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Business Ethics / Ethical marketing


NEWS STORY: SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT | ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Third National Climate Assessment Published
In its new report, the US Global Change Research Program asserts that the effects of climate change have already become a present day concern, and announces the launch of a website to help Americans receive reliable scientific information.

NEWS STORY: SHAREOWNER ACTION | SOCIAL ISSUES | FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY
Investors Support Launch of Access to Nutrition Index
Representing $2.6 trillion in assets under management, 39 investors call for widespread support of the Access to Nutrition Index, which ranks the performance of food and beverage companies in the areas of obesity and undernutrition.

NEWS STORY: COMMUNITY INVESTMENT | FINANCIAL INDUSTRY
Feds Hand Foreclosure Relief over to Banks
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board reach an agreement with ten mortgage servicers that will end the Independent Foreclosure Review and instead provide $3.3 billion in direct payments to eligible borrowers.

NEWS BRIEF: SHAREOWNER ACTION | CORPORATE GOVERNANCE | FINANCIAL INDUSTRY
Task Force Files Lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase
The Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, a state-federal task force, announces its first legal action, charging the bank for fraudulent misrepresentations of mortgage­-backed securities by Bear Stearns & Co.

NEWS BRIEF: CORPORATE GOVERNANCE | FINANCIAL INDUSTRY | INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS
Wells Fargo Settles Mortgage-Backed Securities Charges for $6.5 Million
The Securities and Exchange Commission charges the bank for selling investments tied to mortgage-backed securities without disclosing the risks to investors.

NEWS BRIEF: CORPORATE GOVERNANCE | FINANCIAL INDUSTRY
Goldman Sachs Escapes Criminal Charges
Despite evidence of conflicts of interest detailed in last year's report by the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the Justice Department announces that it will not bring a criminal prosecution against the bank.

NEWS BRIEF: CORPORATE REPORTING | FINANCIAL INDUSTRY | RETAIL INVESTORS
Eurosif Supports Sustainability Disclosures for Retail Investors
The European Commission proposes legislation that would require investment funds and other packaged retail investment products to disclose in key information documents whether they target sustainable outcomes.

NEWS BRIEF: SHAREOWNER ACTION | FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY | PRODUCT SAFETY
Congressional Friends of GMOs Sneak Rider into Appropriations Bill
The rider will require that a permit for planting genetically engineered crops be issued even if a federal court orders that the planting be halted.

NEWS BRIEF: SHAREOWNER ACTION | FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY | PRODUCT SAFETY
Genetic Engineers Debunk GMO Claims
A report by Earth Open Source reveals that the claims of product safety and sufficient regulation made by producers of genetically modified organisms are false.

NEWS BRIEF: SHAREOWNER ACTION | MEDIA COMPANIES | FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY
ICCR Commends Disney on Advertising by Food and Beverage Companies
The media giant announces that food and beverage products advertised on its networks will be required to meet nutritional guidelines that are aligned with federal standards.

NEWS BRIEF: SOCIAL ISSUES | HUMAN RIGHTS | CHILD LABOR
Guidance for Corporate Respect for Children Is Published
Children are Everyone's Business, a workbook published by UNICEF, guides companies in the integration of children's rights into core business practices.

NEWS BRIEF: COMMUNITY INVESTMENT| FINANCIAL INDUSTRY
Advocates for a Fair Economy Call for End to Payday Lending by Banks
A coalition including several sustainable investment organizations ask federal regulators to investigate banks offering payday lending, which can trap low-income borrowers into a cycle of debt with interest rates as high as 417%.

NEWS BRIEF: CORPORATE REPORTING | FINANCIAL INDUSTRY
Academics Propose Agency to Regulate Financial Products
Eric Posner and Glen Weyl of the University of Chicago state that a Financial Products Administration would be the Food and Drug Administration of financial derivatives.

NEWS BRIEF: SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT | CORPORATE REPORTING
Ethisphere Awards 145 Companies for Ethical Performance
The annual World's Most Ethical Companies Rankings include 23 companies that have been honored in each of the six years of the award.

NEWS BRIEF: SOCIAL ISSUES | HUMAN RIGHTS | CHILDREN
Business is Encouraged to Uphold Children's Rights
The Children's Rights and Business Principles call on companies to expand their commitment beyond child labor and develop policies and due diligence to actively ensure that the rights of children are respected.

NEWS BRIEF: COMMUNITY INVESTMENT | MICROFINANCE | EMERGING MARKETS
Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance Publishes Compendium of Case Studies
The Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance wraps up its first year with case studies designed to help provide sustainable financial products and services to the world's poor.

NEWS STORY: FILM REVIEW | CORPORATE GOVERNANCE | FINANCIAL INDUSTRY
Film Review: Margin Call
First-time director J.C. Chandor's film provides a fictionalized version of Lehman Brothers awakening to the fact that inadequate risk management had launched the financial crisis.

