement in conflict.

The 2005 proxy voting records of seven large Dutch institutional investors
show scant support for corporate social responsibility (CSR) resolutions, according to a study by the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO).

Active Share Ownership in Europe,
a handbook recently released by the European Social Investment Forum (Eurosif), helps investors improve management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks as well as shareowner rights. The handbook compliments the European Commission's recent proposal for a Directive to facilitate the cross-border exercise of shareholders' rights in listed companies.

The merger of European SRI research organizations Vigeo and Stock at Stake
completed to form the Vigeo Group, which will now cover 1500 stocks (800 European, 400 North American, and 300 Asian-South Pacific companies). For more information on this merger, read the July 2005 article.

US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez granted the 2005 US Presidential Award for Corporate Leadership
(also known as the Ron Brown Award after the former Secretary of Commerce) to household products company SC Johnson (ticker: SCJ) for its Greenlist program, a four year old environmental classification system for measuring and tracking environmental responsibility in its product lines.

The first climate change report in the auto industry was issued by Ford
(ticker: F), in response to a shareowner resolution filed in November 2004by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and Ceres, who withdrew the resolution upon securing the promise of issuing this report.

Political contribution transparency policies
for disclosing soft money political contributions made with corporate funds were adopted by Coca-Cola (ticker: KOPEP), and Eli Lilly (LLY) in response to shareowner dialogue by Green Century Capital Management and the Center for Political Accountability at Coke and Pepsi and the Sisters of Mercy of Detroit, under the umbrella of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) at Lilly.

The largest civil penalty ever rendered by the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA)--$16.5 million--has been levied against DuPont (DD) for witholding information for over two decades on health and environmental risks of PFOA, which is used in making Teflon. DuPont Shareholders for Fair Value (DSFV), a coalition that includes the SRI firm Green Century Capital Management, notes that DuPont is currently under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) related to PFOA. A shareholder resolution at the April 2006 DuPont annual meeting asks the company to report on the feasibility of expeditiously eliminating all uses of PFOA.

Several of the 25 winners of the 2006 Social Capitalist Awards
from Fast Company magazine operate in the socially responsible investment or corporate social responsibility fields, including ACCION International, Calvert Foundation, Grameen Foundation USA, and Transfair USA.

A $100 million socially responsible investing mandate
was awarded by the Swedish pension fund Arkitekternas Pensionskassa to State Street Global Advisors in its Global Equity SRI Fund, which passively tracks the MSCI World Index with a socially screened overlay provided by the Swedish SRI advisory firm Ethix.

In response to a shareholder resolution requesting board de-classification
filed by Harrington Investments, Inc. (HII), Starbucks (ticker: SBUX) is proposing an amendment to its articles of incorporation to hold annual board elections beginning with the 2007 annual meeting. "I'm hopeful that the next step will be an open nomination process whereby shareholders can actually nominate director candidates which will appear in the company's proxy solicitation material, and that those candidates must receive a majority of the total vote cast to be elected to the board of directors," said John Harrington, president and CEO of HII.

A new subadvisor has been selected by Canadian SRI firm
Meritas for its US Equity Fund, with Davis Advisors replacing MMA Capital Management. The effective date of the transfer will be January 3, 2006.

A study of the five leading tissue manufacturers in Europe
conducted by WWF ranks companies on a 0 (worst) to 100 (best) percent scale based on recycling content, transparency and overall environmental responsibility. The study rates SCA Tissue highest with a 46 percent score, Metsa Tissue next at 35 percent, then Georgia-Pacific (ticker GP) at 32 percent, Procter & Gamble (PG) at 26 percent, and lastly Kimberly-Clark (KMB) at 24 percent.

The state government of Kerala, India has declared the region of Plachimada,
where one of the largest Coca-Cola (ticker: KO) bottling plants is located, to be "over-exploited" in its water resources. The development will require Coke to register its wells and borewells within four months to the newly formed Ground Water Regulatory Authority. "It seems unlikely that the Coca-Cola company will be granted permission to use groundwater as a result of water scarcity in the area," according to a release from the Plachimada Solidarity Committee and India Resource Center.

The first computer processor designed for eco-responsibility
was unveiled by Sun Microsystems (ticker: SUNW) at the recent Summit on 21st Century Eco-Responsibility.

Companies doing business in Sudan are now easier to track
with the launch of the new Sudan Compliance Service by KLD Research & Analytics. The service identifies more than 120 such companies worldwide to help money managers comply with increasing calls from institutional investors such as Harvard University and the public pension funds of Illinois, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Oregon. Read the article on Sudan divestment.

Prime candidates for venture capital investment in sustainable enterprises from emerging economies
are being identified by the New Ventures program of the World Resources Institute (WRI) at events in Mexico; Shanghai, China; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Seeking accountability on political donations, four Texas reform groups
(Texans for Public Justice, Public Citizen, Common Cause Texas, and Campaigns for People) sent letters to 54 corporations that used corporate funds to influence Texas’ 2002 state elections. The letter asks the companies to adopt a policies that would prohibit such actions in the future. All 54 corporations made direct corporate contributions in 2002 to Texans for a Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC) or the Texas Association of Business (TAB), both of which are under investigation (along with TRMPAC founder Tom DeLay) for illegally using prohibited corporate funds.

A new online discussion group on the topic of socially responsible property investing
has been launched. The listserve, which is free and voluntary, follows up on presentations to the session entitled "Is There a Green Real Estate Investment Trust In Our Future?" at the 2005 SRI in the Rockies conference by Gary Pivo of the University of Arizona, Leanne Tobias of Malachite LLC, and Rick Imperiale of Forward Fund Uniplan. To subscribe to the listserve, send an email to with "subscribe rpi Firstname Lastname" (substitute your first name and last name) as the only line in the body of the message.

Support for continuing tax exemption of credit unions
was expressed by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions in a letter to all members of the US House of Representatives Committee on Ways & Means. The letter asserts that removing the exemption would not only inhibit the growing, innovative efforts of credit unions of all types and sizes to expand service to low-income communities, but would also hinder existing and future credit union initiatives in those same communities.

Socially responsible investing is the focal topic
of the Fall issue of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR newsletter, Off The Charts, which includes an article on climate risk and an interview with Calvert Chief Social Investment Strategist Julie Gorte and Social Marketing Director Paul Hilton.

Fair Trade Certified organic coffee will now be served
in 658 McDonald's (ticker: MCD) restaurants in New England and Albany, New York. The coffee brand is Newman's Own Organics, roasted by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR).

The consolidation of socially responsible investment research firms continues
as Innovest Strategic Value Advisors acquired the non-solicited company ratings services of CoreRatings from Det Norske Veritas (DNV), a provider of environmental and social management systems certifications.

In response to a shareholder resolution
filed by NorthStar Asset Management, Hain Celestial (ticker: HAIN) has agreed to issue a report to shareholders by July 2006 on executive compensation, particularly focusing on the the compensation package of CEO Irwin Simon. The report will touch on four points, including "an explanation of whether the level of pay of the lowest paid workers should result in an adjustment of executive pay to more reasonable and justifiable levels."

Diane Wilson, an environmental activist and author
of An Unreasonable Woman, has announced that until Union Carbide and its former CEO Warren Anderson appear in court in India (where they are officially considered "absconders") to face manslaughter charges for the 1984 chemical disaster in Bhopal, she will not return to Texas to serve her jail sentence of four to six months for hanging a banner stating "Responsible for Bhopal" from a smokestack at a chemical plant run by Dow (ticker: DOW), which now owns Union Carbide.

An online discussion on the relationship between business and the UN Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs) is being hosted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The dialogue follows up on recent WBCSD initiatives on how business can help achieve the MDGs, including a report and a thought leaders dialogue at the UN Global Summit. Those interested in participating in the dialogue, which runs until October 31, 2005, can subscribe online. Read the related article.

A survey of 160 annual reports
selected at random from the S&P 500 and the S&P/TSX Composite Index finds 36 percent publishing a separate section on sustainability or corporate responsibility. The Annual Report Trends Survey 2005, the second such survey conducted by Craib (a team of corporate communications designers and writers) and BarnesMcInerney (a communications consultancy specializing in investor relations), collects data on 186 different items to identify trends, benchmarks and best practices.

A report on the social, environmental, and ethical challenges in the chemical sector,
the second in a series of sector reports commissioned and released by the European Social Investment Forum (Eurosif), has been conducted by the UK-based Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS). The report identifies five key challenges for the sector: climate change, resource use, chemicals of concern in products, chemical process safety, and marketplace conduct.

The merger of two Jewish social change philanthropy organizations,
the Jewish Fund for Justice (JFJ) and the Shefa Fund, will result in the formation of the Jewish FundS for Justice (JFSJ). Jewish Fund for Justice makes grants and provides technical assistance to grassroots organizations of low-income people, supports faith-based community organizing, and educates Jews about poverty issues. The Shefa Fund organizes funds to invest in low and moderate-income communities, promotes corporate responsibility through shareholder engagement, and provides grantmaking services to progressive Jewish donors. JFSJ will work throughout the country and maintain offices in New York City, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.

A government inquiry into the status of corporate responsibility in Australia
is currently being conducted by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services. Public submissions entered by September 30, 2005 are being taken into account in this inquiry, which will result in a committee report slated for release on November 29, 2005.

Global Compact Plus,
a research tool for assessing the risks and opportunities associated with investing in companies voluntarily adhering to the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact, was released by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors. The tool accounts for variations in the materiality of environmental, social, and governance issues in different industry sectors, assesses actual corporate practice instead of corporate rhetoric, and provides "best-in-class" rankings of companies compared to same-sector peers.

Nominations for the fourth annual Ceres-ACCA North American Awards for Sustainability Reporting
are being sought by Ceres and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in Canada. The awards, which cover reports issued in 2005 covering 2004 performance, recognize exemplary reporting on corporate social and environmental performance, but do not seek to gauge the performance itself. Awards are granted in three categories: Sustainability Reporting, Environmental Reporting, and Social Reporting.

Six community development credit unions (CDCUs) received almost $4 million,
totalling just over 12 percent of the $32.8 million awarded by the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund of the US Treasury Department, according to the National Federation of CDCUs. The six CDCUs included Brooklyn (formerly Bushwick) Cooperative FCU, Mendo Lake CU in Ukiah, CA; O.U.R. FCU in Eugene, OR, Self-Help CU in Durham, NC, Syracuse Cooperative FCU, and Thurston Union of Low-Income People (TULIP) Cooperative CU in Olympia, WA. Enterprise Corporation of the Delta (ECD), an affiliate of the Jackson, MS, Hope Community CU, also received financial assistance from the CDFI Fund.

The state government of Kerala, India has appealed an April 7, 2005 Kerala High Court ruling that allowed Coca-Cola
(ticker: KO) to extract 500,000 liters of water a day for its Plachimada bottling plant, arguing that it violates the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution of India and that groundwater belongs to the public. For more information, click here.

A new survey of more than 400 of the 2,000 investors
in Community Investment Notes from the Calvert Foundation finds increasing assets funneling into community investment. A quarter (25 percent) of survey respondents say they are investing 10 percent or more of their assets in community investing, compared to just 18 percent in the 2001 survey.

Accolades go to Lars Rebien Sørensen, CEO of Denmark-based pharma/biotech company Novo Nordisk
(ticker: NVO), and Bob Welsh, CEO of Australia-based pension fund VicSuper, who were granted the Sustainability Leadership Award by Sustainable Asset Management (SAM), its Sustainable Performance Group (SPG), and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

A new socially responsible investment (SRI) hedge fund
has been launched by Minlam Asset Management that takes both long and short positions in equities. The fund's screens are based on the social research database of Progressive Asset Management (PAM) and industry analyses of Innovest Strategic Value Advisors.

The first Australian socially responsible investment (SRI) fund to win
the Standard & Poor's Fund Award for the region was the Australian Ethical Balanced Trust, in the "balanced funds--neutral" category. The awards are calculated using a relative risk-adjusted ratio that evaluates the performance and consistency of performance of a fund relative to its peers, which includes all mainstream balanced investment funds. The fund is managed by Australian Ethical Investment, a "deep green boutique fund manager based in Canberra" according to CEO Anne O’Donnell, and has generated 15.68 percent returns over the last year ended July 31, 2005, making it the top performing diversified Australian SRI fund in that period. Over the past seven years, the fund has generated total annualized returns of 10.09 percent.

In the largest-ever tax shelter fraud case, KPMG
admitted to criminal wrongdoing and agreed to pay $456 million in fines, restitution, and penalties as part of an agreement to defer prosecution of the firm, according to the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, nine individuals--including six former KPMG partners and the former deputy chairman of the firm--are being criminally prosecuted in relation to the multi-billion dollar criminal tax fraud conspiracy.

A search is underway for a Senior Vice President of Social Research and Policy
at Calvert. As well, Calvert just hired a new Social Marketing Director--Paul Hilton, who previously worked with the Dreyfus Premier Third Century Fund portfolio management team with a focus on social research, policy, and marketing.

A new corporate social responsibility (CSR) research fellowship program sponsored by McDonald's
(ticker: MCD) was launched at the Center for Responsible Business of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Six second-year Haas MBA students will receive the $2,000 McDonald's fellowships as well as open access to the company to conduct an in-depth case study focusing on issues such as supply chain management, code of conduct and animal welfare, restaurant level environmental management, and supplier environmental scorecard.

Australia saw the release of its second SRI index,
the RepuTex Social Responsibility Investment Index, which comprises 44 companies from the S&P/ASX 300 Index with RepuTex corporate social responsibility ratings of "A" (satisfactory) or higher. Research on historic data from the 2004/05 financial year shows that the new index outperformed the ASX All Ordinaries by 1.21 percent and the S&P/ASX 300 by 0.23 percent. Read the related SocialFunds article.

Despite its harsh chastising of the directors of Walt Disney
(ticker: DIS) for falling far short of corporate governance best practice, the Delaware Chancery Court held that the Disney directors did not breach their fiduciary duties or commit waste in connection with the hiring and firing of Michael Ovitz in 1995-1996. For more information, see this commentary from a corporate governance law firm.

The Moskowitz Prize for the best quantitative research on socially responsible investing
will now be hosted by the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business of the University of California at Berkeley. There, its scope will expand to encompass the Moskowitz Research Program, which will absorb the existing website of SRI research abstracts and the SRINotes blog, a discussion forum for leading thinkers in the field of SRI (both of which are currently published by Moskowitz Prize founder Lloyd Kurtz.) The Social Investment Forum, which has hosted the prize since its 1996 inception, will continue to serve as a consultant for the award.

Julie Gorte has been appointed to the newly-created position of vice president, chief social investment strategist
by Calvert. Since joining Calvert in 2000, Dr. Gorte served as the director of social research.

Lee Raymond, renowned as a climate change naysayer, will retire at the end of this year
as CEO and chair of ExxonMobil (ticker: XOM). It is anticipated the board of directors will elect ExxonMobil president Rex Tillerson, according to ExxonMobil.

A database of corporations worldwide with business ties to Sudan,
called the Sudan Corporate Monitor SCM, has been released by Conflict Securities Advisory Group CSAG, a firm that provides information to institutional and individual investors of terrorism- and proliferation-related risk factors that can negatively affect the share values and reputations of publicly traded companies.

New Jersey will divest
an estimated $1 billion in pension funds from companies doing business in Sudan. The legislation behind the divestment takes effect August 1st. Illinois recently passed similar legislation but it does not take effect until next January.

Cement CO2 Protocol Updated
A number of leading cement companies, through the Cement Sustainability Initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), recenty issued refinements to the protocol outlining how the industry addresses CO2 emissions. The revised protocol provides a harmonized methodology for calculating CO2 emissions and addresses all direct and the main indirect sources of CO2 emissions related to the cement manufacturing process in absolute as well as specific or unit-based terms.

Illinois Divests from Sudan
Illionois has passed a new law requiring the state to divest about $1 billion worth of pension investments in companies that do business in Sudan. The divestment is in protest of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country's Darfur region.

Wells Fargo
(ticker: WFC) has made a 10-point Environmental Commitment that includes a promise to provide more than $1 billion over the next five years to environmentally-beneficial business opportunities. Rainforest Action Network (RAN) issued a press release criticizing the move, saying it "fell far short of industry best practices recently set by Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), and JPMorgan Chase (JPM)." RAN characterized Wells Fargo's adoption of the Equator Principles "as inherently meaningless since project finance is a negligible aspect of its business." Read the related SocialFunds article.

Share price dropped 10.8 percent at DuPont
(ticker: DD) from $47.77 on May 19, 2005, when the company announced it had received a federal grand jury subpoena from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding perfluorooctanoate (PFOA--a chemical used to produce Teflon and other DuPont products) to a low of $42.60 on July 6, after the June 28 release by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of a draft Science Advisory Board report on risks of PFOA. DuPont Shareholders for Fair Value (DSFV), a coalition of DuPont investors, urges
the company to improve disclosure regarding the issue to restore investor confidence.

Adding to its new asset allocation fund series,
Calvert launched the Calvert Aggressive Allocation Fund (ticker: CAAAX) after recently launching the the Calvert Conservative Allocation Fund (CCLAX) and the Calvert Moderate Allocation Fund (CMAAX). Each is a "fund of funds," or a mutual fund constituted with a collection of existing Calvert mutual funds, and each carries the degree of risk corresponding to its name. Read the related SocialFunds article on the conservative and moderate funds.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting is growing
amongst S&P 100 companies, according to a new study by the Social Investment Research Analysts Network (SIRAN), a working group of the Social Investment Forum (SIF) consisting of socially responsible investment (SRI) analysts from 30 North American firms. According to the study, more than half of the S&P 100 Index (58 companies) have special CSR sections of their websites, almost 40 percent (39 companies) issue annual CSR reports, and nearly a quarter (24 companies) report according to Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

The CRA Qualified Investment Fund
(ticker: CRAIX) portfolio added a bond supporting the first "environmentally friendly" affordable housing complex in the South Bronx, the Taino Plaza. The solar-powered by solar mixed-use complex, funded by Apple Bank for Savings, Atlantic Bank of New York, Israel Discount Bank of New York, North Fork Bank, and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, combines 105 units of affordable housing with 18,400 square feet of retail space.

The European Social Investment Forum
Eurosif has released the first of a series of sector reports to be produced this year in collaboration with socially responsible investment (SRI) research firms. The first report, produced with European SRI research firm Vigeo, focuses on the hotel and tourism sector, highlighting six potential risks: climate change, environmental degradation, labor standards and working conditions, human rights and corruption, local community investment, and safety and security threats. In the second report, due out in July, UK-based SRI research firm Ethical Investment Research Service (EIRIS) will concentrate on chemicals and in the third report, due out in September, Switzerland-based Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) will focus on automobiles.

FTSE4Good released a report
entitled FTSE4Good Index Series 2004-2005, The Impact of New Criteria and Future Direction. The report finds that the number of companies qualifying for inclusion in FTSE4Good indexes rose from 700 since its 2001 launch to 900 in March 2005. It also documents the impact of FTSE4Good's incremental approach. For example, when FTSE introduced new environmental criteria in 2002, over 450 companies did not meet these criteria. By March 2005, almost 200 of these companies met the requirements, and
about 100 are working towards meeting them by strict deadlines.

In 2005, 49 companies qualified for the Johannesburg Securities Exchange
(JSE) Socially Responsible Investment Index (of 58 who applied), down from 51 (of 74 who applied) last year due to more stringent criteria. Whereas last year's criteria simply assessed whether companies had social and environmental policies in place, this year's criteria assessed how well companies are implementing these policies. For the first time, the JSE SRI Index announced outstan ding performers.

After dismissing electronic waste problems at its annual genereal meeting (AGM), Apple Computers
(ticker: AAPL) announced it will offer free recycling of iPod music players at its retail stores throughout the US and a 10 percent discount on the same-day purchase of a new iPod. This fulfills the request made by socially responsible investment firm Green Century Capital Management at the AGM; however, the Computer TakeBack Campaign is advocating for Apple to go further, extending its recycling efforts throughout its product lines.

The 2005 Best Companies for Women of Color
list was announced by Working Mother magazine. The list included three companies in 2003, six in 2004, and eight in 2005: Allstate (ticker: ALL), American Express (AXP), Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, General Mills (GIS), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), IBM (IBM), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Electronic waste is a significant concern to Canadians,
according to a new poll by Ipsos-Reid commissioned by Canadian Business for Social ResponsibilityCBSR. The poll, part of CBSR's CSR High Tech Trends Overview, found that 84 percent of Canadians prefer to purchase electronics from companies with environmentally responsible disposal practices, and almost 40 percent are willing to pay a premium for such products.

European mobile phone company transparency differs significantly regarding health issues and associated risk,
according to a new report from Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS). EIRIS identified 16 key indicators for assessing companies' management of mobile phone health concerns, and found none that qualified as "advanced" and only four companies out of 18 as "good."

A survey of the wood and paper purchasing habits of the Fortune 100
published by Metafore in a recent report found that only a few of the companies see a strong connection between wood and paper purchasing and the environmental impacts on their businesses. The report notes, however, that companies are increasingly aware of the need for more responsible purchasing practices.

Thirteen months after shareowners agreed to withdraw a climate change resolution, Southern Company
(ticker: SO) has upheld its end of the bargain by issuing a report on how it intends to address climate risk. The report was immediately criticized by environmentalist groups. Clear the Air Deputy Director Peter Altman noted that the report includes no significant targets for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from the company's coal-fired plants and recommends no regulation that might encourage or force such cuts. Stephen Smith of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy described Southern Company as "laggards, laggards, laggards," according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article by Margart Newkirk.

