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Business Ethics / Pricing, billing, contracting


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 BRIEF: SHAREOWNER ACTION | SOCIAL ISSUES | TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY
Trillium Urges Verizon Shareowners to Support Net Neutrality
A letter sent to shareowners by the investment management firm outlines the economic and social case for continued net neutrality at the wireless telecommunications company

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: SOCIAL ISSUES | HUMAN RIGHTS | PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
ICCR Calls on Drug Companies to Join Medicines Patent Pool
On World AIDS Day, members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility reiterate their support for providing medicine to HIV-positive people in developing countries, and call on drug companies to do their part by joining the Medicines Patent Pool.

NEWS BRIEF: SOCIAL ISSUES | FINANCIAL INDUSTRIES | MORTGAGES
Wealth Gaps Between Whites and Minorities at Record Levels
A new study from the Pew Research Center confirms that the recession has had a far greater impact on Blacks and Hispanics than on Whites.

NEWS STORY: SHAREOWNER ACTION | PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES
Gilead Sciences Joins the Medicines Patent Pool
Gilead becomes the first pharmaceutical company to form a licensing agreement with the Pool, and will provide its HIV and Hepatitis B drugs at low cost to developing countries.

NEWS BRIEF: ENVIRONMENT: ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Coke To Try Smaller Delivery Trucks
A pilot program in Uruguay has Coca-Cola using energy efficient ZAP trucks.

NEWS STORY:
Shareowner Activism Precedes Development of SRI Slavery Screen
Most slavery exists far up the supply chain, and auditing practices do not yet exist to monitor for slavery at second- or third-tier suppliers, so it is too early to enact an enforceable slavery screen.

BOOK REVIEW:
Book Review--Make Poverty Business: Increase Profits and Reduce Risks by Engaging with the Poor
The co-authors provide a blueprint for on-the-ground managers of multinational corporations to create sustainable profits and reduce country risk by helping alleviate poverty.

NEWS STORY:
Pharma Companies Need to Keep Improving AIDS Response, Says ICCR and Nigerian Doctor
Chukwumuanya Igboekwu of Physicians for Social Justice adds his own critiques to the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility study on pharmaceutical industry shortcomings in addressing AIDS.

NEWS STORY:
ICCR Benchmarks Pharma Responses to AIDS and Diseases of Poverty in Emerging Markets
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility report assesses 15 pharmaceutical companies, and finds all of them falling short of best practice in most areas on AIDS and neglected diseases.

NEWS STORY:
Norwegian Government Pension Fund Dumps Wal-Mart and Freeport on Ethical Exclusions
The $230 billion global fund--one of the largest pension funds in the world--cited Wal-Mart for systematic human rights violations and Freeport for serious environmental damage.

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:
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:
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:
Verite Report Identifies Exploitation of Foreign Contract Laborers in Asia and the Middle East
The report uncovers placement fees that exceed legal limits, forced overtime, loans with interest rates of up to 60 percent, and so-called runaway insurance deposits that are not refunded.

NEWS STORY:
Socially Responsible Investing Advances Anti-Racism in Helping Rebuild New Orleans
In addition to supporting community investment and leveraging influence through shareowner advocacy, social investors can help rebuild in the aftermath of Katrina by naming root problems.

NEWS STORY:
Wal-Mart Embraces Sustainability: Does the SRI Community Buy It?
Socially responsible investors cautiously applaud Wal-Mart for committing to social and environmental sustainability, but remain highly skeptical about actual implementation.

NEWS STORY:
Shareowner Resolution Asks Monsanto to Create Ethics Oversight Committee
The company stonewalls inquiries related to the resolution, which springs from a $1.5 million settlement with the SEC and DOJ earlier this year regarding a bribe Monstanto paid in Indonesia.

NEWS STORY:
Human Rights Site Spotlights Bank Investment in Chinese Manufacturer Linked to Forced Labor
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre posts an article alleging Chinese firm Henan Rebecca uses forced labor, as well as responses from banks implicated through investment for their clients.

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:
Caterpillar Bulldozes Shareowner Concern Over Aiding Alleged Israeli War Crimes
Caterpillar faces a shareowner resolution as well as a lawsuit filed by the family of peace activist Rachel Corrie that cites the Nuremberg Tribunal as precedent in alleging war crime complicity.