NEWS STORY: CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
Principled Companies Praised
Ethisphere Magazine publishes its second annual list of the World's Most Ethical Companies.

INTERVIEW: STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
Michael Conroy on Activist Campaigns and the Certification Revolution
SocialFunds writer Bill Baue speaks with Michael Conroy about his new book, Branded! How the “Certification Revolution” is Transforming Global Companies

NEWS STORY:
The Subprime Meltdown and SRI: Engage, Avoid, Predict
Shareowner activists engaged banks on predatory lending long before the subprime crisis climaxed, and SRI research predicted the meltdown in time to avoid some impacts.

NEWS STORY:
New Eurosif Reports Identify ESG Challenges in the European Food and Insurance Sectors
Eurosif's raises awareness of social and environmental issues across European companies in a series of sector-by-sector reports, the two newest covering the insurance and food production sectors.

NEWS STORY:
Nanotechnology: The Smallest Green Revolution?
A new report from the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies touts "green" nanotechnology, and calls for Federal oversight.

NEWS STORY:
Marriott Combats Child Sexual Exploitation
Shareowner engagement by Boston Common Asset Management and the First Swedish National Pension Fund prompts Marriott to explicitly address child sex tourism in its human rights policy.

NEWS STORY:
(PRODUCT) RED Combats HIV/AIDS by Funneling Portions of Sales to the Global Fund
Gap Inc commits half of profits from its RED-branded product line to the Global Fund, exemplifying this new business model for generating sustainable funds for addressing the AIDS pandemic.

NEWS STORY:
Why Do Minorities Receive More Subprime Mortgages? Can You Say, Kickback?
A new Center for Responsible Lending study shoots holes in industry rationale that bad credit histories of African-Americans and Latinos account for disproportionate subprime mortgages.

NEWS STORY:
Wal-Mart Discloses Equal Employment Opportunity Data
The company joined six others in the S&P 100 that publicly disclose their EEO-1 report, but Wal-Mart still faces shareowner action on union-busting and selling gems mined in Burma.

NEWS STORY:
White House and Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Address Pediatric AIDS
Bush Administration launches a new public-private partnership on Pediatric AIDS, an area where ICCR engages pharmaceutical companies in shareowner advocacy.

NEWS STORY:
Thirty Years and Counting: Cofounder Wayne Silby Recounts the Birth of Calvert
To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Calvert, SocialFunds.com speaks with co-founder Wayne Silby about its genesis, development, and future.

NEWS STORY:
State Laws Effectively Curb Predatory Lending Without Stifling Subprime Market, Study Finds
The Center for Responsible Lending study rebuts opponents of state anti-predatory lending laws, and suggests significant implications for the two competing anti-predatory bills now in Congress.

NEWS STORY:
SRI Community Releases Retailer Guidelines to Avoid Violent Video Game Sales to Kids
The Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility guidelines address underage exposure to graphic violence, strong sexual content, and racist themes, as well as impact on shareholder value.

NEWS STORY:
Pharma and Biotech Companies Just Starting to Pass the Transparency Litmus Test
oekom research rates the social and environmental sustainability performance of 27 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and finds disclosure lacking across the board.

NEWS STORY:
Top Five Socially Responsible Investing News Stories of 2004
Shareowner engagement shifted from confrontational to collaborative, sustainability analysis fused with financial analysis, and fiduciary duty expanded to include social and environmental issues.

NEWS STORY:
Ford HIV Report Exemplifies New Shareowner Action Strategy
Ford joins Coca-Cola, Cinergy, and others heeding shareowner resolutions requesting reporting on social and environmental issues, but it remains to be seen how far the strategy will extend.

BOOK REVIEW:
Book Review--The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits
C. K. Prahalad seeks to solve global poverty by turning the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid from victims of globalization into its beneficiaries through consumerism.

NEWS STORY:
How Do SRI Firms Walk Their Talk When It Comes to Corporate Social Responsibility?
Socially responsible investment firms take particulars such as scale and sector into account in their CSR expectations at the companies they own and in their own operations.

NEWS STORY:
Accuracy of Dow Chemical Statements and SEC Filings Questioned
On behalf of two socially responsible investment firms, an environmental attorney asks the SEC to probe the factuality of public statements and filings made by Dow Chemical.

NEWS STORY:
Calvert Group Launches Code for Corporations to Profit by Promoting Gender Equality
Calvert links equality for women to sustainable development, making the ethical and business cases for implementing its corporate code of conduct for empowering women.

NEWS STORY:
The Emergence Story Behind Indigenous Peoples Rights Screens
Socially responsible investment firms also engage in shareowner action on indigenous peoples rights issues.

NEWS STORY:
Avon Shareowners Withdraw Two Resolutions Before Annual Meeting
Avon agreed to hold annual board of director elections and to phase out phthalates from its products, prompting shareowners to withdraw their resolutions on these two issues.