Pax World Management,
investment manager for Pax World Funds, named Joe Keefe as its new CEO. Mr. Keefe comes to Pax from his position as senior adviser for strategic social policy at Calvert Group. He also serves on the board of directors of the Social Investment Forum (SIF) and as founding president of NewCircle Communications, a strategic consultancy. In the past, Mr. Keefe served as general counsel and executive vice president of Citizens Advisers.

Socially responsible investment (SRI) assets in Canada
grew by 27 percent over the last two years, from $51.42 billion in 2002 to $65.46 billion in 2004, according to a report released by the Social Investment Organization (SIO), the SRI trade group in Canada.

Expressing regret over the decision
to require shareholders to submit questions in writing to be read aloud selectively by CEO Steve Rogel at this year's annual general meeting, Weyerhaeuser (ticker: WY) vowed to return to the more transparent open mic question and answer period in future annual meetings. "To listen to our shareholders, we were reminded that there is no substitute for hearing from them directly, in their own words," Mr. Rogel said in a statement. For more information on this issue, please read the related article.

The second Institutional Investor Summit on Climate Risk
will convene on May 10, 2005 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Organized by the UN Foundation and the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a coalition of institutional investors that collectively manage more than $2.7 trillion in assets, the summit follows in the footsteps of the first such gathering in November 2003. For more information on the first summit, read the related articles (part one and part two.)

Vermont Law School
(VLS) students have formed a Shareholder Advocacy Committee, which is empowered to file shareholder resolutions and engage in dialogue with corporate management and boards, focusing primarily on environmental issues in keeping with the law school's environmental focus. While other schools, such as Darmouth College, have investment committees that actively vote proxies, and Swarthmore College is the only college to file a shareholder resolution, the VLS committee is the first such campus-based initiative specifically devoted to shareholder action. VLS endowment investments will not be used for the advocacy, but rather the committee is raising its own funds to begin investment.

Citizens from predominantly African-American communities
affected by toxic waste disposal by Olin Corporation (ticker: OLN) will speak out at the company's annual meeting on April 28, 2005 in Clayton, Missouri. In an event coordinated by the Toxics Action Center, residents of Hamden, Connecticut will discuss the temporary closure of their middle school due to health threats during toxic waste cleanup. Other communities affected by contamination from mercury at a thousand times the accepted level, perchlorate, used in rocket fuels, and the solvent NDMA, include Niagara Falls, New York, Wilmington, Massachusetts, McIntosh, Alabama, and San Martin, California.

Winners of the 2005 CERES-ACCA North American Awards for Sustainability Reporting
include Hewlett-Packard (ticker: HPQ) for the Best Sustainability Report, while the Gap (GPS) received Commendation for Social Reporting. Other winners included YSI for Best Small and Medium Enterprise Report, while Vancity Credit Union received Commendation for Sustainability Reporting. The awards are jointly sponsored by the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). The award winners will be honored at the CERES Annual Conference in Boston on April 13 and 14, 2005.

Amy Domini,
founder and CEO of Domini Social Investments, was named on the "2005 Time 100" Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world this year. Others honored by inclusion on the list include the Dalai Lama, Barack Obama, Condoleezza Rice, Eliot Spitzer, Meg Whitman, Oprah Winfrey, and Viktor Yushchenko. Ms. Domini also recently received the Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Business Ethics from Notre Dame University.

Ethical Investment Research Services
(EIRIS) launched Convention Watch, a service allowing investors to identify company breaches of international conventions on human rights, labour standards, the environment, corruption, and landmines. EIRIS will be hosting a seminar in Copenhagen on Wednesday April 6, 2005, and another in Stockholm on Thursday April 7 to mark the launch of the service and explain it further to investors.

The Social Investment Organization
(SIO) is hosting the Canadian Social Investment Conference 2005 in Toronto on June 12-14, 2005. Keynote speaker UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS Stephen Lewis will speak about the globalization of poverty and the role that the socially responsible investment community can play in addressing the needs of developing countries.

European carmakers are not disclosing their carbon dioxide reduction strategies,
with the exception of BMW (ticker: BMW), according to a new study by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) Group. In 1998, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) and the European Commission (EC) reached a voluntary agreement to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rates of passenger vehicles by 2008. If the industry fails to meet this deadline, the EC is expected to regulate CO2 emissions, so the lack of company disclosure prevents investors from accurately assessing risks faced by companies in their portfolios.

The Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) staff rejected the request by ExxonMobil (XOM) to omit two climate change-related shareowner resolutions from its proxy statement. One resolution asks the company to report on plans to meet required greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in companies where it operates that are covered by the Kyoto Protocol that recently went into effect, the other resolution to dislose the data upon which it bases its stance on climate change, specifically explaining differences from the position of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). However, the SEC allowed ExxonMobil to omit a resolution, filed by corporate governance advocate Robert AG Monks asking the company to decouple its chair and CEO roles, that received 27 percent support last year. The move prompted Mr. Monks to write a statement decrying the "death of shareholder democracy."

UBS Investment Bank, a division of financial services giant UBS
(ticker: UBS), is integrating environmental and sustainability criteria in the bank's overall assessment of investment risk and opportunity based on information provided by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors. Innovest will make the research available through a dedicated website available to UBS employees globally. "The bank views this global site license as an important due diligence tool which will improve our ability to identify, analyze, and manage environmental and social risk," said Joel Forbes, global head of environmental risk management at UBS Investment Bank.

The Pax World Balanced Fund
(ticker: PAXWX), generally regarded as the first socially responsible investment (SRI) retail mutual fund in the US, has surpassed the $1.5 billion mark in assets under management. The two largest SRI mutual funds are the Ariel Fund (ARGFX) with $4.2 billion in assets and the Ariel Appreciation Fund (CAAPX) with $3.2 billion. The Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX), with $1.3 billion in assets, is the only other SRI fund to top the $1 billion mark.

The Sustainable Asset Management
(SAM) Sustainable Water Fund received a 2005 Lipper Fund Award for three-year performance in the "Global Equity Funds Non-cyclical Goods and Services" category for the European market, as well as the Germany and Switzerland markets. Lipper, a Reuters-owned company, assesses approximately 125,000 funds in 17 countries in Asia, Europe and the USA, rating fund performance over three, five, and ten years in a number of different categories.

Calvert Social Equity Fund
(ticker: CSIEX) portfolio manager Dan Boone was named one of the Best Fund Managers of 2005 by Standard & Poor's and BusinessWeek, which are both owned by McGraw-Hill Companies. Fund perfomrance, expenses, turnover, and management style factor into the decision. This is the second year in a row Mr. Boone was so-honored.

The UK Social Investment Forum
(UKSIF) appointed as its new chief executive Penny Shepherd, who served as executive director of UKSIF from 1997 through 2001. From 2001 until now, she served as chief executive of the London Sustainability Exchange (LSx), which promotes the sustainability of the city.

Domini Social Investments
has chosen Seix Advisors as
submanager of its Domini Social Bond Fund (ticker: DSBFX). "Seix Advisors stood out for several reasons: its solid and consistent performance record, its low manager turnover, and its depth," said Carole Laible, chief operating officer of Domini Social Investments. "Seix also demonstrated a strong commitment to the Fund's community development mission."

The US Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) denied the request by Citigroup (ticker: C) to omit from its proxy ballot a shareowner resolution filed by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Pension Fund calling for the election of directors by a majority vote, according to the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC). The decision seems difficult to reconcile with earlier SEC no-action letters issued to Disney (DIS), Halliburton (HAL), Qwest (QWST), and Verizon (VZ) allowing these companies to omit this same resolution from their proxy ballots. On February 17, 2005, an SEC spokesperson said he was unaware of the decision and could not comment, according to IRRC. For more information on this issue, please read the related article.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
(AFSCME) Pension Plan has filed a lawsuit against American International Group (AIG) seeking to require the company to include in its proxy ballot this year a binding shareowner resolution calling for the amendment of the company's by-laws to allow shareowners to nominate director candidates. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a no-action letter allowing AIG, which is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General, to omit the resolution from its proxy. "We have no choice but to seek relief in the courts because of the current stalemate on proxy access rulemaking at the SEC," said Gerald McEntee, chairman of the AFSCME Pension Plan. For more information on this issue, read a related article.

650 Cambodian garment factory supervisors will receive management training
on how to handle worker complaints and resolve conflicts between workers and employers in a project jointly sponsored by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private enterprise arm of the World Bank, and the Gap (ticker: GPS). The $80,000, year-long program is slated to begin in March at seven Cambodian factories.

(ticker: MCD) has agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle a lawsuit over trans fats in its cooking oils. The suit was brought by Stephen Joseph, a San Francisco-based lawyer who founded the website to raise public awareness of the health dangers from the trans fatty acids (TFAs) in hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, which have been found to be as unhealthy as pure cholesterol. The lawsuit was based on complaints that the fast food purveyor did not properly inform the public that it had encountered delays in plans to lessen the trans fats in its cooking oils. The company, which has reduced TFA levels in its Chicken McNuggets, Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and McChicken Sandwich, and continues to work toward reducing TFAs in its cooking oil, will donate $7 million to the American Heart Association (AHA) and spend another $1.5 million to inform the public of its trans fat plans.

Pax World
is the first US-based socially responsible investment (SRI) mutual fund firm to join the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), a voluntary, multi-sector market for reducing and trading greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Pax World will become a carbon-neutral company by offsetting its estimated 360 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year from employee travel and office energy usage by purchasing Carbon Financial Instruments (CFIs) equal to these indirect GHG emissions.

The Calvert Group
is the first US-based socially responsible investment (SRI) mutual fund firm to sign on to the European Social Investment Forum (Eurosif) Transparency Guidelines. The Guidelines call for SRI firms to provide detailed information about fund managers, their research processes and investment criteria, how they vote shareholder proxies, and what strategies they deploy to engage corporations in promoting greater corporate social responsibility (CSR). Signatories must make their disclosures publicly available on at least an annual basis.

The Ethical Tea Partnership,
formerly known as the Tea Sourcing Partnership, launched at the UK House of Commons. The partnership, which includes such tea marketers as Sara Lee (ticker: SLE), Tetley, Twining, and Unilever (UN), promotes social responsibility in the tea trade by monitoring conditions in tea production in the seven countries that produce 65 percent of world tea exports: India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe (China will be added to the monitoring program later in 2005).

Paul Hawken,
founder of the Natural Capital Institute, questions the transparency of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World sponsored by the Canadian corporate social responsibility magazine Corporate Knights. Mr. Hawken characterizes the research, provided by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, as a "black box" due to the fact that it is based on proprietary research methodologies that are not freely available. For more information on the Global 100, read the related article.

The 50 most socially responsible Japanese companies
were compiled through a survey conducted by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, a Japanese business news firm, and Nikkei Research, a Japanese market research firm. The survey examined Japanese firms' corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and evaluated how well companies incorporate social issues and environmental concerns into their business practices. Topping the list was Sony (ticker: SNE), followed Matsushita Electric Industrial (MC), Komatsu (KMTUF.PK), NEC (NIPNY), Toyota (TM), and Hitachi (HIT).

A new human rights website
that covers the impact of 2000 companies was launched today in Davos, Switzerland during the World Economic Forum. The site,, also offers free weekly email updates.

FTSE4Good, the London-based socially responsible investing (SRI) index provider,
is administering a Market Consultation on Future Criteria and Index Development through the end of January 2005. Criteria under consideration for incorporation into the index's inclusion requirements for 2005-6 include climate change and environmental performance, stakeholder responsiveness focusing on employees and customers, and corporate governance performance.

The Calvert Social Equity Fund
(ticker: CSIEX) acquired the $47 million Delaware Social Awareness Fund (DEQAX) on January 21, 2005. The merger was approved by the shareholders of the Delaware Fund earlier this month. The Calvert Social Equity Fund just surpassed $1 billion in assets in 2004.

CEO reporting on corporate social responsibility
increased by 50% in 2004 (from 28% to 42%), according to andBEYOND Communications, a New York-based investor relations firm. The finding comes from andBEYOND's annual analysis of 100 CEO shareholder letters from annual reports. All 100 companies are S&P 500 companies.

Public Broadcasting System (PBS) is debuting
the first national television program on socially and environmentally responsible practices, investments, and lifestyles called Ethical Marketplace on March 15, 2005. The show will be hosted by Simran Sethi, a former MTV news anchor and producer, and will report on issues such as FairTrade, renewable energy, and socially responsible investing (SRI). Companies profiled on the show will be vetted by a screening process to ensure they have socially and environmentally responsible business models. Media Venture Collective is underwriting the show.

The withdrawal of a CEO-chair split shareowner resolution
by the $20 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds (CRPTF) resulted from an amendment of the corporate governance policy at Disney (ticker: DIS). While shareowner dissent prompted Disney to strip the chair position from CEO Michael Eisner after the 2004 annual meeting, it did not become a matter of policy until now. The new policy allows for the appointment of a non-independent director only after informing shareowners of the reasons in the proxy statement, and requires the appointment of an independent lead director.

Offices will be opened in the US and Japan
for London-based Ethical Investment Research Services EIRIS in the spring of 2005. EIRIS's research relationship with the US-based Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) will end due to the move, though EIRIS will retain a research relationship with Japan-based research firm Good Bankers.

Staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) allowed Walt Disney (ticker: DIS) to omit from its proxy a resolution to let shareowners propose their own board candidates. The decision reverses the opinion issued weeks before in a no-action letter rejecting Disney's request to omit the resolution. In response, Disney attorney Martin Lipton appealed to the SEC, characterizing the no-action opinion as "an end run around the Commission's rule-making process," referring to the rule proposal to allow shareowners access to the corporate proxy to nominate board candidates in certain restricted circumstances. The rule, officially proposed by the SEC on October 8, 2003, has yet to be enacted--read the related article.

Corporations use tax shelters to artificially reduce debt
and increase attractiveness to investors, according to a new study by researchers from Duke University and Pace University. The study, which collects the largest known sample of tax shelters used by corporations during the past 25 years, examines eight common tax shelter strategies used by 43 corporations including Colgate-Palmolive (ticker: CL), Microsoft (MSFT), and United Parcel Service (UPS). The study finds that sheltering firms have debt-to-total asset ratios that are one-third lower than comparable firms that do not use tax shelters. According to the researchers, this reduced debt can lead to better debt ratings, cheaper borrowing rates, and less risk of violating corporate covenants. The study also helps explain why some large, profitable corporations pay so little corporate tax and appear to use such a small amount of debt.

The European Social Investment Forum
(Eurosif) released a "Pension Program Socially Responsible Investment Toolkit" to help pension fund trustees understand how to integrate SRI into their fund's investment policy. The toolkit, funded and endorsed by the European Commission in line with its Social Policy Agenda, seeks to inform readers on fiduciary risk and potential strategies to employ in order to include social, environmental, and corporate governance issues in a pension plan.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board
(FASB issued its final, revised statement requiring companies to report stock options as an expense. Corporations will need to start expensing options after June 15, 2005.

Two more companies have barred sexual orientation discrimination:
Alltel (ticker: AT) and Carlisle Companies (CSL) amended their equal employment opportunity (EEO) policies to explicitly prohibit such discrimination. The moves came in response to shareowner action campaigns coordinated by Walden Asset Management. ALLTEL’s decision brings the number of Fortune 500 companies that include sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination
policies to 410, equalling 82 percent.

FedEx Kinko's ups the post-consumer recycled content to 30 percent
in its behind-the-counter stock, the highest consumption area for the the company, which is a division of FedEx (ticker: FDX). This move advanced adherence to the company's Forest-based Products Procurement Policy, launched in March 2003 after consultation with environmental activist organization Rainforest Action Network and International Paper (IP), one of FedEx Kinko's primary suppliers.

Morgan Stanley and Oekom Research
released a joint study finding that "best-in-class" companies that Oekom recommended for investments based on social and environmental sustainability criteria have financially outperformed firms the rating agency explicitly did not recommend for sustainable investment by 16.72 percent since 2001. The study confirms the trend identified in earlier analyses. Oekom’s current "Prime Universe," selected from a total of 788 companies in the MSCI World Index, comprises 207 securities from 21 different countries and 30 different sectors. Best-in-class companies include Apple (ticker: AAPL), BMW (BAMXF.PK), Ricoh (RICOF.PK) and Suncor Energy (SU). "The outperformance was achieved in virtually every sector and cannot be put down to isolated exceptional factors," said Robert Hassler, Oekom's CEO.

Bank of America
(ticker: BAC) qualified as a sustainability industry leader by receiving a BBB sustainability rating (on a scale from AAA to C similar to bond ratings) from the Zurich Cantonal Bank, which has been issuing sustainability ratings for six years. While the rating praises Bank of America's comprehensive environmental reporting, it downgrades the company not having comprehensive social reporting.

The CRA Qualified Investment Fund
(ticker: CRAIX), the largest community development mutual fund in the US, recently purchased a certificate of deposit from Denver-based Native American Bank, representing the CRAFund's first investment to benefit historically financially-underserved Native American communities. Native American Bank is the only Native American-owned bank certified as a community development finance institutions (CDFI) by the US Treasury Department. The investment is one of the first in the CRAFund's $5 million initiative to direct capital to CDFIs over the next three to five years.

Farallon Capital Management,
the world's fourth largest hedge fund, issued a statement that leaves the decision whether to disclose Farallon investments up to the universities who invest with Farallon. On October 9, 2004, the UnFarallon Coalition, a group of national and campus-based student organizations seeking to make university investments in alternative asset classes more socially and environmentally responsible and more transparent, sent a letter to Tom Steyer, a managing member of Farallon, asking him to let universities disclose investment information without fear of legal reprisal. The students were planning a National Day of Action against Farallon for today, November 16, 2004. The day before the planned action, Mr. Steyer responded to the Coalition: "As investors, we cannot comment on the appropriate approaches for universities to take regarding issues of community oversight--this is not a matter for us to decide." The UnFarallon Coalition will now request greater investment disclosure on its members' nine campuses: Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, Williams, University of Texas at Austin, Tufts, Columbia, Mills, and Oberlin.

New Ventures Mexico
NVM, a program of the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Mexican Nature Conservation Fund (FMCN) seeking to catalyze sustainability in Mexican business, has selected 9 of the most promising sustainable businesses in the country (from over 40 applicants) to present their business plans at the participate in its first Investors Forum on November 18 and 19, 2004, in Mexico City. The chosen companies include Aires Acondicionados Solares, which is developing solar powered air conditioning systems; Ecocreto, which has developed the world's first fully non-waterproof pavement concrete system that prevents puddling and allows the regeneration of acquifers.

Leaders from 18 Native American community development financial institutions
(CDFIs) gathered in Chicago on November 3 to discuss ways to increase low-income housing, create jobs, and expand bank services for their underserved communities. The meeting, the first of its type ever, took place during the National Community Capital Association (NCCA) Conference and was co-sponsored by the First Nations Oweesta Corporation (FNOC) of Kyle, South Dakota. Tribal CDFIs represented include Alaska Community Financial of Fairbanks, Alaska; Four Directions Development Corporation of Orono, Maine; and Yurok Indian Housing Authority of Klamath, California, among many others.

A new 17-minute documentary
entitled Twenty Years Without Justice details the consequences of the 1984 chemical disaster at a Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopal, India that released a chemical cloud that killed thousands overnight, and left as many as 150,000 people permanently disabled. The film, produced by US-based environmental attorney and filmmaker Sanford Lewis on behalf of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, also looks at current efforts to have Union Carbide and its parent company, Dow Chemical (ticker: DOW), take responsibility and accountability for the disaster.

Ethical Investment Research Services
(EIRIS) has published a new report highlighting developments in the field of Islamic finance. Among the findings: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) recently gave approval for the new Muslim-owned UK-based bank, Islamic Bank of Britain, to start taking deposits from September 2004; and in July 2003, HSBC, the UK's biggest bank, became the first mainstream institution to launch an Islamic home finance product specifically aimed at British Muslims, following the 2003 Budget’s abolition of the previous 'double payment' of stamp duty required on the purchase of homes via Islamic mortgages. "As over half the UK's 1.8 million Muslims are aged under 25, the scope for further growth in developing Islamic financial products is considerable," said Niaz Alam, Head of Social Issues at EIRIS.

Spain's first actively managed socially responsible investment (SRI) fund
has been launched by the country's second largest financial institution, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBVA) Gestión, based on research of corporate social and environmental sustainability factors conducted by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors. Named the BBVA Sustainable Development IF, the fund has €78 million under management already, and invests in equities distributed among Europe (50 percent), Spain (20 percent), US (20 percent), and Japan (10 percent). "Innovest ratings have already proved their capacity to generate additional alpha, when these are appropriately weighted in stock picking investment algorithms," said Daniel de Fernando, CEO of BBVA Gestión.

Corporate pension and health-benefit plans are under scrutiny
by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for potentially manipulating information in order to boost corporate earnings, which would amount to fraud. Companies under investigation include Boeing (ticker: BA), Delphi (DPH), Ford (F), General Motors (GM), and Northwest Airlines (NWAC).