NEWS STORY:
Report Finds Bank Sector Assessment of Impact on Disadvantaged Communities Lacking
AccountAbility and Business for Social Responsibility to apply their new assessment methodology to the pharmaceutical, agricultural, and extractive sectors next.

NEWS STORY:
Unocal Alien Tort Claims Act Case Settlement Boosts Corporate Accountability
Some interpret the settlement between the energy company and Burmese villagers as setting a practical precedent for holding companies responsible for indirect human rights abuses.

NEWS STORY:
House Votes to Kill Mandatory Expensing of All Stock Options, Sending Bill to Senate
The House's passage of the Stock Option Accounting Reform Act reverses Sarbanes-Oxley's commitment to protect independence of FASB as the arbiter of accounting rules.

NEWS STORY:
How Unsustainable Forestry Practices in Indonesia Impact Sustainable Practice in the US
Part one of a three-part article exploring the complex global relationship between sustainable and unsustainable forestry practices.

NEWS STORY:
Report Finds CSR Policies on the Rise in Asia, Europe, and North America
University of Hong Kong survey overturns some assumptions about the development and prevalence of corporate social responsibility policies.

NEWS STORY:
Are the Equator Principles Sincere or Spin?
A report calls into question whether signatory banks are complying with the Equator Principles.

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.

NEWS STORY:
Stock Option Dilution Rose But Granting Slowed in 2003, Anticipating Mandatory Expensing
Right after the Financial Accounting Standards Board called for mandatory option expensing, the Investor Responsibility Research Center released its yearly dilution study.

NEWS STORY:
A Passage to India: Report Asks If BT Offshoring Is Socially Responsible
A recent report by SustainAbility assesses whether offshoring and corporate social responsibility are compatible, focusing on the case of British Telecom.

NEWS STORY:
MMA Praxis Eliminates Soft Dollar Arrangements
MMA Praxis joins Domini in disavowing soft dollar use; other socially responsible investment firms continue the practice within legal limits while some consider cessation.

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:
Cintas Defamation Suit Challenges Shareowner Free Speech Rights
Cintas files a defamation lawsuit against Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management for alleging that the company uses sweatshop labor in Haiti.

NEWS STORY:
Socially Responsible Investments Remain Largely Untouched by Late Trading Scandals
The SRI industry's long-term investment horizons and ethical underpinnings insulate it from the market timing debacle, though it may be impossible to escape all its effects.

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:
A High Flyer and a Smooth Sailer Top SRI Equity Funds
Two socially responsible investment equity funds place in the first and second percentiles of their peer funds over a five-year period.

NEWS STORY:
Investors Managing $3 Trillion Back Blair's Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
Developing countries are being prodded to support oil and mining companies disclosure of payments the companies make to governments.

NEWS STORY:
Nike and Others Increase Transparency into Their Global Labor Practices
The Fair Labor Association releases a report today on the internal and independent external monitoring of apparel and footwear manufacturers' global labor practices.

NEWS STORY:
Investors Press Companies on Stock Options Expensing
A shareowner resolution on options expensing is garnering support, and a California pension fund has released a study on how to best expense stock options.

NEWS STORY:
The Answer to the Coffee Crisis? Farmers Want Fair Price, Kraft Says Increase Demand
Calls for fair prices and Fair Trade Certified coffee by social investors, coffee farmers, and Oxfam go unheeded by Kraft.

NEWS STORY:
Pay Dirt or Payola? How Halliburton Strikes it Rich
A number of practices have generated profits as well as controversy for Halliburton, the company where Vice President Dick Cheney served six years as CEO.

NEWS STORY:
Oxfam Launches Coffee Rescue Plan
Oxfam International's new effort to promote the fair trade of coffee garners immediate support from Domini Social Investments.

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:
Rio + 10 Series: UNAIDS' Accelerating Access Initiative May Decelerate Access
ACT UP Paris criticizes Accelerating Access, a joint United Nations/pharmaceutical industry initiative, for limiting price reduction on AIDS medicine in developing nations.

NEWS STORY:
Poor Practices Catching Up with Labor Ready
Worker complaints and lawsuits contribute to financial woes of national manual labor temp agency.

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