NEWS STORY:
Oekom Rates Food and Beverages Industry Average in Sustainability Performance
The example of Starbucks illustrates how Oekom Research rates food and beverage companies as average performers in social and environmental sustainability.

BOOK REVIEW:
Book Review--The Best Business Stories of the Year: 2004 Edition
Ethics, disclosure, labor relations, executive compensation, and insider trading are among the topics related to socially responsible investment in this collection of business articles.

NEWS STORY:
Starbucks Provides Loan Capital for Coffee Farmers
Starbucks is providing a $1 million loan to the Calvert Foundation to support microfinance to Latin American coffee farmers, and it answers critics of its Fair Trade commitment.

NEWS STORY:
Critics Challenge Christian Aid Report as Biased, Cynical, and Inaccurate
Part two of this two-part article considers defenses of corporate social responsibility against attack by a recent Christian Aid report.

NEWS STORY:
Report Favors International Regulation Over Voluntary Corporate Social Responsibility
A recent report by Christian Aid argues against the voluntary aspect of CSR and for international regulation. Part one of this two-part article discusses support for the report; part two presents criticism of the report.

NEWS STORY:
Gazing in the Crystal Ball: 2004 Preview of Socially Responsible Investing Performance
An overview of the trends that may affect SRI performance in the year ahead, among other issues to mull over when considering socially responsible investment.

BOOK REVIEW:
Book Review--24 Days: How Two Wall Street Journal Reporters Uncovered the Lies that Destroyed Faith in Corporate America
A new book tells the behind-the-scenes story of Enron's demise and the detective work that revealed the chicanery in Enron's corporate practices and culture.

NEWS STORY:
The Implications of the Nike and Kasky Settlement on CSR Reporting
Although Nike reached an agreement with Marc Kasky to end his lawsuit, the settlement's effect on corporate social responsibility reporting remains to be seen.

NEWS STORY:
Will Ford's Transparency Affect Its Performance?
While lauding the transparency of Ford's 2002 Corporate Citizenship Report, analysts caution that it remains to be seen whether such reports and the Global Reporting Initiative reporting guidelines will help improve corporate performance (part two of a two-part article).

BOOK REVIEW:
Book Review: Saving the Corporate Soul & (Who Knows?) Maybe Your Own
A new book recommends a series of corporate reforms that mirror those advocated by the corporate social responsibility and socially responsible investment communities.

NEWS STORY:
Blacklisting, Voicetracking, and Payola: Clear Channel and the Effects of Media Consolidation
Shareowner activists ask Clear Channel to ban blacklisting, while musicians and other activists oppose FCC plans to deregulate media industries.

NEWS STORY:
Shareowners Press Avon to Walk the Walk
Shareowners vote overwhelmingly for board independence at Avon while questions about potential carcinogens in its products linger.

NEWS STORY:
Innovest Report Identifies Business Risk of Genetic Engineering for Monsanto Investors
The controversy surrounding genetic engineering creates substantial risks to shareowner value at Monsanto, according to a new report from Innovest.

NEWS STORY:
Is Nike Guaranteed Free Speech? The Supreme Court Will Decide
Advocates of socially responsible investment and corporate social responsibility on both sides of the Atlantic weigh in on the implications of Nike's Supreme Court case.

NEWS STORY:
Tobacco-Free Investments Avoid an Industry of Smoke and Mirrors
As court cases related to deception by the tobacco industry mount, individual and institutional investors have options for avoiding exposure to tobacco stocks.

NEWS STORY:
Conference to Consider the Business Case for SRI
Institutional investors will discuss SRI at the Green Mountain SRI Summit, to be held in Stowe, Vermont in September.

NEWS STORY:
Business Ethics' 100 Best Corporate Citizens Outperform S&P 500
An academic study concluded that Business Ethics' list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens generated better returns than the remaining companies on the S&P 500.

NEWS STORY:
WILD Awards Reward Socially and Environmentally Responsible Advertising
The Third Annual WILD Awards recognized companies, ad agencies, and individuals that support wild animals and nature in their marketing.

NEWS STORY:
Harry Potter Hawks Coke, Inciting Ire Amongst Fans and Consumer Advocates Alike
Coca-Cola secured global marketing rights to the Harry Potter image, a move more likely to increase obesity than to promote literacy, according to children's health advocates.

BOOK REVIEW:
Book Review: The Civil Corporation
The New Economy brings increased competition, faster dissemination of information and the rise of corporate citizenship.

NEWS STORY:
The Dirt on Selling Green
The lessons learned from case studies on marketing environment-friendly, "values-based" products are examined in a new report.

NEWS STORY:
California's Supreme Court to Decide Corporate Whitewash Trial
Suit charging Nike with false advertising regarding its labor practices has implications for corporate image advertising.

NEWS STORY:
Study Examines Corporate Perspective on Supporting Causes
Companies view philanthropy in terms of achieving business goals, but not all are marketing their charitable efforts to the fullest extent.

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