Working Mother Magazine
released its 19th annual list of the top 100 US firms for working mothers, this year emphasizing companies with highly-utilized flexible scheduling plans, on-site childcare facilities and other childcare options, and ample leave for new parents. The top 10 included Bristol-Myers Squibb (ticker: BMY), Discovery Communications, Eli Lilly (LLY), International Business Machines (IBM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPT), Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), Prudential Financial (PRU), SC Johnson (SCJ). and Wachovia (WB).

Human Rights Campaign
(HRC) released its third annual Corporate Equality Index, a report card listing the "best and worst" firms for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) employees based on seven criteria such as health coverage for same-sex domestic partners, acceptance of and support for GLBT employee groups, and marketing to the GLBT market. HRC rated 379 firms on a scale from zero to 100 based on information provided by the companies and publicly-available information. The number of firms with perfect scores doubled since the 2003 ranking largely because more firms are including sexual orientation on their anti-discrimination policies. Firms with perfect scores include Citigroup (ticker: C), Ford (F), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Kraft (KFT), and Xerox (XRX). Firms with the lowest scores (14 or less) include ALLTEL (AT) and ExxonMobil (XOM).

Massey Energy Company
(ticker: MEE) complied with the terms of a shareowner resolution filed by Amalagamated Bank by adopting a policy requiring shareowner approval for so-called golden parachutes, or severance packages more than triple an executive's annual salary and bonus. Despite the fact the resolution received 72.5 percent support from voting shareowners in 2003, the company retained a loophole, so Amalgamated filed the resolution closing this loophole in 2004 as a binding bylaw amendment. This resolution garnered more than 70 percent of the vote, but such amendments require 80 percent approval to trigger formal adoption. However, the Massey board has decided to abide by the "expressed wishes of a majority of the shareholders" in adopting the new policy closing the loophole.

The Global Environmental Management Initiative
(GEMI) has released a new tool, called "Transparency: A Path to Public Trust," that consists of six-step process to help companies addresses transparency-related challenges and opportunities.

Vancouver-based Real Assets Investment Management
has divested from Gildan Activewear (ticker: GIL.A) due to the company's decision to close its El Progreso factory in Honduras, resulting in 1,800 layoffs. At its 2004 annual meeting, in response to concerns raised by Real Assets and Montreal-based Groupe Investissement Responsable, Gildan CEO Glenn Charmandy agreed to address any workers' rights violations uncovered by audits done by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC). "By shutting down a 'problem' factory Gildan is telling the workers in that region that they must keep quiet about labour and human rights violations or they'll lose their jobs," said Deb Abbey, Real Assets' CEO. "We don't believe that this is in the interest of shareholders or long-term company sustainability. We have no choice but to divest of the Gildan shares in our portfolios."

Vancouver-based Ethical Funds Company
has added two new investment funds to its family of sustainable investments: the Ethical Monthly Income Fund, a balanced fund that seeks to provide a steady flow of income, and the Ethical Canadian Index Fund, which tracks the new Ethical Canadian Index. The Index matches, as closely as possible, the weightings of the individual investments within the S&P Total Return Composite Index while excluding companies that fail to meet Ethical Funds' Core Sustainable Investing Values, which are assessed using their Corporate Sustainability Scorecard.

The Centre for Australian Ethical Research
released a report that finds only 23 percent of the 500 Australian companies surveyed are issuing sustainability reports, compared to about 45 percent of companies doing so in comparable countries. The report, entitled The State of Sustainability Reporting in Australian 2004, was commissioned by the federal Department of Environment and Heritage, was conducted in collaboration with KPMG and Deni Greene Consulting Services.

Three University of Pennsylvania professors
have co-authored a paper entitled How Important is Corporate Governance?. The paper examines 14 corporate governance factors (distilled from 39 corporate governance measures) at more than 2,100 firms. "Overall, our results suggest that the typical structural indicators of corporate governance used in academic research and institutional rating services have very limited ability to explain managerial behavior and organizational performance," the abstract states.

The Common Code for the Coffee Community
(CCCC), a voluntary certification scheme ensuring no forced or child labor, minimum wage and right to unionize, and international pesticide and water pollution standards adherence, has been adopted by Kraft (ticker: KFT), Nestle (NESN.SW), Sara Lee (SLE), and Tchibo Holding. The code, which was initiated by the German coffee industry association Deutscher Kaffee-Verband (DKV) and the German government, will apply to coffee producers from Brazil, Vietnam, Kenya, Colombia, Indonesia and central American countries, and when fully implemented would cover an estimated 80 percent of the international coffee market.

The bid by Unocal
(UCL) to get an Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) case dismissed was rejected by the California Supreme Court. This decision opens the door for the case, which was initiated by fifteen Myanmar refugees who allege that the company is liable for murder, rape, and forced labor committed by soldiers guarding its gas pipeline, to proceed. For more information on the ATCA, read a related article.

A first-year shareowner resolution at Smithfield Foods
(ticker: SFD) asking the company to prepare a sustainability report examining the environmental impacts of both its company-owned and contract farms received 20.1 percent support from voting shareowners (with 3.7 percent abstaining). This tally significantly surpasses the 3 percent threshold required by the SEC to re-file the resolution next year. The resolution was supported by proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). "When one adjusts for the shares held by management (approximately 25 percent), it becomes apparent that approximately one in every three shareholders voted against management's recommendation on this important issue," said Caroline Williams and Laura Shaffer of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, which filed the resolution.

The SAM/SPG Sustainability Leadership Award,
acknowledges personal excellence in implementing the principles of sustainability in the corporate sector, was presented by the Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) Group and the Sustainable Performance Group (SPG) to Antony Burgmans, chairman of Unilever (ticker: UN) and Robin Cornelius, founding CEO of Switcher. A total of 51 candidates were nominated for this year’s award, compared with 43 last year.

Financial Executives International
(FEI) released a report surveying 224 US-listed firms with average revenues of $2.5 billion that finds compliance costs and employee hours required to comply with Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), which requires internal controls such as ensuring the reliability of financial data, are higher than earlier estimates. According to the surveyed firms, average cost per firm of compliance is $3.14 million, an increase from the $1.93 million earlier average cost estimate. The firms also say that complying with Section 404 requires more than twice the employee hours (25,000) than previously estimated (12,000).

A group of 23 socially responsible investing practitioners,
including US and Canadian investment firms, mutual funds, social research providers, and religious investors holding $117 billion in assets, filed a letter with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, asking it to implement social and environmental screening under the IFC safeguard policies and disclosure review process. For more information or to request a copy of the letter, please contact Lauren Compere of Boston Common Asset Management.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
enacted an anti-predatory lending law with bipartisan political support as well as support from both the mortgage industry and consumer and civil rights advocates. The law triggers of strong consumer protections for loans with fees greater than 5 percent and prohibits "flipping" (the practice of knowingly refinancing an existing home loan) on all home loans. For high-cost loans, the law requires counseling, bans prepayment penalties, and places a cap on financing points and fees. A number of other states also have such legislation.

The Johannesburg Securities Exchange
(JSE) is issuing a new round of SRI questionnaires to provide more companies with an opportunity to be listed on the JSE SRI Index. Only about half (74 of 155) of the companies listed on the FTSE/JSE All Share Index applied for inclusion in the index during the first round in October 2003, and only 51 companies made it into the index for its May 2004 launch. The JSE also intends to consider the creation of a derivative instrument so that the index can be traded.

The Calvert Foundation
recently surpassed $100 million in assets. Its flagship product, Calvert Community Investment Notes, broke the $75 million mark, while its donor advised fund product, Calvert Giving Fund, broke $10 million. The Calvert Foundation has experienced significant asset growth during the past two years, with assets up nearly 100 percent since 2001.

A Stanford Graduate School of Business
study of 800 students earning their Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degrees at 11 top-ranking North American and European schools finds that 97 percent would accept a lower salary to work for a firm with a strong reputation for corporate social responsibility (CSR). The survey finds that the average amount that students say they are willing to forgo is 14 percent of their expected income. The survey also asked the students to rank 14 attributes they look for when making employment decisions, finding that the top three factors are intellectual challenge, financial package, and reputation for CSR.

(ticker: RD) disclosed in a recent Securities and Exchange filing that fines from oil and gas reserve overstatements will total approximately $151 million. Shell has agreed to pay $120 million to settle a SEC investigation, and about $31 million to resolve a probe by Britain's Financial Services Authority (FSA). That is the largest penalty for market abuse that the FSA has levied, according to FSA spokesperson Rob McIvor. Shell has cut its proven reserve estimates by 23 percent, or 4.47 billion barrels.

(ticker: HAL) disclosed in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that it has received a grand jury subpoena for documents related to a Cayman Island subsidiary that operates an office in Iran. US law restricts trade by American companies in countries, such as Iran, that are designated by the US State Department as "sponsors of terrorism," except as exempted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The OFAC recently handed over its investigation of Halliburton's Iran operations to the US Department of Justice, according to the filing.

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
(CDFI Fund) of the US Department of the Treasury announced the winners of the 2004 Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) for promoting community revitalization through the provision of essential financial services, credit, and investment capital. Of the 49 banks and thrifts to receive awards in the form of cash grants, five received $1.5 million (Carver Federal Savings Banks of New York City, Community Capital Bank and First American International Bank of Brooklyn, International Bank of Chicago, and OneUnited Bank of Boston), two received over $1 million (Citizens Savings Bank & Trust of Nashville--$1.3 million and Mission Community Bank of San Luis Obispo--$1.2 million), and the rest received various amounts under $1 million (for example, ShoreBank of Cleveland received $500,000.) The BEAs recognize both CDFIs as well as mainstream financial institutions that support community investment.

The California State Teachers Retirement System
(CalSTRS) is creating a statewide 403(b) approved vendor website, for all subscribing school districts & approved vendors. In order for public school employees to invest in a company's 403(b) fund, that company must be registered with this website by November 2004--the next open period for vendor registration is May 2005. While socially responsible investment (SRI) funds do not make it onto the menu of many corporate and public retirement plans, initiatives such as this one provide opportunities to reverse this trend.

The Stock Options Accounting Reform Act
(HR 3574) is slated for a vote in the House of Representatives on July 20, 2004. The bill calls for the expensing of stock options for only the five highest-paid executives, sharply diverging from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) exposure draft recommending the expensing of all stock options.

The Center for Public Integrity
(CPI), a campaign finance reform group, released a report revealing that 73 percent of the oil industry's $67 million in political contributions since 1998 have gone to Republican Party candidates. The largest single recipient of oil industry contributions is President George Bush, who has received more than $1.7 million in contributions from the industry since 1998. The industry has also spent $381 million on lobbying since 1998, according to the report. Exxon Mobil (ticker: XOM) tops spending in the industry on lobbying at $55 million.

(ticker: DELL) announced the expansion of its Recycling Grant Program for the fall in which $220,000 in grant money will be awarded to select state, provincial and local governments, universities, and non-profits in the US and Canada. As a result of its spring grant program, more than 800 tons of unwanted computer equipment have been kept from going to landfills, in order to be reused or recycled responsibly. The deadline for applications is July 30, 2004.

Senator Jon Corzine
(D-NJ) and other Congressmembers are sponsoring a symposium entitled "Coming Clean: Corporate Disclosure of Environmental Issues in Financial Statements" on Thursday July 15, 2004. Speakers include Securities and Exchange (SEC) Commissioner Roel Campos; John Stephenson, director of the natural resources and environment division of the General Accounting Office (GAO); Maine State Treasurer Dale McCormick; and Nell Minow, editor of The Corporate Library. The GAO will issue a report on corporate disclosure of material environmental information in SEC filings.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) adopted mutual fund reforms requiring independent mutual fund board chairs and 75 percent of mutual fund boards to be independent. The vote was split, with Chair Donaldson and Commissioners Campos and Goldschmid assenting and Commissioners Atkins and Glassman dissenting. The new rules also amend short selling regulations and requires disclosure to shareowners regarding approval of investment advisory contracts by mutual fund directors.

Fifth Third Bancorp
(ticker: FITB) finally made good on its pledge to implement the will of the majority vote on a shareowner resolution calling on the company to add sexual orientation to its Equal Employment Opportunity policy, bowing to the threat of a boycott. John Angelo, a 15-year Fifth Third customer who is gay, organized the boycott, garnering pledges in three days to withdraw almost $1 million from the bank. For more history on this issue, read the related news brief and article.

Boston Trust & Investment Management Company
senior managers are purchasing the unit from its parent holding company, Citizens Bank. Approximately one third of Boston Trust's $3.7 assets are in socially responsible investments (SRI) managed by Walden Asset Management.

Canada's Best 50 Corporate Citizens,
the third such annual list, was released by Canadian corporate social responsibility watchdog Corporate Knights. The ranking, sponsored by socially responsible investment firm Ethical Funds, takes into account firms' environmental and human rights practices, stakeholder and community relations, employee relations and diversity, product safety practices, governance, and financial performance. The top 10 firms in order are: Zenon Environmental (ticker: ZEN.TO), MDS (MDS), Alcan (AL), Dofasco (DFS.TO), Tembec (TBC.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO), Royal Bank of Canada (RY), TransAlta (TTA), Great-West Lifeco (GWO), and Suncor Energy (SU).

The California Public Employees Retirement System
(CalPERS), the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), and California Treasurer Phil Angelides are conducting shareowner action with CACI International (ticker: CAI), the government contractor implicated in an Army report on prisoner abuses at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. In a letter to CACI CEO J.P. London, Treasurer Angelides outlined concerns, such as questions about the training of interrogators. "What the management of this company owes [shareowners] is a full explanation of exactly what has occurred, exactly who was responsible and a full accounting of what will be done to reform its practices," Treasurer Angelides said in press conference.

The Best US Companies for Women of Color
list for 2004 was released in the June issue of Working Mother magazine. The six companies honored included Allstate (ticker: ALL), American Express (AXP), Fannie Mae (FNM), General Mills (GIS), International Business Machines (IBM), and JP Morgan Chase (JPT). To be considered, companies had to complete a 196-question survey on their diversity training, hiring practices, employee pay, and promotion of women of color. As well, more than 2,000 women of color employees completed confidential surveys about their companies, managers, work environment, and their own prospects at the firm, according to Working Mother.

The Johannesburg Securities Exchange
(JSE) launched the first socially responsible investment (SRI) index to be introduced by a securities exchange, and the first SRI index in an emerging market. All the companies in the FTSE/JSE All Share Index were invited to submit for consideration of inclusion in the index, and 51 of the 74 companies that volunteered met the social and environmental criteria. These criteria include regionally-oriented issues such as HIV/AIDS treatment policies and black economic empowerment. See related article.

Former US President Jimmy Carter
criticized the "proposed solution" by Yum! Brands (ticker: YUM) to end the three-year boycott by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a Florida-based tomato farmers' union, against Yum! subsidiary Taco Bell. "Yum! is saying that only if the CIW ends its boycott will it be willing to support efforts to improve wages, and only if the rest of the industry does," Former President Carter said. ution to pay and working conditions for tomato farmers. "While Yum's belated acknowledgement of the need for improved pay and conditions is welcome, this cannot be considered a serious proposal. This is a lost opportunity for the head of the world's largest retaurant company to take the lead in eliminating human rights abuses that he knows exist within his supply chain."

On May 7, 2004, Fifth Third Bancorp
(ticker: FITB) revealed in its quarterly filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that 62.8 percent of its voting shareowners supported a resolution calling for the addition of sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy. In a rare move, management had made no recommendation on how to vote on the resolution, but rather agreed to abide by the majority will. At the March 23 annual meeting, the company announced 40 percent support for the resolution. However, this tally included abstentions; the revised total followed the SEC protocol of excluding abstentions from the count. "The vote at Fifth Third was the highest vote we've seen on a social issue that was not supported by management since 1986 at the height of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa," said Meg Voorhes, director of social issues services at Investor Responsibility Research Center, an impartial proxy research firm.

CEO total compensation in the S&P 500 rose
by a median of 27.16 percent in 2003, according to a new report from The Corporate Library (TCL), nearly three times the rise seen for 2002, when total compensation rose by only 11.48 percent. Every element of pay tracked (base salary, annual compensation, restricted stock and other long-term incentives) rose in value over the last year save one: the value realized from the exercise of stock options actually fell, by a median of 1.01 percent. Also, while not included in the total compensation figure, the value of stock option grants declined even more significantly, by 17.05 percent.

At the ConocoPhillips
(ticker: COP) annual meeting, 9.25 percent of voting shareowners supported a first-year shareowner resolution filed by Green Century Capital Management requesting a report on the potential environmental damage that would result from drilling for oil and gas in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The vote more than tripled the 3 percent needed to re-file the resolution next year. ConocoPhillips is the second-largest oil company operating in Alaska after BP (BP), which announced at its annual meeting last month that it has no current plans to drill in the ANWR.

The record for the highest vote on global warming resolutions
was broken twice in one day. On May 6, 2004, 28 percent of voting Anadarko (ticker: APC) shareowners supported a global warming resolution, and later in the day, 37.1 percent of voting Apache (APA) shareowners suported a similar resolut ion asking for a report assessing how climate change risk could affect the company. Last year's record vote of 26.7 percent on a global warming resolution at American Electric Power (AEP) was first broken last week when 27 percent of voting Marathon (MRO) shareowners supported the global warming resolution. Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recommended voting in favor of these resolutions this year.

At the Petro-Canada
(ticker: PCA) annual general meeting on April 27, 2004 in Calgary, 20.65 percent of voting shareowners supported a resolution asking the oil and gas company to provide an audited report describing company actions to reduce liabilities associated with climate change. "This year’s vote nearly tripled that of a similar resolution filed last year," said Deb Abbey, CEO of Real Assets Investment Management, the Vancouver-based socially responsible investment firm that filed the resolution along with co-filer
Ethical Funds, which is also based in Vancouver.

United Nations Global Compact
Executive Head Georg Kell replied to a letter from four union presidents asking for a review of how sneaker-maker Nike (ticker: NKE) upholds Principle Three of the Global Compact, which addresses freedom of association and collective bargaining. Mr. Keel did not deny the unions' contention that Nike may violate workers' fundamental rights, but rather referred them to the International Labor Organization (ILO), which he states is the "guardian" of the Global Compact's labor principles. The four unions, which include the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC,) and the United Steelworkers of America (USWA), are considering appealing to the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association as a next step in addressing Nike's commitment to Global Compact principles, which are voluntary.

French SRI fund assets
have surpassed the 3 billion Euro mark, according to Novethic, a French socially responsible investment resource center. The number of SRI funds available in France also grew in the first quarter of 2004 by 10, from 108 to 118. New funds include one from German asset manager Westam SA and French distributor Orsay Gestion, one joint fund from Proxinvest Active Investors and PhiTrust Finance which focuses on corporate governance issues, and one corporate bond fund from Integral Development Asset Management (I.DE.A.M), the Crédit Lyonnais SRI subsidiary.

Innovest Strategic Value Advisors
released a report on environmental risks and liabilities for Dow Chemical (ticker: DOW). The report, prepared for the Ecology Center and a group of SRI firms and religious institutional investors, focused on Dow's response to the legacy it inherited from Union Carbide for the Bhopal, India disaster, as well as the risks of Dow's organochlorine strategy, among other issues. Innovest downgraded its rating for Dow from AA to BB (on a scale from AAA to CCC that mimics bond ratings).

(ticker: INTC) pledges to begin eliminating approximately 95 percent of the lead used in its processors and chipsets starting later this year. The company shipped its first lead-free product in 2002, replacing the lead/tin solder previously with a tin/silver/copper alloy. Lead is a hazardous material, especially for those who disassemble computer components during recycling or disposal.

(ticker: MSFT) unveiled a program to refurbish computers in 133 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) by re-installing authorized versions of its Windows operating system in donated pre-used PCs for schools, charities, non-profit organizations and under-served communities. For a nominal charge that covers materials and program operations, the Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers (MAR) program upgrades computers donated by large companies, which are typically three years old, with Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows 2000 Professional in over 18 languages. The refurbished PCs will be accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) and a special End User Licence as evidence of a legally installed operating system.

(ticker: BLS) recommends in its proxy statement that shareowners vote to amend the current classified (or "staggered") board election system and replace it with annual board elections. The recommendation came in response to a resolution filed by Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) and Walden Asset Management, among others. Implementation of the amendment will require an affirmative vote from at least 75 percent of the Company's outstanding shares--abstentions will have the same effect as a vote against the proposal.

Yum! Brands
(ticker: YUM) agreed to replace its classified (or "staggered") board elections with yearly elections, prompting the Amalgamated Bank to withdraw its shareowner resolution requesting this action. The company's board voted unanimously to institute annual elections in 2005, and announce the change in this year's proxy.

Citizens Funds
launched a new Small Cap Value Fund. Managed by Daniel Lew, the fund invests in companies under $2 billion in market capitalization that are underfollowed or have suffered a temporary setback. The value orientation seeks to lessen the downside risk of the small-cap market. "Over the long term, small cap value has been one of the strongest performing market segments," said Mr. Lew. "However, in the socially responsible world, investors have very few choices."

The United Nations Global Compact
met with senior representatives from 15 of the world's stock exchanges and top officials from three exchange federations to discuss how to advance corporate responsibility and good governance. The Global Compact also met with senior analysts from 40 investment companies to address the integration of social and environmental factors in research. A high-level report, which will include case studies and findings from the UNEP Finance Initiative, will be released at the Global Compact Leaders Summit on June 24, 2004. "The potential is that we send a signal to publicly traded companies that having proactive policies on social and environmental issues is central to risk management and is increasingly expected by market actors, including those who analyze companies," said Georg Kell, executive head of the Global Compact.

Fifth Third Bancorp
(ticker: FITB) shareowners supported a first-time resolution to explicitly ban sexual orientation discrimination in the Equal Employment Opportunity policy in significant numbers, with 40.3 percent voting in favor. Fifth Third management did not recommend voting against the resolution, as companies typically do for shareowner proposals, but rather said it would abide by the will of voting shareowners. However, the company included abstention votes in the tally, contrary to SEC policy, making it unclear whether support for the resolution would have reached a majority without the abstentions in the count. Resolution filers have pledged to dialogue with the company until it implements the policy, or re-file the resolution if necessary. For background, read the related related article.

The Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) announced that the Calvert Group and KLD Research & Analytics will use the EPA National Environmental Performance Track (PT) program as a criterion in developing their investment ratings. These firms join Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, which became the first investment research firm to use Performance Track membership as a criterion in its ratings in 2003.

Farallon Capital Management
Senior Managing Member Tom Steyer sent a letter refusing to accomodate student activists' requests for disclosure and dialogue about the social and environmental impacts of the hedge fund firm's investments in the name of universities and colleges. According to an Alternative Investment News article, Mr. Steyer also sent letters to Farallon investors assuring them that "we did review all of the charges, and discovered no issues of concern of which we had not previously been aware. Many of the charges are factually inaccurate; even more are misleading." The website, the online hub for the student activists, has urged Mr. Steyer to identify any inaccuracies in the information provided there. "If such inaccuracies exist, we are eager to correct them," the student activists state. Read the related article.

Vail Resorts
(ticker: MTN) CEO Adam Aron received only 63.3 percent support from voting shareholders for reelecting him as chair, with 36.6 percent casting "withold" votes, according to the company's filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Had the proposed SEC shareowner nomination rule been in place, this would have been the second instance this proxy season that the proposed 35 percent withhold threhold would have constituted a "triggering event" allowing shareowners to nominate alternative candidates. Earlier this year, Disney (DIS) shareowners witheld 43 percent of their votes for Michael Eisner as chair. Read a related article.

Innovest Strategic Value Advisers
and Stockholm-based Ethix, both socially repsonsible investment (SRI) research firms, have established a strategic partnership for combining their research platforms and distribution networks. "Innovest and Ethix have very little overlap in their research approaches--in fact, our research products are complementary," said Pierre Trevet, managing director of Innovest in Paris. "Innovest offers a positive Alpha-overlay based on sustainability risks and opportunities, while Ethix proposes a UN norm-based negative screening approach."

Calvert Social Investment Equity Fund
(ticker: CSIEX) portfolio manager Daniel Boone III won the 2004 "Excellence in Fund Management Award" in the large-cap blend category. The award, which reconized managers in eight other different asset classes, is sponsored by Business Week magazine and Standard & Poor's (SPY), which are both owned by the McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP). The awarders applaud Mr. Boone's helmsmanship in steering the fund to annualized gains of 7.6 percent for the past five years, through December 31, 2003, as compared to a 0.4 percent loss for the S&P 500.

(ticker: RD) Chairman Sir Philip Watts has resigned due to controversy surrounding the company's January 2004 downgrading of 20 percent of its oil and gas reserves from proved to unproved status. Shell announced in Febraury 2004 that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had launched a formal investigation of the downgrade, and several class action lawsuits have been filed for shareowners alleging that the company deliberately misrepresented its oil and gas reserves in its SEC filings. Jeroen van der Veer, the current president of Shell, will replace Sir Philip as chairman.

Swiss Re
released a sigma study that finds overall economic losses from catastrophes in 2003 amounted to an estimated $70 billion. Human-made disasters accounted for $12 billion of this total, with the rest attributable to natural disasters, which are exacerbated by climate change. Of the total 2003 economic losses due to catastrophes, property insurers are shouldering $18.5 billion, of which only $2.3 billion was due to human-made disasters. Swiss Re estimates that natural and human-made disasters claimed 60,000 human lives in 2003. Swiss Re's estimates are slightly higher than similar 2003 estimates by Munich Re, which calculated $60 billion in overall economic losses, with insured losses pegged at $15 billion.

The First Middle East Corporate Social Responsibility Summit
will take place on April 25 through 27, 2004 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The forum will examine the emerging liability and accountability issues through various standards and regulations and suggest ways in which companies in the region can improve their social, ethical and environmental performance, thereby increasing brand awareness, customer loyalty and employee retention.

The Duke University Board of Trustees
adopted socially responsible investment guidelines on February 28, 2004. Duke, which has the 16th largest university endowment in the US at $3 billion, authorized its asset manager to practice shareowner action, including dialogue with management, proxy voting, and filing shareowner resolutions. The board of trustees can consider divestment if "corporate policies or practices [continue to] cause substantial social injury" after these actions have been employed. The guidelines do not specifically authorize screening, however, nor do they specifically call for the consideration of environmental issues.

ISIS Asset Management
was the overall winner of the 2004 Liveable City Awards given by the Corporation of London to UK-based organizations demonstrating best practice in sustainable business. For the second year in a row, judges ranked ISIS highest in the overall competition as well as in the Sustainable and Ethical Investment category, this year due in large part to the company's promotion of transparency in the extractive industry sector. UBS AG was highly commended in the Sustainable and Ethical Investment category.

On February 24, 2004,
United for Peace & Justice (UFPJ) is sponsoring protests of companies profiting from the war in Iraq, such as Halliburton (ticker: HAL), which is suspected of overcharging the US up to $61 million for fuel in Iraq, and Bechtel, which the Pentagon has accused of doing "horrible" work. UFPJ has posted a list of local offices of companies it considers war profiteers, as well as a calendar of planned events. Read a related article on Halliburton's presence in post-war Iraq.

The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan
(OTPP) is under fire from Greenpeace Canada and the Sierra Youth Coalition, which jointly launched the "It’s My Future" campaign to reform the investment practices of Canada’s largest pension fund. The OTPP is Canada’s largest investor in coal, and has extensive other fossil fuel holdings as well as investments in tobacco. All Ontario teachers have no choice but to be in the OTPP, which was created in 1989 by the Ontario Teachers Pension Act, and yet they have no say over how their money is invested. Current OTPP managers interpret "fiduciary duty" narrowly, requiring only that they must seek the highest returns, regardless of the social or environmental impacts of their investments.

First National Bank & Trust,
Indiana's largest privately held bank, teamed with Brattleboro, Vermont-based investment manager Prentiss Smith to launch the Socially Screened Total Return Fund. This flexible fund, which allows for investment across growth and value stocks, bonds, and money market funds, is available to individuals as well as foundations. Screens include the environment, employee relations, human rights, and products and services.

The Jantzi Social Index (JSI),
managed by Toronto-based social and environmental research firm Michael Jantzi Research Associates (MJRA), increased in value by 29.21 percent in 2003, outperforming its benchmarks, the S&P/TSX 60, which increased only 25.51 percent, and the S&P/TSX Composite, which gained 26.72 percent. Since its January 1, 2000 inception, the JSI has also outperformed these benchmarks, increasing in value by 6.68 percent while the S&P/TSX 60 decreased in value by 1.75 percent while the S&P/TSX Composite gained only 3.62 percent. The JSI is a market capitalization-weighted common stock index of 60 Canadian companies that pass a set of broadly based social and environmental screens modeled on the S&P/TSX 60.

US Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) Commissioner Cynthia Glassman dissented from the SEC order suspending MFS Investment Management CEO John Ballen and CIO Kevin Parke from serving as officers or directors of registered investment companies for three years. "In light of our concerns about corporate governance and tone at the top, it struck me that the sanctions weren't strong enough, given their positions at MFS," said Ms. Glassman, one of five SEC commissioners and a Republican. The SEC found MFS guilty of market timing, or improperly frequent trading that enhances traders at the expense of mutual fund shareowners, one of the widespread practices in the current mutual funds scandal. Ms. Glassman supported the rest of the settlement, by which MFS agreed to pay $225 million in fines, reduce its management fees by $125 million over five years, and contribute $1 million to investor education funds. Messrs. Ballen and Parke were also fined about $300,000 each.

(ticker: COST) shareowners supported a first-year resolution asking the company to develop a socially and environmentally responsible land-procurement policy in sufficient numbers to file the resolution again on next year's proxy. Five percent of voting shareowners favored the resolution, surpassing the US Securities and Exchange threshold of three percent needed to re-file first-year resolutions. Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS), which filed the resolution, first heard about Costco's problematic land procurement problem from community activists opposed to the company's destruction of a culturally-significant hotel on an archeologically-significant site in Cuernavaca, Mexico to build a new warehouse store. For more information on this resolution, please read the article.

Storebrand Investments,
one of Norway’s largest private investors with approximately 20 billion euros in assets under management, announced that its flagship Storebrand Principle Global Fund outperformed the MSCI World Index by 0.5 percent in the final quarter of 2003, and by over 1 percent for the year of 2003. The fund generated a return of 11.8 percent while the index returned only 10.7 percent. The fund only invests in those companies which rank in the top third of their global peer group according to Storebrand’s environmental and social performance criteria. Storebrand fund managers attributed the outperformance to accurate timing of a switch to information technology (IT) stocks and strong selection of Industrial and Financial stocks. Underweighting the US, where returns to European investors were depressed by dollar weakness, also added value to the fund’s performance.

The Christian Science Monitor
is hosting a panel discussion on socially responsible investing (SRI) entitled "Values-Based Investing: Paths to Success." Panelists include Jerome Dodson, president of the San Francisco-based SRI firm Parnassus Investments; Jane Siebels, chair and chief investment officer of Green Cay Asset Management, a Bahamas-based firm that manages a SRI hedge fund (see related article); and Peter Kinder, co-founder and president of Boston-based KLD Research & Analytics, a Boston-based SRI research firm. The panel will take place on Thursday, January 29, 2004 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity on 200 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. It will also be webcast from the Christian Science Monitor website.

Just Pensions,
a program of the UK Social Investment Forum (UKSIF), just published a report finding that half of the 130 UK pension fund trustees surveyed admitted to not having procedures for taking social, ethical and environmental (SEE) factors into account when hiring fund managers. Of those that did have such procedures, three-quarters said that they did not have formal SEE procedures in place for the ongoing assessment of fund managers. But 56 per cent said they would be in favor of legislation forcing them to implement ethical policies. Entitled Will UK pension funds become more responsible?, the survey was conducted by Ashridge Centre for Business and Society, and follows up on a similar survey Just Pensions published two years ago (see related article).

The Federal Reserve Board
named Mark Pinsky, president and CEO of the National Community Capital Association (NCCA), a national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), to serve as vice chair of its Consumer Advisory Council for 2004. The Council, which meets three times a year in Washington, DC, advises the Federal Reserve Board on the exercise of its responsibilities on consumer financial services. Members are appointed by the Board of Governors and serve staggered three-year terms.

The Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes
(DJSI) have issued their 50th license to Canada’s Credit Union Central Alberta Ltd (CUCA). “2003 was a very good year for us and the signing of the 50th DJSI license is certainly a great milestone to bring it to a close," said Alexander Barkawi, Managing Director of SAM Indexes, which administers DJSI. "During the last twelve months, DJSI-based assets increased by over 40 percent and now stand at nearly 2.5 billion EUR. The DJSI World gained 13.6 percent--outperforming the 13.1 percent of the DJ World Index as well as the MSCI World’s 11.3 percent.”

Munich Re,
the world's largest re-insurance company, reports that natual disasters worldwide in 2003 accounted for US$60 billion in economic losses, up from US$55 billion the previous year. Insured losses accounted for about US$ 15 billion, up from US$ 11.5 billion in 2002. More than 50,000 humans died in natural catastrophes in 2003, almost five times as many as the 11,000 humans who lost their lives in natural disasters in 2002, according to Munich Re. The number of natural disasters, however, remained constant at about 700. Munich Re, which published a list of the ten largest natural catastophes of 2003, attributed some of the individual catastrophic events to climate change.

The Triple Bottom Line Simulation,
a project of Capital Missions Company (CMC) and the Social Investment Forum (SIF) tracking five $100 million portfolios invested according to socially responsible investment (SRI) strategies used by various institutional investor groups, reports the tenth straight quarter where the portfolios outperformed their benchmarks, when taken as a group. For the quarter ended September 30, 2003, the portfolios invested by endowments and foundations, shareholder advocacy, and family offices outperformed their benchmarks by 2.96 percent, 2.34 percent, and 1.11 percent respectively. The portfolios invested by not-for-profit and religious institutions underperformed their benchmarks by 1.11 and 2.25 percent respectively.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center
(APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania recently released its third annual report on women leaders in communications companies. The report finds that companies with more women on boards of directors also tend to have more women in executive
positions, more women-friendly benefits packages, and better maternity leave. However, the report also finds that women still comprise just 15 percent of executive leaders and just 12 percent of board members in top communications companies--these numbers are virtually unchanged from the previous year. Read a related article on

The American Gaming Association
(AGA), the gambling industry organization, recently released a set of responsible gaming guidelines, including a code of conduct for responsible gaming. The code of conduct includes mandatory training in responsible gambling for new employees, information for gamblers on the probabilities of winning or losing at specific games, and exclusion programs for known problem gamblers. It also includes a requirement that advertising for casinos should include a hotline number.

The World Economic Forum
has created the Global Greenhouse Gas Register, a tool for corporations to record their GHG emissions on a public website. The Register was announced on December 9, 2003 in Milan, Italy, during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP9) meeting. Data registration will begin on the GHG Register website in January 2004.

The Glebe Small–Cap Equities Trust
from Sydney-based Glebe Asset Management won the 2003 Ethical Investor Ethical Fund of the Year Award on the strength of its 41.2 percent return in the 12 months to October. The Australian on-line magazine also announced winners of this Ethical Investor Sustainability Awards: Insurance Australia Group was named Sustainable Company of the Year; Solar Energy Systems won the Sustainable Small Company of the Year honors; the Merit Award for Environment went to Origin Energy; Bendigo Bank received the Merit Award for Community/Social; and Tap Oil earned the Merit Award for Corporate Governance.

Swiss Re
(ticker: TUKN.SW) announced plans to become a greenhouse neutral company through a ten-year program that will utilize the same methodology as Swiss Re offers to clients through its "Greenhouse Neutral" package in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Swiss Re's total corporate emissions from all 8,500 employees based at 70 offices in 30 countries add up to approximately 47,000 tons of CO2 per annum. To become greenhouse neutral, Swiss Re will reduce its own emissions by 15 percent over the next ten years, and the remainder will be offset by investing in the World Bank Community Development Carbon Fund (CDCF) which supports projects to improve the environment and livelihoods of local communities. Through this investment, Swiss Re expects to offset a minimum of 37,000 tons of CO2 per annum in the form of so-called emission reduction units (ERUs).

The Green Century Balanced Fund
(ticker: GCBLX) placed first in total returns among 514 and 346 balanced funds for the one-year and five-year periods ended September 30, 2003, respectively, as tracked by Lipper, a Reuters-owned firm that tracks 80,000 mutual funds worldwide. The Green Century Balanced Fund posted a return of 60.86 percent for the one-year and an average annual return of 13.35 percent for the five-year period. As of the same date, the Balanced Fund had a ten-year average annual return of 9.74 percent to earn a Lipper ranking of 14 out of 111 funds for that period.

The Toyota Prius
was named the 2004 Motor Trend Car of the Year, the first time that a gasoline-and-electric hybrid car has won this paramount award in the automotive industry. "We realize the selection of a hybrid vehicle is going to stir controversy, but we believe the performance, engineering advancements, and overall significance of the Toyota Prius merits the distinction of Motor Trend Car of the Year," said Kevin Smith, editor-in-chief of Motor Trend magazine. "The Prius is a capable, comfortable, fun-to-drive car that just happens to get spectacular fuel economy." The Toyota (ticker: TM) Prius delivers 60 miles-per-gallon in city driving. "It also provides a promising look at a future where extreme fuel-efficiency, ultra-low emissions, and exceptional performance will happily coexist," Mr. Smith added.

The US Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) has launched the Green Suppliers Network (GSN), a collaborative venture with industry working with all levels of the manufacturing supply chain to achieve environmental and economic benefits, such as minimizing waste generation and increasing energy efficiency. Key features of GSN include workshops that deliver industry-specific technical assistance to suppliers, metrics that quantify aggregate economic and environmental benefits, and partnerships modeled on the Suppliers' Partnership for the Environment, an automotive trade association focused on the automobile supply chain. GSN is the evolution and replication of the automotive model to other industry sectors.

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility's
(ICCR) HIV/AIDS Caucus has filed shareowner resolutions asking America's leading pharmaceutical companies to widen access to anti-retroviral AIDS drugs in the developing world. The 36-member caucus, which includes Roman Catholic religious orders, Protestant denominations, faith-based pension funds and major health care providers representing approximately $33 billion in assets, filed resolutions at Abbott Laboratories (ticker: ABT), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Eli Lilly (LLY), Merck (MRK), Pfizer (PFE), and Schering-Plough (SGP).

The CDFI Fund
was appropriated $61 million for fiscal year (FY) 2004 in conference over the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, resulting from a compromise between the US Senate, which allocated $70 million, and the House of Representatives, which allocated $51 million. The bill, which has yet to be enacted, also included other compromises, including a $4 million appropriation for technical assistance designed to benefit Native American communities, splitting the difference between the $3 million proposed by the House and $5 million proposed by the Senate. The CDFI Fund supports community development financial institutions (CDFIs), which provide loans and financial assistance to low-income communities (individuals and small businesses) unserved by traditional financial institutions.

The Calvert Group
recently commissioned Harris Interactive to survey by telephone 600 investors with at least one mutual fund outside of their 401k investments. The survey finds growing concerns about ethical standards at corporations and mutual fund companies, as 84 percent of respondents are more likely to invest in a mutual fund if it engages in ethical business practices in its operations and reporting, 71 percent of those surveyed said that they either strongly agreed (35 percent) or somewhat agreed (36 percent) that companies operating with higher levels of integrity carry lower investment risk, and 68 percent of those surveyed said that they either strongly agreed (31 percent) or somewhat agreed (37 percent) that companies operating with higher levels of integrity deliver higher investment returns. See the Calvert website for more findings.

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
(ICCR), a coalition of religious institutional investors with combined assets of more than $110 billion, sent letters to 10 of the United States’ largest retailers calling on them to disclose if and how they are prohibiting children and other youths from buying violent entertainment products in their stores. A recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “mystery shopper” survey found that more than two thirds (69 percent) of teenagers were able to buy M-rated video games, which are not supposed to be sold to youths under the age of 17. Companies contacted include Best Buy (BBY), Circuit City (CC), Hollywood Entertainment (HLYW), K-Mart (KMRT), Target (TGT), Toys “R” Us (TOY), Wal-Mart (WMT), and Blockbuster (BBI), as well as three manufacturers of video games or related products--Hasbro (HAS), Mattel (MAT), and Nintendo (NTDOY).

SiRi Company
is the newly-announced for-profit global SRI research and consulting company previously known as the Sustainable Investment Research International (SiRi) Group, a non-profit organization launched in October 2001. The company achieves international capacity through a consortium of national-level SRI research firms spanning the globe, including Avanzi SRI Research (Italy), Caring Company (Sweden), Centre Info (Switzerland), Dutch Sustainability Research (Netherlands), Ecodes (Spain), KLD Research & Analytics (USA), Michael Jantzi Research and Associates (Canada), Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (United Kingdom), scoris (Germany), Stock at Stake (Belgium) and Sustainable Investment Research Institute (Australia).

The Calvert Foundation,
which promotes community investment, recently partnered with Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, an organization that promotes woman-owned businesses, to launch a new community investment vehicle: Invest in Women Notes. A minimum investment of $2,000 supports woman-owned businesses, which comprise less than 40 percent of all US businesses, according to the National Foundation for Women Business Owners, despite the fact that women make up more than half of the US population. Investment terms range from 1, 3, or 5 years and all investments will be recycled throughout their term to reach greater numbers of women entrepreneurs. Upon maturity, investors can rollover their investment, collect the interest or receive the payment and interest.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
(OCC), a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department that licenses and supervises national banks, recently published The National Bank Community Development Investments 2002 Directory, its annual directory of community development investments. It lists and summarizes national bank investments permitted under the investment authority of the National Bank Act and part 24 of the OCC regulations that support a public welfare purpose, such as investing in community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and purchasing Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. The directory documents the national banks 156 community development investments made by national banks during the year, valued at nearly $1 billion.

The Social and Environmental Reporting Research Institute
in France surveyed the 2002 annual reports of every company of the SBF 120 (the 120 largest French groups listed on the Paris Stock Exchange) according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) grid of indicators, currently the most complete benchmark for sustainability reporting, and the only one allowing international comparisons. The survey reveals that 27 reports show a marked improvement between 2001 and 2002, but also that the gap between leaders and laggards has increased.

Reputation Measurement
recently issued its 2003 RepuTex Social Responsibility Ratings of the top 100 Australian companies from AAA (“outstanding”) to D (“inadequate”) based on their performance in four areas: corporate governance, environmental impact, social impact and workplace practices. Nineteen independent community organizations, including the Australian Council of Social Service, Greenpeace and the Institute of Chartered Accountants, rated the companies. The survey’s top ten socially responsible companies are, in rank order: Westpac, IBM Australia, Energex, Australia Post, Shell Australia, Alcoa, Visy Industries, Queensland Rail, BHP Billiton, and Coca-Cola Amatil.

The Calvert Group
received the Royal Award for Responsible Investment 2003 in Tokyo at the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiatives (UNEP FI) Global Roundtable, "Sustaining Value." The award, which recognizes outstanding examples of corporate activity in the field of sustainability and socially responsible investment, is a joint endeavor of UNEPFI and the Royal Awards for Sustainability.

has chosen Innovest Strategic Value Advisors to provide corporate sustainability research and ratings on companies’ risk, performance, and strategic positioning with regard to environmental, social, and strategic governance issues. Hermes, which manages the UK's largest pension fund, the BT Pension Scheme, will overlay the information from Innovest onto its existing investment research process.

The Coca-Cola Company
(ticker: KO) Board of Directors approved an amendment to the Company's by-laws such that every director will stand for election annually, a system preferred by corporate governance advocates. Previously, the Company had a "staggered" board where each director was elected to a three-year term and a third of the Board stood for election each year. "We are pleased that Coca Cola has been so responsive to its investor input," said Tim Smith, president of the Social Investment Forum (SIF).

The Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes
have been licensed to UBS Global Asset Management (Japan) Ltd as underlying and reference benchmark for a new sustainability offering in the Japanese market. The product will be launched in cooperation with Daiwa Securities and will be based on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. Following the launch of Nikko Asset Management’s DJSI-based sustainability fund in 2000, the UBS offering will be the second Japanese product managed against the DJSI family. Worldwide, the new agreement increases the number of outstanding DJSI licenses to 47.

The Investors' Circle National Conference,
a meeting place for angel investors, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs who use venture capital to promote the transition to a sustainable future, will take place on November 2-4 at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The program includes a one-day venture fair showcasing up to 17 for-profit companies working to solve social and/or environmental problems. Details available at the Investors' Circle website.

Working Mother
magazine recently announced its annual 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers List. This year's ranking particularly focused on flexible scheduling, advancement of women, and child-care options. The top ten companies include: Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Booz Allen Hamilton, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Eli Lilly (LLY), Fannie Mae (FNM), General Mills (GIS), IBM (IBM), Prudential Financial (PRU), S. C. Johnson (SCJ), and Wachovia (WB).

A Chilean Federation of Industries
(SOFOFA) study finds that a majority of Chilean executives believe that corporate social responsibility (CSR) has a positive influence on employee productivity and corporate image. Of the 160 companies surveyed, 67 percent said they were actively pursuing CSR initiatives, 52 percent said these initiatives responses a moral imperative, 31 percent saw a clear financial benefit, and 17 percent felt they were responding to community needs.

The Global Reporting Initiative
(GRI) has published a pilot version of the Telecommunications Sector Supplement for use in conjunction with the GRI 2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. The GRI is also accepting comments through November 5, 2003 on its Sector Supplement for the automotive sector in preparation for revising it.

The New York State Comptroller,
Alan Hevisi, has proposed forming a new activist group entitled the National Coalition for Corporate Reform. According to a press release from the Comptroller's office, NCCR will unite institutional and individual investors, labor leaders, corporate CEOs, elected officials and community leaders in support of a program of corporate governance reforms, regulation and legislation. Its professed goal is to promote a program of reform that will build a strong, growing economy that benefits all.

The International Council on Mining and Metals,
along with the Shell group of companies, has agreed not to explore or mine in any of the World Heritage sites. The agreement includes a commitment to ensure that operations carried out by member companies are compatible with the protection of World Heritage properties. It also includes agreement to work with relevant partners to develop best practice guidance to ensure biodiversity conservation.(Edie)

The World Health Organization
(WHO) is urging countries to phase out the widespread use of antibiotic growth promoters in farm animals. WHO is basing its recommendation on a study of Denmark's experience subsequent to a 1998 voluntary ban on antibiotic growth promoters. WHO estimates that ending the use of antibiotic growth promoters would increase the cost of producing pigs by about one percent. (Washington Post)

DaimlerChrysler and General Motors
have dropped their lawsuits against the State of California regarding a regulation requiring automakers to produce millions of low-emissions vehicles over a 15-year period. By ending their legal challenge, the major automakers will be required to sell a range of vehicles with low-emission levels of smog-forming pollutants unless some other hurdle arises. The regulation phases in the vehicles between 2005 and 2020. (NY Times)

The Securities and Exchange Commission
recently issued guidelines that require company audit committees to review and approve each time a company’s outside auditor also performs consulting or tax work. The new guidelines were created to limit conflicts-of-interest that can arise when audit firms also provide tax and consulting services to corporate clients.

The guidelines consist of 35 different questions for corporate audit committees. The questions are intended to reinforce audit committee oversight of consulting and tax work done by auditors.

The application deadline
for the Royal Awards for Sustainable Investment is August 22nd. The Royal Awards recognize financial institutions for successfully building sustainability into their overall corporate philosophy and approach. All companies in the financial sector who have a taken a long term, responsible approach to investments are encouraged to apply.

The award will be delivered at the UNEP FI Tokyo Roundtable on October 21, 2003. For more information, click here.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
voted last week to propose new rules that would require corporations to disclose more information about how directors are nominated. The information would be included in company proxy statements. Companies would also be required to include information in their proxy statements about how investors could convey their concerns to the board. Current rules merely require companies to disclose whether or not they have a nominating committee and whether shareholders can nominate directors. The new rules will be open for comment until September 15, 2003.

The United Nations
announced a new partnership with the global private sector that aims to achieve goals such as cutting extreme poverty and the spread of AIDS by half.

The Commission on the Private Sector and Development will be headed by Ernesto Zedillo, the former president of Mexico, and Paul Martin, a former finance minister of Canada. Commission members from the private sector include CEOs or Chairmen of Citigroup (ticker: (C) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ).

(ticker: UCL) must stand trial in California for alleged human rights abuses in Burma, a Los Angeles court has ruled. The court rejected Unocal's request to have the case moved to Bermuda, where the subsidiaries of Unocal allegedly involved are registered, or to Burma, where the alleged abuses occurred.

Unocal is accused of being complicit in forced labor, rape, and torture allegedly carried out by security forces guarding the Yadana pipeline during its construction in Burma in the 1990s.

a collection of baking companies now owned by Sara Lee (ticker: SLE) must pay a $5.25 million civil penalty for having committed the largest ever corporate-wide violations of stratospheric ozone protection regulations, the Department of Justice and the EPA announced. Earthgrains will also be forced to convert all of its industrial process refrigeration appliances to refrigerant systems that do not deplete the ozone layer.

The lodging of the consent decree settles violations of Title VI of the Clean Air Act by Earthgrains Baking Companies, Metz Baking Company, Earthgrains Refrigerated Dough Products, L.P., and Coopersmith, Inc. (collectively Earthgrains). Sara Lee Corporation purchased these companies during the government’s investigation.

Oil companies
are investing considerably to improve their ethics and their problems are declining as a result, according to a study conducted by Madrid-based Management & Excellence, an international ethics rating agency . For example, oil spills over 700 tons worldwide have declined to three per annum in the past three years, down from 50 in 1990. In 2001 8,000 tons of oil was spilled, compared to 435,000 tons in 1991.

(ticker:BA) announced its partners for a demonstrator airplane project aimed at using fuel cell technology for aerospace applications. The research project, led by the Boeing Research and Technology Center in Madrid, Spain, includes Intelligent Energy (UK), Diamond Aircraft Industries (Austria), the Spanish companies Sener and Aerlyper, and Advanced Technology Products (ATP), from the United States.

Work to integrate the fuel cells into the demonstrator airframe is expected to begin at the end of summer 2003. This would enable a possible flight test in late 2004 or early 2005. Boeing said test results are not expected to allow for any near-term applications of the new technology to production aircraft.

A poll of 1,000 UK workers
found that the majority of employees see a clear connection between socially responsible business practice and positive bottom line results. The results of the poll were part of a report entitled "Responsibility: Driving Innovation, Inspiring Employees," which was sponsored by BUPA, a UK-based global healthcare company. However, only 45% of those surveyed felt that their company was actually implementing the values it was espousing.

The United Nations'
advisory body on food safety has adopted the first international guidelines for assessing the risks to consumers of eating genetically modified foods.

The guidelines, adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, include provisions for carrying-out safety evaluations before food products are put on the market, assessing unexpected allergic reactions, and implementing measures to ensure products can be traced back to their origins for recall purposes and post-market monitoring.

(ticker: MSFT) has announced that it will no longer give its employees stock options as compensation. Instead the company will give stock awards, or actual shares of stock. The company also said it will expense stock awards.

Two reports on CDFI's
have recently been published by the CDFI Data project. The first, Community Development Financial Institutions, is an overview of the community development financial institution sector. The second, Community Development Financial Institutions: Providing Capital, Building Community, Creating Impact is an in-depth analysis. Both reports are available free of charge - please click here.

(ticker: WMT) will amend its equal employment opportunity (EEO) policy to explicitly bar sexual orientation discrimination. This development came as a result of a two-year campaign by Equality Project partners Pride Foundation, Walden Asset Management, Trillium Asset Management and ISIS Asset Management, who withdrew resolutions at such Fortune 500 companies as FedEx (FDX), Caterpillar (CAT), and MBNA (KRB) when they agreed to amend their EEO policies to bar sexual orientation discrimination. ExxonMobil (XOM) is one of the most visible Fortune 500 companies that still refuses to bar sexual orientation discrimination.

Would you like to know what environmental liabilities a given company has?
The U.S. Social Investment Forum is encouraging investors to ask the Securities and Exchange Commission to develop a rule that defines what "material environmental risk" is, and to get companies to report on those risks to investors. A sample letter can be found at the Forum's Shareholder Action Network site.

The U.S. Supreme Court
decided to not rule on the Nike vs. Kasky case and dismissed it. Nike (ticker: NKE) had argued that private individuals cannot use the court system as a check on what companies say about themselves. The dismissal should allow Mr. Kasky to continue his lawsuit against Nike.

(TM ) recently unveiled a system that will help the company reduce the environmental impact of its vehicles. The Eco-Vehicle Assessment System (Eco-VAS) will be used, for example, to help set targets for recovering materials from disposed vehicles and for reducing the use of substances that are harmful to the environment.

The Calvert Group
revised its Proxy Voting Guidelines that promote improved corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. Calvert hopes that its revised guidelines will serve as a model for other mutual fund companies adopting or revising proxy voting guidelines in compliance with new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requirements to disclose proxy votes and voting guidelines.

Investors in socially responsible mutual funds
want more information on where their money is invested according to a survey by UK based Jupiter Asset Management. The results showed that 90 per cent of respondents would like a higher level of transparency and detail on how investment decisions are made. It also showed that 95 per cent of investors required information on the environmental, social and ethical criteria applied to their investments and how companies are assessed with regard to meeting these criteria.

The Federal Communications Commission
voted 3-2 to ease restrictions on the ownership of newspapers and television and radio stations. The new rules will allow fewer companies to own a greater number of media outlets.

At ExxonMobil's annual meeting,
three social/environmental resolutions received support from over 20% of voting shareowners. The resolutions asked the company to: adopt a sexual orientation non-discrimination policy (27.1%), report on the company's plans to mitigate climate change risks (22%), and develop renewable energy alternatives (21%).

FTSE Group
announced recently that Will Oulton will step down as joint Deputy Chief Executive, but will retain his affiliation with the global index company as Strategic Adviser for Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). Mr. Oulton was instrumental in the launching of FTSE4Good, a global SRI index series, and he will continue to work with the FTSE4Good Advisory Committees and FTSE's in-house corporate social responsibility (CSR) team.

The Securities and Exchange Commission
formally approved the appointment of William J. McDonough, president and chief executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as chair of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) on May 21, 2003. He will assume the position, which pays $556,000 a year, on June 11.

At Gillette's annual meeting
last week, 63% of voting shareholders supported a resolution calling on the company to eliminate staggered board terms and elect all directors annually. The resolution was filed by Christian Brothers Investment Services and Walden Asset Management.

The European Parliament
has voted in favor of new legislation that will make companies liable for the environmental damage they cause. The legislation requires firms to have comprehensive environmental liability insurance and holds the firms responsible for cleaning up their own pollution. The new law could come into effect as early as 2005.

Mandatum Asset Management
, a subsidiary of the Finnish Sampro Group, has licensed the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index excluding Alcohol, Gambling, Tobacco, Armaments & Firearms (DJSI World ex All) to benchmark the Sampo Sustainability Bond Fund and the Sampo Sustainability Equity Fund. This brings the number of DJSI licenses up to 42, and the amount of total assets under management based on DJSI indexes up to 1.7 billion Euros

Canada's Social Investment Organization
released statistics showing that socially responsible investment in Canada rose to $51.4 billion in 2002, up from $49.9 billion in 2000. The statistics are contained in the Canadian Social Investment Review 2002, a bi-annual survey of socially responsible investment (SRI) in Canada. Copies of the report are available on the SIO website.

The Securities and Exchange Commission
will consider possible changes to proxy rules and regulations, as well as changes in how the Commission interprets procedures for the election of corporate directors. According to an SEC press release, the Commission will review: shareholder proposals; the corporate director nomination process; elections of directors; the solicitation of proxies for director elections; contests for corporate control; and the disclosure and other requirements imposed on large shareholders and groups of shareholders.

The Commission has asked the Division of Corporation Finance to consult with all interested parties and receive their views via hard copy or email by June 13. The Commission has requested that the Division provide its recommendations to the Commission by July 15.

The Stanford Graduate School of Business
will launch a new journal, the Stanford Social Innovation Review [SSIR], dedicated to covering the best ideas for nonprofit management, philanthropy, and corporate citizenship. The first issue, Spring 2003, was printed in April. Subscriptions are available online at or by calling 650-725-5399.

Innovest Strategic Value Advisors,
a New York-based financial research firm, recently conducted a study that found that leaders in energy management in the retail merchandising sector, taken as a group, outperformed laggards by nearly 7000 basis points over the past five years. The study also found that companies active in the EPA's ENERGY STAR program outperformed peers that were less active or not involved in the program. Lowe's (Ticker: LOW) and Costco (COST) received the highest ratings on energy management. May Department Stores (MAY) and Best Buy Company (BBY) received the lowest ratings.

Citizens Advisers, Inc.
, the investment adviser to Citizens Funds, recently announced the promotion of Sean Driscoll to senior vice president, investment and business operations, Robert Barringer to vice president, director of investment research, and Marcia Kovalik to vice president, legal and compliance.

A shareholder resolution requesting
New York City-based Dover Corporation (TICKER: DOV) amend its equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly bar discrimination based on sexual orientation has been filed. The resolution will be voted at Dover’s annual meeting on Tuesday, April 22. The resolution was presented by The Funding Exchange, Walden Asset Management, and Calvert Asset Management.

The Securities and Exchange Commission
The Securities and Exchange Commission said today that it might change its policies on elections for corporate boards and shareholder proposals in an effort to increase corporate democracy.

The S.E.C. staff will review current regulations and submit possible changes to the full commission by July 15. "The current rules concerning shareholder proposals and director elections are clear and we are enforcing them as such, but the time has come for a thorough review of the proxy rules and regulations to ensure that they are serving the best interests of today's investors," the agency's chairman, William H. Donaldson, said in a statement.

The recent listing of South Africa based Sasol Ltd
on the New York Stock Exchange has sparked an effort to highlight the company's problematic environmental record. According to EPA data and Sasol's own envioronmental report the company's facilities in the U.S. and South Africa continue to be a major source of toxic pollutants. The new website will monitor the company's operations.

"Monsanto and Genetic Engineering -- Risks for Investors,"
is a new report commissioned by Greenpeace to be released on April 16th. This report examines Monsanto's corporate strategy of expanding its genetically engineered (GE) crop business, and the risks posed for its shareholders and investors. The report highlights growing concerns about GE technologies developed by Monsanto and other GE companies, and the potential risks for investors. The report was authored by Innovest Strategic Advisors.

Treasurers Express Concern About Risks to Investments from Climate Change -
Denise Nappier, Treasurer, State of Connecticut; William C. Thompson,Jr., Comptroller, City of New York; Alan Hevesi, Comptroller, New York State; and Jeb Spaulding, Treasurer, State of Vermont, all expressed concern that global warming posed long-term economic risks that threatened the value of retirement funds. They made the announcements at the CERES conference, a gathering of investors, environmentalists, analysts, and business leaders being held April 1 and 2 in New York City.

The Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) on March 28 approved the Securities and Exchange Commission's rule requiring mutual funds to publicly disclose proxy votes. According to the SEC, mutual funds must begin recording their proxy votes this summer and disclose their voting records to investors next year.

Rev. Dr. J. Elliot ("Jack") Corbett
, cofounder of the Pax World Fund, died March 18, 2003 at the age of 82. Dr. Corbett and fellow United Methodist minister Rev. Dr. Luther Tyson introduced the Pax World Fund in 1971. It was the first broadly diversified, publicly available mutual fund to use ethical as well as financial screens in its investment decisions.

(National Community Coalition for Economic Development) is holding the 10th Annual Washington Policy Conference from March 30 to April 2 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C. Highlights of the conference include a panel discussion with Congressional leaders about the challenges and opportunities facing the community economic development industry.

Calvert Foundation's
new partnership with DevelopmentSpace will enable Calvert Foundation to make international grants on behalf of Calvert Giving Fund donor advisors. DevelopmentSpace is a web-based marketplace in which social entrepreneurs and investors can make a direct connection.

(ticker: DIS) shareowners will vote at the company's annual meeting on March 19 on a resolution that asks the company to conduct a comprehensive executive compensation review. The resolution is being submitted by members of Responsible Wealth, an affiliate of United for a Fair Economy. According to Responsible Wealth, Disney was singled out for this resolution because the company has had consistently high executive pay while delivering lackluster performance to shareowners and cutting the jobs of employees.

Gabelli Asset Management
named Christopher C. Desmarais as Senior Vice President and Director of Socially Responsible Investments (SRI). Gabelli's SRI program, which it initiated in 1987, has increased more than 50 percent in new assets over the past three years to stand at more than $500 million under management now.

British American Tobacco (BTI)
is under pressure from human rights groups in Asia to withdraw from a joint-venture partnership with the Myanmar government. Forced labor in Myanmar is increasing, according to Australia's Union Aid Abroad. Rothmans of Pall Mall Myanmar became part of British American Tobacco four years ago. The company is 40 percent owned by a Myanmar government-owned company.

Alexander & Baldwin (ALEX), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and American Express (AXP)
ranked highest in the category of social responsibility in Fortune's annual "Most Admired Companies" list. The rankings were compiled from the results of a poll of 10,000 executives, directors, and analysts. The top three in the overall rankings were Wal-Mart (WMT), Southwest Airlines (LUV), and Berkshire Hathaway (BRKb).

In the 2003 Reputation Quotient (RQ) survey,
Johnson & Johnson (ticker: JNJ) again took the top spot. It is the fourth year in a row that Johnson and Johnson has placed first. Rounding out the top five were Harley-Davidson (HDI), Coca-Cola Company, (KO) United Parcel Service (UPS), and General Mills (GIS).

A Bank of Montreal
(ticker: BMO) shareowner resolution that asks the company to report on how it evaluates and manages social, environmental, and ethical issues and risks received 29.9 percent support from voting shareowners at the February 25 General Annual Meeting in Ottawa. Real Assets filed the resolution at BMO along with co-filers Ethical Funds Inc. and Meritas Mutual Funds. See's related story.

A recent New York Times Job Market survey
revealed that 70% of hiring managers believe their company's diversity initiatives have a positive impact on business performance. At companies that have a diversity policy, 92% of hiring managers said their company's senior management strongly supports diversity as a company goal.

a Paris-based cola company launched last year that donates 20% of its profits to Palestinian and European charities, is spreading throughout Europe. In its first few weeks on the European market in late 2002, Mecca-Cola sold about 792,000 cases; Coca-Cola stated in its 2001 annual report that it sold about 858,000 cases of Coke a day in the Middle East.

More than 90% of South African firms
are reporting on their social responsibility and good governance issues, according to a forthcoming study by the Ethics Institute of South Africa. The study surveyed 53 companies listed in the Johannesburg Stock exchange.

The Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)
said the 2003 proxy season is on track to be a record year for shareholder advocacy in terms of the number of resolutions submitted and the number of resolutions likely to come to vote. This pronouncement was made in their report entitled "2003 Shareholder Proxy Season Overview: Social and Corporate Governance Resolution Trends".

Real Assets Investment Management Inc.,
Canada’s first investment management firm to focus entirely on socially responsible investing, has merged with United Investment Counsel, a British Columbia-based institutional investment management company. The merged company will continue to use the Real Assets name and will create a single socially responsible investment company.

Royal Bank of Canada
(RBC) was named the "Most Respected Canadian Company" in a KPMG survey of 314 Canadian business leaders, followed by plane and train manufacturer Bombardier and telecommunications company BCE. RBC ranked first in both the corporate social responsibility (CSR) category and the corporate governance category.

Geeta Aiyer,
former president of Walden Asset Management, is now president of the newly formed Boston Common Asset Management, an employee-owned, full-service social investment firm. Boston Common offers community development investing and provides thorough research and tenacious shareholder advocacy. The firm offers both index and actively managed options.

announced today that after seven years as executive director, Bob Massie has decided to step down. Mindy Lubber, a founding board member of CERES, has been selected by the CERES board to be the new executive director.

Caterpillar Inc.,
(ticker: CAT) recently amended its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Caterpillar had been having dialogues about the issue with Boston-based NorthStar Asset Management and the Equality Project. After Caterpillar's announcement, NorthStar withdrew its shareowner resolution on the issue.

Global Business Cooperation
The UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have announced that they are to cooperate more closely for a coherent approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in order to share experience and learning in areas of the effective performance models and tools, which integrate the universal principles of the Global Compact into business strategy.

Davos Conference Targeting Trust
The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2003 kicked off today with 2,300 participants gathering in the Swiss mountains to discuss a pressing topic: how can trust be restored to a world whose faith in itself has been shaken?
“Davos is the place where business and other stakeholders of global society work together to make the world a better place,” World Economic Forum President Klaus Schwab told participants at the Annual Meeting’s opening plenary session. “Never before in the 33-year history of the World Economic Forum has the situation in the world been as fragile, as complex and as dangerous as this year,” he added.

T. Rowe Price Global Investment Services Limited and Innovest
have been selected by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (MISTRA) to strengthen the environmental and ethical focus of 10-20 per cent of the foundation’s US and European shares. The new mandate will follow the methodology of the T. Rowe Price Global Clean Future Fund and will use Innovest research and ratings.

Winslow Management Company
has entered into an affinity relationship with Energy Star®, an energy management program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As part of the agreement, Winslow will encourage companies to join the Energy Star Partnership and, whenever appropriate, use the Energy Star Partnership as a non-exclusive screen for evaluating companies for its portfolios.

Epson America, Inc.
declares it is now using 98.6% lead-free solders for all in-house manufacturing and is purchasing 40% lead-free parts.

U.S. Supreme Court
to review free-speech rights of companies. The nation's highest court will review Nike's defense against allegations of sweatshop practices and decide whether a company's public statements are protected under the First Amendment.

The UK Environment Agency
announced its pension fund would invest in a new "eco-enhanced" index fund. State Street Global Advisors will manage the fund and Innovest Strategic Value Advisors will provide specialized company and industry research. The fund will track the FTSE 350 index but will over- and underweight companies based on environmental performance, management capacity, and strategic positioning.

Honda is the least-polluting
of the six largest auto manufacturers in the U.S. market, according to a new survey by the Union of Concerned Scientists. As a group, these six companies sell nine out of every ten vehicles in the U.S. Honda was followed by Toyota, Nissan, Ford, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler.

A seminar
entitled "Linking Sustainable Development and Shareholder Value: An Executive Seminar for the Investment Community" will be held in Toronto on Friday morning, December 13, 2002, at the Toronto Design Exchange. Convened by The Conference Board of Canada, the seminar will discuss how corporate sustainable development practices are driving value-creation. Go to The Conference Board's website for more information and to register. (Reference when you register and save $50 on the seminar fee!)

Andrew Fastow,
the alleged perpetrator of Enron’s off-the-books partnerships, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Houston on 78 counts, including dozens of fraud, money-laundering and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors allege Fastow pocketed an estimated $30 million in illegal profits.

Citigroup (C),
under investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for alleged conflicts-of-interests that resulted in misleading analyst research, last week decided to create a new unit for its stock research and private client brokerage in an attempt to make its stock research more independent. The new unit, Smith Barney, will have more than 12,500 financial consultants.

The biggest Wall Street banking firms
have agreed in principle to a stock research reform plan proposed by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and SEC enforcement director Stephen Cutler. The plan includes funding an oversight committee that would buy research from “independent” firms with no potential investment banking conflicts. The individual firms would then provide the research to individual investors. The plan also calls for limits on the interactions between analysts and bankers.

More than 200 groups
have endorsed The Unity Platform on Corporate Accountability, a joint statement on the need for stronger and corporate accountability. The statement outlines an agenda for public funding of elections, an overhaul of corporate governance, controls on speculative investment, stronger labor and environmental obligations, an end to international corporate welfare, and a redefinition of financial accountability, among other proposals.

The Investor Responsibility Research Center
(IRRC) appointed Richard H. Koppes to their board of directors. Mr. Koopes currently serves as co-director of the Executive Education Programs at Stanford Law School and as counsel to the international law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. He was formerly second in command of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CALPERS) as the deputy executive officer and general counsel.

Ethical Corporation
magazine is hosting a conference and training seminar on corporate social and environmental responsibility in New York City on October 2-4, 2002. Entitled "How to Manage Corporate Responsibility, Why its Essential and How to Make it Pay," the conference features speakers from companies as diverse as DuPont, Patagonia, and MTV Networks.

The Stanley Works,
a Connecticut-based tool manufacterer, withdrew its plans to reincorporate in Bermuda on August 1, 2002. Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier, the principal fiduciary of state pension funds that hold 16,600 shares of the company, conducted vigorous shareowner action against the reincorporation. See's article on this issue.

Investors' Circle
is hosting its 2002 National Conference, entitled "Energy for a Sustainable Future," on October 27-29, 2002 at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The conference gathers angel investors, professional venture capitalists, philanthropists and entrepreneurs who use venture capital to promote sustainability. Visit the Investors' Circle website for more information.

The Committee of Concerned Shareholders
and James McRitchie, Editor of CorpGov.Net, have jointly filed a petition with the Securities and Exchange Commission to democratize corporate elections. The petition asks the SEC to change its rules to allow all shareowners to nominate candidates to a company's board of directors.

Domini Social Investments
announced August 9, 2002 that its chief executive, David Wieder, and its president, Sigward Moser, had resigned. Company founder Amy Domini has taken over the roles of chief executive and president, and has named a five-year Domini veteran, Carole Laible, as chief operating officer. Ms. Laible will oversee day-to-day operations at the firm.

The National Centre for Business and Sustainability
(NCBS) will be running its 5-day Institute of Social and Ethical AccountAbility (ISEA) approved course in social and ethical accounting, auditing and reporting. The course will commence on September 30; for more information, click here.

Green Money Journal
is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special edition that looks at the future of socially responsible investing. Other topics included in Green Money Journal's largest issue ever include eco-travel, green business, and the natural foods industry. Read more at Green Money Journal.

Citizens Advisers, Inc.
announced on July 3 the formation of a five-member operating committee to replace outgoing President and CEO John L. Shields, who has completed his contract with the firm. The committee is comprised of three senior vice presidents and two vice presidents.

Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc.
was ranked by Pensions & Investments magazine as the largest money manager that exclusively follows a socially responsible investment approach in handling tax-exempt institutional assets. CBIS manages approximately $2.8 billion in assets for Catholic institutional investors.

The Fourth Triple Bottom Line Investing Conference
will convene November 7-8, 2002, in Brussels, Belgium. The conference's focal topic is "Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and Governance." For more information about the conference, visit its website.

An E-forum on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
in North and Latin America, sponsored by The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the World Bank Institute (WBI), will take place on-line from June 10 through July 5. Focal topics will change weekly. Click here to register (there is no fee to participate), or contact Djordjija Petkoski.

ExxonMobil shareowners
increasingly support a company move toward renewable energy. At ExxonMobil's May 29 annual meeting, a preliminary count revealed that over 20 percent of voting shareowners support a resolution urging the oil giant to add renewable energy sources into its mix. The same resolution received 8.9 percent of the vote last year.

At the Longs Drug Stores
annual shareowner meeting on May 21, a coalition opposing tobacco sales in the pharmacy chain proposed the C.O.O.L. Challenge, or "Cigarettes Out of Longs." The initiative, spearheaded by the Berkeley Tobacco Prevention Coalition and coordinated by investment advisor Ron Freund of the Berkeley-based Social Equity Group, called on Longs, the sixth largest drug store chain in the country, to phase out all tobacco sales in its 430 stores. The ultimate goal of the challenge is to eradicate tobacco sales from all U.S. drug stores.

The recent listing of South Africa based Sasol Ltd.
on the New York Stock Exchange has sparked an effort to highlight the company's problematic environmental record. According to EPA data and Sasol's own envioronmental report the company's facilities in the U.S. and South Africa continue to be a major source of toxic pollutants. The new website will monitor the company's operations.

The recent listing of South Africa based Sasol Ltd.
on the New York Stock Exchange has sparked an effort to highlight the company's problematic environmental record. According to EPA data and Sasol's own envioronmental report the company's facilities in the U.S. and South Africa continue to be a major source of toxic pollutants. The new website will monitor the company's operations.

The recent listing of South Africa based Sasol Ltd.
on the New York Stock Exchange has sparked an effort to highlight the company's problematic environmental record. According to EPA data and Sasol's own envioronmental report the company's facilities in the U.S. and South Africa continue to be a major source of toxic pollutants. The new website will monitor the company's operations.

SEC Requires ExxonMobil to Include Shareowner Resolutions on Proxy
ExxonMobil must retain two more shareowner resolutions on its 2002 proxy to comply with recent rulings by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). One of the resolutions asks the company to refrain from drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and the other asks the company to explicitly prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in its equal employment opportunity policy. Of the seven shareowner resolutions that ExxonMobil contested, the SEC upheld five resolutions as meriting inclusion on the proxy, while allowing the company to omit two proposals. Click here to read our related article.

The Social Investment Forum
appointed as its new president Timothy H. Smith, who currently chairs the Forum. After retiring as executive director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a position he had held for almost three decades, Mr. Smith became senior vice president and director of socially responsive investing at Walden Asset Management in 2000. The Forum honored outgoing president David Berge by creating a new position for him as Chair Emeritus.

CEO John Biggs recently challenged TIAA-CREF participants to raise $25 million toward the establishment of a new SRI retirement fund, and promised to provide a matching $25 million in seed money. Social Choice for Social Change, a group of participants that has long lobbied TIAA-CREF to institute positive screens in addition to its negative-screened Social Choice accounts, has established a website offering information about the new fund.

Calvert Asset Management,
which owns 103 shares of Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. (ticker: TR), asked the candymaker to vote on changing its lollipop wrapper, which features an picture of a little boy in feathered headdress carrying a bow and arrow, an image demeaning to Native Americans. Tootsie invoked the SEC rule that such matters amount to "ordinary business" to be handled by management. Calvert may bring up the issue at the question and answer session at the annual shareholder meeting.

The UK Social Investment Forum
(UKSIF), the UK's network of stakeholders in socially responsible investment, has appointed Helen Wildsmith as their new Executive Director. Ms.Wildsmith previously was assistant director of the Centre for Business & Society at Ashridge Management College.

The Council of Institutional Investors,
an organization of some 250 pension funds and investment-related firms responsible for nearly $2 trillion of pension assets, called for a package of sweeping reforms to the U.S. auditing and corporate governance systems, "designed to ensure that another Enron won’t happen." The call was made through letters to congressional committees investigating the Enron case and to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey L. Pitt.

The Calvert Social Investment Fund Equity Portfolio
received Business Ethics magazine's 2002 Social Investing Award in the Large-Cap Fund category. Other Mutual Fund Awards went to Ariel Appreciation in the Mid-Cap Fund category and Parnassus Equity Income Fund in the Equity Income Fund category. Walden Asset Management won the Money Manager Award, and Portfolio 21 received Honorable Mention for Emerging Manager.

Global Cooperation
The UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have announced that they are to cooperate more closely for a coherent approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in order to share experience and learning in areas of the effective performance models and tools, which integrate the universal principles of the Global Compact into business strategy.

Bayer Corporation
is now the target of a letter writing campaign to get the company to comply with an FDA-proposed ban on certain antibiotics used in agriculture. Many experts fear the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture will produce drug-resistant bacteria that are dangerous to humans. Bayer's flouting of the FDA proposal may hurt its initial listing on the New York Stock Exchange, which is scheduled for January 24th.

The Annual Cornerstone SRI Conference:
Embracing Values, Money, and Community, will be held on Kiawah Island, South Carolina from March 14-17, 2002. Leaders in socially responsible investing, community service, and other areas will discuss how participants can do more to help make the world a better place. Half of the conference profits will be donated to local community organizations.

FleetBoston Financial
announced that it is the first bank in the world to endorse the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) Principles and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Statement by Financial Institutions. Fleet’s environmental management program includes cost savings associated with facility management and
bank operations, online initiatives, and environmental policies and procedures governing business lending decisions.

The Investor Responsibility Research Center, Inc.
(IRRC) has a new chief as of January 1, 2002. Linda Crompton, IRRC's new president, has 25 years of experience in business, finance and organization development as well as an understanding of social and environmental issues. Ms. Crompton is the founder and former president and CEO of Citizens Bank of Canada.

Toys R Us
(ticker: TOY) has agreed to prohibit animal acts and circuses at its stores. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which had been running a campaign against the practice, is now urging people to send thank-you letters to Toys R Us management for the new policy.

The 2002 International Business and Consciousness Conference
will be held from January 18-22 at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Speakers will include Cliff Feigenbaum and Hal Brill, co-authors of Investing with your Values.

Steven D. Lydenberg
has been awarded the Social Investment Forum's prestigious Service Award, given each year to an individual whose work has advanced the understanding and practice of socially responsible
investing. Mr. Lydenberg, a principal responsible for global social investing analysis at Domini Social Investments, received the award at the annual social investment industry conference known as "SRI in the Rockies," which was held in September.

The Eclipse Ultra Short Term Income Fund
is no longer a socially responsible mutual fund. According to a New York Life Investment Management spokesperson, the change became official June 8, 2001.

The Rainforest Site is back!
Internet users can once again help save rainforest just by going to and clicking on the green "Save Our Rainforests" button once every day. Users can also donate food and help prevent breast cancer just by clicking at and, respectively.

The Fifth Annual Sustainable Enterprise Summit,
held by the World Resources Institute, will be held December 5-6 in Washington, D.C. Subtitled "The Next Top Line: Sustainability as a Business Driver," the summit will highlight product and process innovations that deliver environmental and social performance and create financial growth and competitive advantage.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
has kicked off a drive to enlist an international network of "Individual Stakeholders." Registration is free and can be completed online - check out the details on their information page.

Domini Social Investments
is urging its shareholders to send postcards to Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Christine Todd Whitman to take action against global warming. The postcards, sent out in July, urge Secretary Whitman to determine that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are pollutants under the Clean Air Act, and request that the EPA use its regulatory authority to place limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles.

KLD Research & Analytics, Inc.
announced that its Substantial Emissions "concern" rating for publicly traded companies has been enhanced by the latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data. The expanded EPA information has been incorporated into KLD's social and environmental research database, SOCRATES, which covers more than 1,600 companies.

2001 New Ventures Forum:
Growing Enterprises for the New Millennium, will be held October 4-5 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Organized by WRI and REDLAC-Latin American Network of Environmental Funds, the Forum is for investors and corporations who recognize that investing in sustainable enterprises makes good business sense.

has been named "Great Place to Work" by Washingtonian Magazine. Calvert's progressive HR policies include twelve paid days off for volunteerism, flextime and compressed work weeks, and a $350 credit for associates who bicycle to work.

Domini Social Investments
recently hired Steve Lydenberg as a principal responsible for global social investing analysis. Mr. Lydenberg has been active in social
investing for over 25 years and is a founder and former Research Director of Kinder, Lydenberg, Domini & Co. (KLD).

Triple Bottom Line Investing 2001
will be held October 18-19 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The conference will have over 100 speakers and 28 workshops; participants are expected from over 30 countries.

SRI In The Rockies
, the annual gathering of the U.S. social investment community, will take place at the Sheraton El Conquistador in Tucson, Arizona from September 9-12. Details about the conference can be found at

Domini Social Investments and ShoreBank
announced that the Domini Money Market has been expanded to include ShoreBank Cleveland and ShoreBank Pacific, as well as ShoreBank's Chicago-based branches. By depositing funds in these three separately chartered banks, the Domini Money Market Account can provide up to $300,000 of FDIC insurance per depositor.

Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD),
chairman of the Veterans Affairs' (VA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, announced on July 19 that the $84 billion VA-HUD bill includes a proposal for $100 million funding to the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund. President Bush’s 2002 budget proposal cut funding to the CDFI Fund by 42 percent, to about $70 million.

has joined the Alliance to Save Energy. It is the only oil company to join the Alliance, which includes 70 other leading companies that are committed to promoting energy efficiency domestically and overseas.

United for a Fair Economy
is sponsoring an on-line petition for U.S. citizens to express criticism of the Bush Administration's tax cut. also asks those Americans getting a tax rebate to redirect some or all of the rebate to organizations working for fairer tax policies and economic justice.

Calvert Social Investment Foundation (Calvert Foundation)
has announced the re-launch of its website. The information and interactive tools available at benefit a variety of audiences - from the classroom to the boardroom, featuring interactive and multimedia community investment content.

The Guardian and The Observer
will hold a major conference on corporate social responsibility on July 9, 2001 in London. The one-day event, supported by Lattice Group and Business in the Community, will look at what the CSR boundaries should be between business, government and stakeholders.

The International Labor Rights Fund,
a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that represents workers in other countries, is suing ExxonMobil for human rights violations in Aceh, Indonesia. Villagers in Aceh contend that the Indonesian military unit guarding ExxonMobil's natural gas field have committed murder, torture, kidnapping and rape.

is extending an open invitation to the official June 28, 2001 launch of the first in a new family of ARESE Sustainable Performance Indices. The ASPI Eurozone is a European equity index tracking the financial performance of the Eurozone’s leading companies in terms of social and environmental performance.

The Chicago Climate Exchange
will be the name of a new marketplace for trading greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Twenty-five companies and nonprofit organizations have signed on to participate in the market design phase of the pilot program, among them Ford, DuPont, Suncor Energy, International Paper, Cinergy, and PG&E National Energy Group.

Triple Bottom Line Simulation 2001
…Practicing Social Investing Without Committing Funds, will be held on May 21, 2000 at the Marriott Financial Center Hotel in New York City. In a one-day conference, institutional investors will simulate the investment of a $100 million portfolio across all asset classes and then track the performance with simulated custody reports every quarter. Please click here for details.

Toyota Motor Corporation
and the Japanese non-governmental organization Green Earth Center announced they will initiate a three-year joint reforestation project aimed at limiting the expansion of deserts in China. The project will involve planting trees on over 1,500 hectares of land in Fengning Man Autonomous County in China's Hebei Province., an international lesbian resource, has announced the company will partner with, the Gay Financial Network, to provide financial and business news to the lesbian community.
Under its partnership agreement, and will provide community news and information tailored to the lesbian market.

Call for research papers
to be considered for the 2001 Moskowitz Prize. The Moskowitz Prize recognizes outstanding research on socially responsible investing. Deadline for entry is June 30, 2001; click here for more information.

Amy Domini and John C. Bogle
will address a gathering of The Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, Inc. on Wednesday April 25, 2001 from 8:30 am - 1:00 pm at the Federal Reserve Bank, 600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA. The cost is $120 for members and $160 for non-members.

The Canadian Social Investment Conference
will be held from June 3-5 in Montreal. Investment professionals and investors will gather to discuss the latest social investing trends in Canada.

Friends Ivory & Sime
(FI&S) has become the first investment manager to sign up in support of the WWF's campaign to get timber sourced from well-managed forests. FI&S will become part of the WWF 95+ timber campaign, which has also signed up such corporates as B&Q, Wickes, Laing, Tesco and Railtrack.

Martin Eakes
CEO and co-founder of Durham, N.C.-based Self-Help Credit Union, introduced an anti-predatory lending shareholder resolution Citigroup’s annual stockholder meeting on Tuesday April 17. The resolution is sponsored by Responsible Wealth, a non-profit organization.

Pax World
has announced it will begin offering a new "paperless" document delivery option, where Pax World shareholders may choose to receive Fund prospectuses and annual and semi-annual reports electronically. The socially and environmentally responsible mutual fund family is teaming with Alamo Direct for the new "No Envelope" program.

Domini Social Investments LLC,
manager of the Domini Social Equity Funds, announced that the Fund has been added to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Deferred Compensation Plan offered to state employees. The Fund will be available to all 111,000
participants enrolled in the plan, with holds more than $2.8 billion
in assets.

(Agence de Rating Social et Environnemental sur les Entreprises) will hold a conference entitled "International Perspectives on SRI" in Paris, France on 15 May 2001. The aim of the conference is to provide a global perspective on many of the corporate sustainability and socially responsible investment issues of respective markets.

USGS scientist fired
over publishing maps of the Artic Wildlife Refuge on the USGS Internet site. The person fired claims he learned of a "communications directive" after he was let go. The directive limits who is allowed to distribute new information on ANWR within the USGS.

BP Amoco
and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and have signed a multi-site agreement (MSA) to clean up petroleum releases at 177 sites across Pennsylvania. The agreement ensures that all the sites either will be cleaned up or have systems in place to correct the problems by the end of 2008.

Coca-Cola Co.'s
policies on hiring and promotions will be reviewed by a seven-person team to ensure compliance with the terms of last year’s racial discrimination lawsuit brought by black employees. Former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman will lead the independent task force.

Michael Jantzi Research Associates Inc.
(MJRA) reported that the Jantzi Social Index (JSITM) increased in value by 12.89% from its inception on January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2000. Over the same period, the S&P/TSE 60 increased by 7.42% and the TSE 300 increased by 7.28%.

Domini Social Investments
announced that the Domini Social Equity Fund has been added to the State of California's Savings Plus Program. The Fund will be available to all 111,000 participants.

Consolidated Edison, Inc.
(Con Edison) and CERES (the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies) announced that the energy provider has formally endorsed the CERES Principles, a ten-point code of corporate environmental conduct.

Chief executive compensation
in 2000 increased 16 percent over 1999, according to a survey by Pearl Meyer & Partners, an executive compensation consultant in New York. Total pay for CEOs of the largest U.S. companies now average over $10 million.

U.S. PIRG, Trillium Asset Management and Walden Asset Management
assemble requisite 100 shareholders to file shareholder resolution with U.K.-based BP Amoco. The resolution asks the energy giant “to prepare a report on the impact of oil and gas drilling on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to be available to investors and the public by September 2001.”

Investors’ Circle
will hold a one-day Venture Fair in San Francisco on February 28, 2001. The fair offers angel investors the opportunity to hear presentations on 12 promising socially responsible investment opportunities.

has announced it is holding its next environmentally friendly vehicle race in North America. Michelin Challenge Bibendum 2001 will be held in October, with the race starting in California and ending in Las Vegas.

Bayer Corporation,
is now the target of a letter writing campaign to get the company to comply with an FDA-proposed ban on certain antibiotics used in agriculture. Many experts fear the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture will produce drug-resistant bacteria that are dangerous to humans. Bayer's flouting of the FDA proposal may hurt its initial listing on the New York Stock Exchange, which is scheduled for January 24th.

Pension Investment Research Consultants (PIRC)
will hold its annual corporate governance conference on February 22 in London. Entitled “Ten Years On: A Corporate Governance Turning Point,” the conference will examine developments over the past decade as well as discuss future challenges and opportunities.

is facing a whopping $5 billion racial discrimination suit. Seven African-American Microsoft employees are alleging discriminatory employment practices involving promotions, compensation and wrongful termination.

Citizens Funds
announced that as of November 1, 2000, the Citizens Index Fund, the Citizens Small Cap Index Fund, and the Citizens' Working Assets Money Market Fund will be changed to Citizens Core Growth Fund, Citizens Small Cap Core Growth Fund, and Citizens Money Market Fund, respectively.

Grassroots Lending Supports Lesbian/Gay Community
One of the roles of Community Development Financial Institutions is to help overcome the discrimination that many segments of our society face when they approach traditional lending institutions. The lesbian/gay/bi-sexual/transgender community is not exempt from the need for financial alternatives and nonprofit support institutions that cater to its special interests and eliminate discrimination. In recent years, many community lenders have made a commitment to work towards strengthening the LGBT community.

Over the past 20 years, the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) has used financial and advisory assistance to bolster the capacity of its nonprofit clients to handle growth and maintain financial strength. Recently NFF provided a $500,000 loan to Callen-Lorde Community Health Center which helped it expand and become a licensed primary care health clinic serving New York City's LGBT community and people living with HIV/AIDS. This nonprofit organization (founded in 1983) needed financing from NFF for the renovation of its healthcare facility. In the last 2 years NFF has also provided Callen-Lorde with a total of $700,000 in loans for working capital to bridge proceeds from the Boston-New York AIDS Rides.

Since 1990, the Illinois Facilities Fund’s low-interest loans have enabled more than 113 agencies, such as community health clinics, childcare centers and youth shelters to buy, expand or renovate their facilities. For example, Howard Brown Health Center provides health care and wellness programs in a confidential and supportive environment to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. The agency is a leader in identifying and treating sexually transmitted diseases, and is the largest Midwest provider of HIV services. The IFF provided a $500,000 low-interest loan to Howard Brown to help the agency purchase, renovate, and expand the property it rented on Chicago’s North Side. The renovation nearly doubled the clinic’s program and administrative space and enabled it to continue growing to meet community needs.

Wainwright Bank and Trust Company has committed over $113 million in loans to homeless shelters, affordable housing, environmental protection, HIV/AIDS services, community health centers and more. Wainwright is another example of a lender that is a leader in providing financing to individuals and organizations in the LGBT community. It was also the first bank in Massachusetts to provide same-sex domestic partner employee benefits. This bank is affiliated with and provides financial support for many organizations including Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defender and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG). Wainwright has also been a member of Greater Boston Business Council, which seeks to promote a positive image of the lesbian and gay community.

Triangle Interests, based in Philadelphia, is a national membership organization of lesbians that works to improve the lives of its members by providing alternatives that are not often offered by mainstream communities. One of these alternatives is the Triangle Interests Federal Credit Union, which is a federally insured, nationally chartered non-profit financial institution created for the specific purpose of improving the economic status and quality of life of the lesbian community. The credit union works to help the members of this organization get to a better financial position through savings and loan programs that are focused on helping borrowers develop financial goals and meet economic needs.

Michelle MacKinnon, founder and President, says, “Our organization focuses on the issues women in the lesbian community come up against and helps them reach their goals and objectives. Setting up a financial institution for this is a step in the right direction."

Another leader in providing unbiased financial services to the LGBT community is the Alternatives Federal Credit Union of Ithaca, NY. This credit union has enacted policies that support all its employees and clients regardless of their lifestyle choices. AFCU provides benefits equivalent to those of a married couple to its employees that register with the City of Ithaca as being in a domestic partnership. Usually when unmarried couples apply for mortgage loans together the down payment on the loan is considered a gift from one partner to the other, because only one person will appear on the title as the recipient of the loan. This lowers the creditworthiness of the borrowing couple, which does not occur if a couple is married. However, when AFCU accepts the down payment for a mortgage loan from registered domestic partners it evaluates them as it would a married couple. This assures their clients the ability to make a down payment for a house based on their financial status and not on the legal status of the couple.

“We don’t just accept the issues of our [LGBT] clients, we try to understand their financial needs,” says Bill Myers of AFCU. This mission allows the Alternatives Federal Credit Union to provide a comfortable atmosphere for their clients and therefore get a better picture of their clients’ financial status.

NFF, IFF, Wainwright, Triangle, and AFCU are just a few examples of the growing number of community development lenders that are providing support for the LGBT community.

Grassroots Lending Supports Lesbian/Gay Community
One of the roles of Community Development Financial Institutions is to help overcome the discrimination that many segments of our society face when they approach traditional lending institutions. The lesbian/gay/bi-sexual/transgender community is not exempt from the need for financial alternatives and nonprofit support institutions that cater to its special interests and eliminate discrimination. In recent years, many community lenders have made a commitment to work towards strengthening the LGBT community.

Over the past 20 years, the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) has used financial and advisory assistance to bolster the capacity of its nonprofit clients to handle growth and maintain financial strength. Recently NFF provided a $500,000 loan to Callen-Lorde Community Health Center which helped it expand and become a licensed primary care health clinic serving New York City's LGBT community and people living with HIV/AIDS. This nonprofit organization (founded in 1983) needed financing from NFF for the renovation of its healthcare facility. In the last 2 years NFF has also provided Callen-Lorde with a total of $700,000 in loans for working capital to bridge proceeds from the Boston-New York AIDS Rides.

Since 1990, the Illinois Facilities Fund’s low-interest loans have enabled more than 113 agencies, such as community health clinics, childcare centers and youth shelters to buy, expand or renovate their facilities. For example, Howard Brown Health Center provides health care and wellness programs in a confidential and supportive environment to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. The agency is a leader in identifying and treating sexually transmitted diseases, and is the largest Midwest provider of HIV services. The IFF provided a $500,000 low-interest loan to Howard Brown to help the agency purchase, renovate, and expand the property it rented on Chicago’s North Side. The renovation nearly doubled the clinic’s program and administrative space and enabled it to continue growing to meet community needs.

Wainwright Bank and Trust Company has committed over $113 million in loans to homeless shelters, affordable housing, environmental protection, HIV/AIDS services, community health centers and more. Wainwright is another example of a lender that is a leader in providing financing to individuals and organizations in the LGBT community. It was also the first bank in Massachusetts to provide same-sex domestic partner employee benefits. This bank is affiliated with and provides financial support for many organizations including Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defender and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG). Wainwright has also been a member of Greater Boston Business Council, which seeks to promote a positive image of the lesbian and gay community.

Triangle Interests, based in Philadelphia, is a national membership organization of lesbians that works to improve the lives of its members by providing alternatives that are not often offered by mainstream communities. One of these alternatives is the Triangle Interests Federal Credit Union, which is a federally insured, nationally chartered non-profit financial institution created for the specific purpose of improving the economic status and quality of life of the lesbian community. The credit union works to help the members of this organization get to a better financial position through savings and loan programs that are focused on helping borrowers develop financial goals and meet economic needs.

Michelle MacKinnon, founder and President, says, “Our organization focuses on the issues women in the lesbian community come up against and helps them reach their goals and objectives. Setting up a financial institution for this is a step in the right direction."

Another leader in providing unbiased financial services to the LGBT community is the Alternatives Federal Credit Union of Ithaca, NY. This credit union has enacted policies that support all its employees and clients regardless of their lifestyle choices. AFCU provides benefits equivalent to those of a married couple to its employees that register with the City of Ithaca as being in a domestic partnership. Usually when unmarried couples apply for mortgage loans together the down payment on the loan is considered a gift from one partner to the other, because only one person will appear on the title as the recipient of the loan. This lowers the creditworthiness of the borrowing couple, which does not occur if a couple is married. However, when AFCU accepts the down payment for a mortgage loan from registered domestic partners it evaluates them as it would a married couple. This assures their clients the ability to make a down payment for a house based on their financial status and not on the legal status of the couple.

“We don’t just accept the issues of our [LGBT] clients, we try to understand their financial needs,” says Bill Myers of AFCU. This mission allows the Alternatives Federal Credit Union to provide a comfortable atmosphere for their clients and therefore get a better picture of their clients’ financial status.

NFF, IFF, Wainwright, Triangle, and AFCU are just a few examples of the growing number of community development lenders that are providing support for the LGBT community.

Grassroots Lending Supports Lesbian/Gay Community
One of the roles of Community Development Financial Institutions is to help overcome the discrimination that many segments of our society face when they approach traditional lending institutions. The lesbian/gay/bi-sexual/transgender community is not exempt from the need for financial alternatives and nonprofit support institutions that cater to its special interests and eliminate discrimination. In recent years, many community lenders have made a commitment to work towards strengthening the LGBT community.

Over the past 20 years, the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) has used financial and advisory assistance to bolster the capacity of its nonprofit clients to handle growth and maintain financial strength. Recently NFF provided a $500,000 loan to Callen-Lorde Community Health Center which helped it expand and become a licensed primary care health clinic serving New York City's LGBT community and people living with HIV/AIDS. This nonprofit organization (founded in 1983) needed financing from NFF for the renovation of its healthcare facility. In the last 2 years NFF has also provided Callen-Lorde with a total of $700,000 in loans for working capital to bridge proceeds from the Boston-New York AIDS Rides.

Since 1990, the Illinois Facilities Fund’s low-interest loans have enabled more than 113 agencies, such as community health clinics, childcare centers and youth shelters to buy, expand or renovate their facilities. For example, Howard Brown Health Center provides health care and wellness programs in a confidential and supportive environment to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. The agency is a leader in identifying and treating sexually transmitted diseases, and is the largest Midwest provider of HIV services. The IFF provided a $500,000 low-interest loan to Howard Brown to help the agency purchase, renovate, and expand the property it rented on Chicago’s North Side. The renovation nearly doubled the clinic’s program and administrative space and enabled it to continue growing to meet community needs.

Wainwright Bank and Trust Company has committed over $113 million in loans to homeless shelters, affordable housing, environmental protection, HIV/AIDS services, community health centers and more. Wainwright is another example of a lender that is a leader in providing financing to individuals and organizations in the LGBT community. It was also the first bank in Massachusetts to provide same-sex domestic partner employee benefits. This bank is affiliated with and provides financial support for many organizations including Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defender and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG). Wainwright has also been a member of Greater Boston Business Council, which seeks to promote a positive image of the lesbian and gay community.

Triangle Interests, based in Philadelphia, is a national membership organization of lesbians that works to improve the lives of its members by providing alternatives that are not often offered by mainstream communities. One of these alternatives is the Triangle Interests Federal Credit Union, which is a federally insured, nationally chartered non-profit financial institution created for the specific purpose of improving the economic status and quality of life of the lesbian community. The credit union works to help the members of this organization get to a better financial position through savings and loan programs that are focused on helping borrowers develop financial goals and meet economic needs.

Michelle MacKinnon, founder and President, says, “Our organization focuses on the issues women in the lesbian community come up against and helps them reach their goals and objectives. Setting up a financial institution for this is a step in the right direction."

Another leader in providing unbiased financial services to the LGBT community is the Alternatives Federal Credit Union of Ithaca, NY. This credit union has enacted policies that support all its employees and clients regardless of their lifestyle choices. AFCU provides benefits equivalent to those of a married couple to its employees that register with the City of Ithaca as being in a domestic partnership. Usually when unmarried couples apply for mortgage loans together the down payment on the loan is considered a gift from one partner to the other, because only one person will appear on the title as the recipient of the loan. This lowers the creditworthiness of the borrowing couple, which does not occur if a couple is married. However, when AFCU accepts the down payment for a mortgage loan from registered domestic partners it evaluates them as it would a married couple. This assures their clients the ability to make a down payment for a house based on their financial status and not on the legal status of the couple.

“We don’t just accept the issues of our [LGBT] clients, we try to understand their financial needs,” says Bill Myers of AFCU. This mission allows the Alternatives Federal Credit Union to provide a comfortable atmosphere for their clients and therefore get a better picture of their clients’ financial status.

NFF, IFF, Wainwright, Triangle, and AFCU are just a few examples of the growing number of community development lenders that are providing support for the LGBT community.

Calvert Group,
a leading provider of socially responsible investments, announced that it will provide social screening for a new Canadian fund, the Acuity Social Values Global Equity Fund. Offered by Toronto-based Acuity Investment Management, the new fund is one of a growing list of clients seeking to tap into Calvert’s social research expertise.

The Second International Conference on Triple Bottom Line Investing
took place on November 2 and 3, 2000 at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Attendees from the financial community and corporations worked to further develop social investment services and corporate practices to formalize the applications of “Triple Bottom Line” performance.

Jantzi Social Index
(JSI), a market index of 60 socially screened Canadian companies, gained 4.39 percent during the month of September 2000, as compared to the S&P/TSE 60, which lost 9.89 percent over the same period. Underexposure to the gold and precious minerals and industrial products sectors most helped performance of the JSI relative to the S&P/TSE 60.

Mission Foods Co.,
the largest manufacturer of tortilla products in the U.S., voluntarily recalled all of these products, which may contain an unapproved, genetically engineered variety of corn known as StarLink. The recall came after Safeway supermarkets pulled their brand of taco shells, made by Mission Foods, following allegations that they contained the unapproved corn.

Domini Social Index
(DSI), a broad-based index of 400 socially screened corporations, showed a loss of 6.25 percent on a total-return basis in September, compared to a loss of 5.26 percent by the S&P 500 Index for the same period. Overexposure to the semiconductors industry, especially Intel, most hurt the DSI relative to the S&P.

(California Public Employee's Retirement System) voted to divest of approximately $590 million in tobacco stocks and securities in its investment portfolio after seven months of deliberations. The move was applauded by State Treasurer Philip Angelides, who placed a moratorium on tobacco investments by the state's investment portfolio last year.

Salomon Smith Barney,
an investment management firm owned by CitiGroup, has been accused by the U.S. Equal Employment Commission (EEOC) of discriminating against some of its African American employees. The employees charge that the company failed to give them promotions, allowed supervisors to make offensive comments, and paid them unequal wages.

Jantzi Social Index
(JSI), a market index of 60 socially screened Canadian companies, increased in value by 5.50 percent during August, as compared to an increase of 7.73 percent by the S&P/TSE 60 over the same period. The industry factor that hurt JSI performance most, relative to the S&P/TSE 60, was overexposure to the financial services and communications & media sectors.

Calvert Foundation
announced that in the third quarter they made $2.73 million in below-market interest rate loans to thirteen nonprofit community groups that benefit struggling communities. These loans include $350,000 lent to the People's Self-Help Housing Corporation, a community development corporation in southwestern California.

Domini Social Index
(DSI), a broad-based index of 400 socially screened corporations, showed a gain of 3.56 percent on a total-return basis in August, as compared to a gain of 6.19 by the S&P 500 over the same period. Underexposure to the energy reserves industry most hurt the DSI relative to the S&P, while the stocks that hurt the DSI most were Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola.

the athletic shoe and clothing giant, debuted a new tank shirt made from recycled soda bottles at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The shirt is designed to keep long-distance runners cool and uses 40 percent less energy in the manufacturing process than similar shirts, as well as keeping countless bottles out of landfills.

Calvert Group,
a leading family of socially screened mutual funds, was chosen as one of this year's "Top 20 Web Sites Among Mutual Funds" by kasina, a New-York based e-business consulting firm. Calvert's web site was lauded for its "Know What You Own" search feature, which allows investors to see the top holdings of a selected fund, as well as other features.

World Resources Institute
(WRI), a Washington-based NGO promoting solutions to global environmental problems, hosted their fourth annual Sustainable Enterprise Summit, September 19-20. The meeting, titled “Through the Looking Glass: Accountability in a Global Economy” drew on WRI’s programs to stimulate dialogue on globalization and corporate accountability.

Calvert Social Investment Foundation
(Calvert Foundation), the Bethesda, Maryland-based leader in community development investment, announced the opening of a new office in San Francisco. Headed by Timothy Freundlich, Calvert's Director of Strategic Development, the new site will allow Calvert to build upon their activities on the West Coast.

McDonald’s Corporation
established guidelines for the humane treatment of hens in the egg production industry, from which they purchase more than 1.5 billion eggs a year. The company ordered their egg producers to comply by the end of 2001, setting a new standard of responsible supplier relations and improving the lives of more than 5 million hens.

Banques Populaires Group,
a French investment manager, launched its first ethical fund, Fructi Capital Ethique, part of a rash of new social funds that has brought the total number in France from 10 to 17 this year so far. Total assets of the 17 socially responsible funds are now over $530 million, but still represent a fraction of the 1,476 equity mutual funds in France.

Native American National Bank,
the largest investment bank ever owned and operated by Native Americans, was launched by 11 tribes who agreed to provide $1 million each to underwrite the bank. The Denver, Colorado-based bank will invest in business ventures and in an effort to create wealth in Native American communities.

Jantzi Social Index,
a market index of socially screened Canadian stocks, gained 0.40 percent during the month of July, compared to a gain of 3.31 percent by the S&P/TSE 60 over the same period. Overexposure to the financial services and communications and media sectors made the largest negative contribution to the performance of the JSI relative to the S&P/TSE 60.

DynaMotive Technologies,
a Canadian company, is partnering with a Brazilian sugar producer to create a low-emissions, diesel fuel alternative made from sugar cane waste. The new biofuel is considered "climate neutral," because it produces equal or lesser amounts of emissions than if the waste were directly burned or left to rot in the fields.

finally ordered a massive recall of tires only after the defective models were documented as associated with nearly 50 deaths. Ford Motor Company demonstrated its leadership on product safety issues by instructing its dealers to replace the tires, standard equipment on their popular sport-utility vehicles, without waiting for the belated recall.

Domini Social Index
(DSI), a broad-based index of 400 socially screened corporations showed a loss of 1.80 percent in July, compared to a loss of 1.55 percent for the S&P 500 over the same period. Overexposure to the computer hardware industry most hurt the DSI relative to the S&P, with the most detrimental stocks being Microsoft and Lucent Technologies.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development
(WBCSD), a Switzerland-based coalition of more than 100 international companies, has issued a new report on environmental reporting. "Eco-Efficiency: A Guide to Reporting Corporate Environmental Performance," proposes an environmental measurement framework allowing companies to assess and improve their practices.

Ford Motor Company
announced that it will improve SUV fuel efficiency by 25 percent, from about 18 miles a gallon to 23 miles, in the next five years. The announcement reflects CEO William Clay Ford's personal commitment to environmental performance, and solidifies Ford's reputation as the industry leader in this area.

Calvert Foundation,
a leading non-profit community investment foundation based in Bethesda, Maryland, made over $3.6 million in below-market interest rate loans in the second quarter of 2000. These loans went to 18 nonprofit community development groups who create new jobs and homes in disadvantaged communities throughout the nation and internationally.

Cooperative Fund of New England,
the Hartford, Connecticut-based community loan fund supporting cooperative enterprises, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Since the Fund was started in 1975 they have lent out more than $5 million to more than 220 groups, including over $1 million in 1999.

Jantzi Social Index
(JSI), a market index of socially screened Canadian stocks, gained 1.15 percent during the month of June, compared to a gain of 11.24 percent by the S&P/TSE 60 over the same period. Overexposure to the financial services and communications and media sectors made the largest negative contribution to the performance of the JSI relative to the S&P/TSE 60.

Nike, and IKEA are among the growing number of companies sourcing organic cotton, resulting an increase in U.S. acreage of organic cotton of 75 percent in 1999. Improvements in the efficiency of production and processing of environmentally benign cotton in the past five years have reduced costs, promising more demand in the future.

Domini Social Index
(DSI), a broad-based index of 400 socially screened corporations, showed a gain of 3.56 percent in June, compared to a gain of 2.38 percent by the S&P 500 for the same period. Underexposure to the energy reserves industry most helped the DSI relative to the S&P, and the stock on the DSI that helped it most relative to the S&P was Microsoft.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) released a report suggesting that multinational companies do not seek out countries with low labor standards in order to cut operation costs. The report found that companies also tend to prefer doing business in countries that respect freedom of association.

the Cincinnati-based electric power holding company, received the "Villain of the Month" award for July from the Clean Air Trust, a non-profit organization promoting solutions to air pollution. Cinergy earned the dubious distinction by promising “brownouts” related to cleanup of power plant emissions after stalling cleanup for several years.

Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company
was criticized by South African activists for conditions put on AIDS-fighting drugs donated to the country. The South African government may refuse the drug donation, based on the suggestion that time limits and other restrictions on the distribution of the drug may be motivated by corporate self-interest.

UK Social Investment Forum
Executive Director Penny Shepherd was awarded the title of MBE, or "Member of the Order of the British Empire," in the Queen's birthday honors list. This recognition of the forum's services to sustainable economic development and socially responsible investment shows the growing importance of these trends in British society.

General Motors
and Time Magazine were the corporate winners of Global Green USA's "Designing a Sustainable World" award, which recognized the companies’ contribution to a more environmentally secure world. General Motors was cited for its continued work on electric and very low emission vehicles, while Time Magazine won because of its coverage of environmental issues.

Jantzi Social Index
(JSI), a socially screened index of Canadian stocks, increased in value by 2.00 percent during the month of May, compared to a decrease of 0.63 percent by the S&P/TSE 60 for the same period. Underexposure to the industrial products sector and overexposure to the financial services sector most helped the performance of the JSI relative to the S&P/TSE 60.

Walden Asset Management,
the social investment division of US Trust Company of Boston, successfully helped pressure a French company to halt its anti-union campaign at a U.S. factory. After a year-long struggle, including shareholder advocacy by Walden, workers at the Imerys plant in Sylacauga, Alabama, voted in favor of representation by the PACE Union.

Domini Social Index
(DSI), a broad-based index of 400 socially screened corporations, showed a loss of 4.13 percent in May, while the S&P 500 lost 2.05 percent over the same period. Underexposure to the energy reserves industry and overexposure to the computer hardware industry most hurt the DSI relative to the S&P, with the stock that hurt the DSI most being Cisco Systems.

Louisville Community Development Bank
was chosen from among lending organizations in eight states for the New Market Lending Award, Southeast Region, from the U.S. Small Business Administration. In three years the bank has made over $17.5 million in loans to small businesses and residents in Louisville, Kentucky, creating or saving over 840 jobs.

(California State Teachers' Retirement System) announced the removal of more than $237 million in tobacco holdings from its investment, portfolio after 6 months of financial analysis and deliberations. The move was applauded by California State Treasurer Philip Angelides, who placed a moratorium on the state's tobacco investments last December.

Campaign for a New TIAA-CREF,
participants in the pension giant's Social Choice Account that want the fund to include "positive investments" in its portfolio, are launching a new initiative this summer. In an effort to step up pressure on TIAA-CREF, they are urging other members to call CEO John Biggs every Monday in support of the proposal.

Social Investment Organization
(SIO), the professional association of Canadian social investors, launched a new web site on socially responsible investment in Canada, The new resource includes monthly news updates, information on funds, an on-line directory, and a wealth of background information on social investing.

(Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies), which recently held their annual meeting in San Francisco, found that the Argent Hotel had poor environmental performance despite assurances to the contrary. The coalition urges members and endorsing companies to avoid using the hotel, and is developing environmental criteria for selecting future hotels and meeting sites.

RISA Fund,
which invests in emerging "New South Africa Companies," significantly outperformed the South African market benchmark in the first six months since its inception. The fund posted a six-month return of 16.70 percent, a nearly 10 percent advantage over the local market return of 6.73 percent for the same period, adjusted to US dollars.

the Sebastopol, California-based electric vehicle manufacturer, announced that they have been qualified for listing on the NASDAQ SmallCap stock exchange under the symbol ZAPP. The listing of Zap, which was previously traded on the Over the Counter Market, recognizes its leadership in the emerging consumer electric transportation industry.

Parnassus Fund
was the only one of the seven socially responsible funds followed by Lipper to have beaten the S&P 500 over the ten-year period ending March 31, 2000. The San Francisco-based fund had a total return of 489.51 percent, or an average annual total return of 19.41 percent, compared to 459.69 for the S&P.

Gallup Polls
found that of the half of all Americans that have invested in the stock market, 28 percent have heard of "socially responsible" investments. The Gallup poll indicated that these more informed investors were highly correlated with a college-level education, and about a quarter of them have actually made "social investments."

Interface Inc.,
Shaklee Corp., and the Saunders Hotel Group are the first three companies to be certified by the Climate Neutral Network, a non-profit based in Washington state. Several Fortune 500 companies are looking at getting certified, which requires both reducing their own carbon emissions and implementing innovative programs that decrease emissions elsewhere.

Domini Social Index
(DSI), a leading socially screened common stock index celebrating its ten-year anniversary, showed a loss of 4.69 percent in April. Overexposure to the department store industry and underexposure to the drug industry most hurt the DSI relative to the S&P 500, which showed a loss of 3.01 percent over the same period.

The Coca-Cola Co.
announced a five-year, $1 billion diversity initiative in the United States, including supporting minority and women-owned businesses and community investment. Recently the subject of a racial discrimination suit and consumer boycott, Coke has now made a considerable commitment to more enlightened corporate citizenship.

shareholders supported a resolution, urging the Canadian company to report on human rights implications of oil exploration in war-torn Sudan, by a vote of 27 percent according to preliminary results. This is the highest support ever received in Canada for a shareholder proposal addressing the social impact of a company's operations.

Bank of America
announced impressive results for the first year of its 10-year, $350 billion community development lending and investment commitment. The lender reported almost $40 billion in loans or investments for affordable housing, small businesses, and economic development projects for low- and middle-income communities.

Ford Motor Company
publicly admitted that gas-guzzling Sport Utility Vehicles, like their top-selling Explorer and Expedition models, are dangerous for the environment. This position, stated in a booklet titled "Connecting With Society," supports Ford's leadership position among U.S. auto manufacturers for corporate responsibility.

Jantzi Social Index
(JSI), a socially screened common stock index consisting of 60 Canadian companies, increased in value by 6.52 percent during the month of March, while the S&P/TSE 60 gained 9.63 percent. Since its inception on 31 December 1999, the JSI has gained 14.18 percent, while the S&P/TSE 60 gained 14.95 percent over the same period.

Social Accountability 8000
(SA 8000), a set of global labor standards promoted by shareholder activists, received guarded support from the government of Thailand. The Director of Industrial Promotion asserted that the SA 8000 will become increasingly important for Thai exporters, but that it will be a demanding task to comply with the standards within a short time frame.

Domini Social Index
(DSI), a socially screened common stock index, showed a gain of 10.51 percent on a total-return basis in March, compared to a gain of 9.87 percent by the S&P 500 over the same period. Underexposure to the drug industry most helped the DSI relative to the S&P, and the stock on the DSI that helped it most relative to the S&P was Microsoft.

Ford Motor Company
won the grand prize in Corporate Watch's Earth Day 2000 Greenwash Sweepstakes Awards, conferred for outstanding public relations efforts to make polluters appear environmentally friendly. Runners up in the awards include the World Bank, Monsanto, and Royal Dutch Shell, and ExxonMobil won the booby prize for making no greenwash attempt at all.

The Coca-Cola Company
reaffirmed its commitment to diversity at the annual shareholder meeting, despite a busload of 45 past and present employees charging the company with racial discrimination. A racial bias suit filed by eight African-American employees is still in settlement talks, and the protesters urged for a boycott if a speedy and honorable settlement is not reached.

Citizens Funds,
a leading family of socially and environmentally responsible no-load mutual funds, announced the winners of its Corporate Citizenship awards. Winners included the Starbucks Coffee, Avon Products, Apple Computer and nine other companies recognized for their contributions to community, diversity, human rights, and the environment.

Calvert Social Investment Foundation
made $1.6 million in loans to thirteen nonprofit community groups in the first quarter of 2000. The Foundation has disbursed more than $15 million to its community partners since its inception, creating new jobs and homes in disadvantaged rural and urban areas throughout the nation.

Pax World Fund,
one of the original socially screened mutual funds, based in Portsmouth, NH, was chosen by Mutual Funds magazine as the top balanced fund for the year 2000. The magazine cited the fund's solid performance and low volatility, advancing 74 percent to its peers' 44 percent over a three-year period.

Domini Social Investments
published its fifth annual proxy voting guidelines and social screening criteria, challenging the mutual fund industry to publish its proxy votes. A leading socially responsible fund company, Domini was the first mutual fund to make its proxy voting record public last year, publishing their votes on 1,180 issues at 400 companies.

Jantzi Social Index
(JSI), a socially screened index consisting of 60 Canadian companies, increased in value by 7.20 percent for the period from its inception on December 31, 1999 through February 29, 2000. Toronto-based Michael Jantzi Research Associates Inc. (MJRA) modeled the index after the S&P/TSE 60, which gained 4.85 percent during the same period.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) plans to launch a new Environmental Performance Track Program to reward companies that are environmental leaders. The program will provide incentives, such as recognition and administrative streamlining, and builds on the EPA's existing regulatory reinvention efforts and several successful state pilot programs.

Domini Social Index
(DSI), a broad-based index of 400 socially screened corporations, showed a loss of 1.29 percent on a total-return basis in February, compared to S&P 500’s loss of 1.81 percent for the same period. Holdings in the semiconductors and computer hardware industries most helped the DSI relative to the S&P.

Dutch social investors
announce the launch of, a website for socially responsible, green, and sustainable investing in the Netherlands. The new portal site provides news, links, background information, and a full overview of socially responsible financial products on the Dutch market.

The U.S. Department of Labor
reports that abusive labor practices, such as forced labor and child labor, continue under the military dictatorship in Burma, the subject of several shareholder activism initiatives. The findings indicate that there have been no meaningful improvements in fostering worker rights since the Labor Department’s last report two years ago.

Citizens Funds,
a leading family of socially and environmentally responsible mutual funds, has been selected by the State of Alaska as the socially responsible investment option within its state benefits plan. Beginning in May, Alaska's plan participants will be able to invest in the Citizens Index Fund, a passively managed fund based on the Citizens Index.

The Delta Compact,
a new seven-state regional development organization, will be unveiled at a Summit on March 13 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Housing Assistance Council, and the Delta Compact steering committee, the meeting will address economic solutions in the historically depressed Mississippi Delta region.

The Global Reporting Initiative
(GRI) announced continued success in the development of a global framework for corporate disclosure of environmental, social, and economic performance information. The announcement following a recent meeting held in Boston, organized by the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Domini 400 Social Index
(DSI), an index employing broad-based social screens, showed a loss of 5.40 percent on a total-return basis in January, compared to a loss of 5.04 percent by the S&P 500 for the same period. Underexposure to the drug and electric utility industries and overexposure to the specialty retail industry most hurt the DSI relative to the S&P.

Business and Society Review
published a study by Dr. Curtis Verschoor, DePaul University, showing a link between the ethical commitment of companies and their overall performance. The study used several publicly available measures of corporate performance, including Market Value Added (MVA) performance, to establish that link among 300 major corporations.

Frito-Lay Company
recently announced plans to eliminate genetically modified corn from its snacks, responding to consumer concern about the potential health and environmental risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The snack food company adds their name brand to the ongoing debate, joining Gerber and Heinz who announced similar moves last year.

Calvert Group,
a family of socially responsible funds managing $4.5 billion in assets, ranked first among fund families for tax-exempt bond funds in Barron's annual "Best Fund Families" survey. Calvert was ranked number four for taxable bond funds by the survey, which compared results for 92 fund families, and was the only socially responsible fund family included.

Housing Assistance Council
(HAC), a national nonprofit corporation helping local organizations finance affordable housing in rural America, announced their conference, to be held in Washington D.C. during December. "Strengthening Our Communities: National Rural Housing Conference 2000" will also commemorate HAC's 30th anniversary.

Ford Motor Company
introduced Envirodrive, an online resource to supply consumers with specific environmental information on Ford cars and trucks. The first resource of its kind, Envirodrive provides the valuable information on fuel economy, emission certification, recycled content, recyclability, and manufacturing plant environmental standards.

Calvert Group,
a leading family of socially responsible mutual funds, launched an Internet-based service enabling investors to personalize their search for a financial advisor. The "Advisor Finder" allows web-users to consult a database of professionals that sell Calvert products, and find one based on where they live, investment concerns, and other personal preferences.

Cooperative Fund of New England
(CFNE), a regional community development fund providing financial assistance to cooperatively owned enterprises, celebrates 25 years of operation this year. They have lent out more than $5 million since 1975, including a record-breaking $1 million last year to 18 borrowers.

United for a Fair Economy
sponsored rallies at eight Ben & Jerry's ice cream franchises across North America, to protest the company's potential buyout by multinational corporations. Customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders, including herds of cows, turned out to show support for keeping the socially responsible ice cream manufacturer independent.

The Domini 400 Social Index
(DSI), a broad-based index of socially screened corporations, showed a gain of 6.26 percent on a total-return basis in December, compared to 5.85 percent by the S&P 500 for the same period. Analysis indicates that overexposure to the computer hardware and software industries and underexposure to the banking industry most helped the DSI relative to the S&P.

Green Century Capital Management,
Inc., announced that the Green Century Balanced Fund had a total return of 76.39 percent for the one-year period ended December 31, 1999. The fund, which invests in companies with clean environmental records, was the top performer of all 448 balanced funds tracked by Lipper for the same time period

Mercy Housing,
Inc., received a grant of $150,000 from The Federal National Mortgage Association, the private financial company known as Fannie Mae. Mercy Housing is a national non-profit housing development organization co-sponsored by several Catholic women's communities, with programs to create quality affordable housing in the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest U.S.

Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies
(CERES) announced a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, to support international sustainability reporting by corporations. The Foundation will award CERES $460,000 over two years to establish a permanent Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in the transition period from 2000 to 2001.

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund,
a federal program supporting the efforts of CDFIs, plans to award grants of up to $50,000 for technical assistance to build capacity. The grants will allow new CDFIs to establish themselves, or help established CDFIs enhance their ability to meet community needs.

Green Mountain Coffee,
Inc., an environmental leader in the specialty coffee industry, added a waste-reducing cogeneration project at its Waterbury, Vermont, roasting facility. The system captures heat otherwise wasted and converts it into hot water used for space heating and the roasting process, increasing the efficiency of the plant from 35 to 75 percent.

Trillium Asset Management Corporation,
the oldest independent investment management firm devoted to socially responsible investment, announced the opening of a new branch in Boise, Idaho. Heading the new office will be Lisa Leff, Vice President of Trillium and founder of the Social Investment Security Analyst group of the New York Society of Security Analysts.

The Domini 400 Social Index
(DSI), a market-capitalization-weighted common stock index maintained by Kinder, Lydenberg, Domini & Co., reported a gain of 3.88 percent on a total-return basis for November, compared to 2.04 percent gained by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index for the same period.

Responsible Wealth,
a network of progressive business leaders, investors and inheritors, announced its annual conference "Economic Boom for Whom? Building Roads to Shared Prosperity." The conference will be in Boston on April 7-8, 2000, with a keynote address by Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more information, contact Mike Lapham at 617-423-2148.

The Enterprise Foundation,
which works with a network of more than 1,200 nonprofit organizations across the country, announced a $1.35 million grant to the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) for a Rural Capacity Building Initiative. The partnership will provide funds and technological assistance to local community development organizations for building affordable homes in rural America.

Calvert Group's
web site was chosen by kasina, a consulting firm for the mutual fund industry, as one of 1999's top 20 mutual fund sites. The web presence of the Bethesda-based family of socially screened funds was cited for its design and comprehensive content, available to its 200,000 shareholders and scores of financial professionals.

Louisville Community Development Bank,
of Louisville, Kentucky, announced the deposit of $1 million by Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the U.S. This sizeable deposit will help the bank in its efforts to stimulate growth within the distressed inner city neighborhoods of Louisville by providing community development resources for residents and business owners.

Co-op America,
the Washington-based, national non-profit organization promoting a just and sustainable economy, announced its intention to expand circulation of its quarterly newsletter, Real Money, to over 500,000 in the next year. Real Money, which has been sent to members for the past year, covers socially and environmentally responsible consumer, savings, and investment information.

The Federal National Mortgage Association,
the private financial company known as Fannie Mae, has pledged to make $1 trillion available to 10 million families by the year 2000. Fannie Mae, a common component of socially responsible portfolios for its positive work supporting affordable housing, was ranked first among all financial institutions in Fortune magazine's "America's Most Admired Companies" for 1999.

Calvert Group,
the Bethesda-based mutual fund family, announced an agreement with Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S. to co-manage a new portfolio for Equitable's variable annuity products. The new venture combines two of the financial industries' fastest-growing trends, variable annuities and socially responsible investing.

Green Century Capital Management,
Inc., announced that the Green Century Balanced Fund, which had a total return of 30.55 percent for the one-year period ended September 30, 1999, was ranked #6 of all 421 balanced funds tracked by Lipper Analytical Services, Inc. for the same period. The fund is an environmentally responsible no-load mutual fund investing in the stocks and bonds of companies with clean environment records.

Calvert Group,
a socially responsible family of funds with over $6.3 billion in assets, announced that several of its funds were added to the T. Rowe Price 401(k) alliance. T. Rowe Price is the seventh-largest bundled retirement plan provider in the U.S., bringing the number of company plans offering a socially responsible option up to 35 percent, more than double the 1996 level.

Business for Social Responsibility,
the San Francisco-based membership organization providing environmental and social solutions for businesses, held their annual conference. The meeting, titled "Profitable Partnerships: building relationships that make a difference," offered new and effective ways to create partnerships with individuals, groups, businesses, and agencies.

The World Trade Organization
(WTO) 2000 negotiations beginning in late November could be the catalyst for debate about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), according to a University of Illinois study. A growing concern among social investors, genetically modified corn and soybean varieties reduce producer costs, but have met with resistance from consumer and environmental groups, especially in Europe.

The Domini 400 Social Index
(DSI), a common stock index implementing broad-based social screens, gained 6.86 percent in October on a total-return basis. The DSI serves as a benchmark to social investors for comparison with unscreened indexes, such as the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which gained 6.36 percent on a total-return basis over the same period.

Ariel Mutual Funds,
a Chicago-based firm with US$3.5 billion in assets, won several Shareholder Trust and Responsibility (STAR) awards at a Mutual Fund Education Alliance's ceremony. The awards included the "Extraordinary Achievement in Shareholder Communications" award for their brochure, "Slow and Steady Wins the Race."

Vermont Development Credit Union
(VDCU) celebrated 10 years of providing loans to low and moderate-income populations, including 11 million U.S. dollars in 1999, with a symposium on the future of community economic development. Panelists included Congressman Bernie Sanders (VT) and a host of nationally prominent community development figures.

The Massachusetts Burma Law
was supported by a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by fourteen states. If the law is not restored, Massachusetts will have to do business with companies that support Burma's military dictatorship, which is accused of drug trafficking and torture. The outcome could also decide the fate of sanctions by dozens of states, counties, and municipalities that have similar laws.

Fifteen top socially responsible mutual funds
and asset managers have joined together to oppose Mitsubishi's plans for a salt factory in Baja California, Mexico, near the last pristine breeding ground for the Pacific gray whale. The funds, totaling $14 billion in assets, vowed not to purchase Mitsubishi stock and to call on other investors to do the same.

Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies
(CERES) principles were adopted by AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, after several months of dialogue brokered by Walden Assets. American is now the first airline company to adopt CERES' ten-point code of corporate environmental conduct, viewed as a significant step in environmental progress and innovation in the aviation industry.

Pax World Fund
topped the 1 billion U.S. dollar mark, a record asset for the fund. The first socially responsible balanced fund, and only the third socially responsible fund of any type, is growing faster than ever.

Enterprise Corporation of the Delta
announced a $5 million investment from Entergy, the New Orleans-based energy company. This investment will enable ECD to make as many as 300 loans and investments, generating more than 2,500 jobs in poverty-stricken areas of the Mississippi River Delta.

Dow Jones
launched the Sustainability Group Indexes, the world's first global equity index for companies committed to the environment, innovative technologies, and ethical corporate governance. The benchmark index will include 50 companies screened by SAM Sustainability Group, a Zurich-based consultant.

The Domini 400 Social Index
(DSI), the common stock index implementing broad-based social screens, lost 3.18 percent in September on a total-return basis, bringing it to a value of 464.02 at the month's end. For the same period, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P) lost 2.77 percent on a total-return basis. The individual stock that hurt the DSI most was Coca-Cola.

Corporate Responsibility Moves Center Stage
A large majority of business leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders think that corporate social responsibility is becoming a core business strategy for more and more businesses. The Business for Social Responsibility, at their annual conference, released a survey that demonstrated sustainable business practices have moved to the forefront of consumers’ minds. Consumers and shareholders want companies to act transparently. The survey, in addition, found companies’ climate change strategies often involved energy efficiency and renewable energy, and didn’t very often include carbon offsets.


| Reports | SRI Financial Professionals Directory | Tools | News | SRI Performance and Trends | About Us | Contact
© SRI World Group, Inc. - All rights reserved
Terms of use - Privacy Policy - OneReportTM Network