Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) is an association of 275 religious groups who participate in institutional investing with the goal of altering corporate behavior. Members of ICCR are primarily churches, but also include pension funds, foundations, hospital corporations, economic development funds, asset management companies, colleges, and unions. ICCR and its members press companies to be socially and environmentally responsible by sponsoring shareholder resolutions on major social and environmental issues. ICCR involves itself with a variety of issues, such as tobacco control, access to health care, promoting human rights, corporate governance, environmental justice, global warming, violence and militarization of society.
ICCR is a thirty-seven-year-old international coalition of 275 faith-based institutional investors. As responsible stewards, they merge social values with investment decisions, believing they must achieve more than an acceptable financial return. ICCR members utilize religious investments and other resources to change unjust or harmful corporate policies, working for peace, economic justice and stewardship of the Earth.
ICCR members are serious, long-term investors for whom financial performance of their socially-screened portfolios is crucial to their investment strategy. They use the power of persuasion backed by economic pressure from consumers and investors to hold corporations accountable. They sponsor shareholder resolutions; meet with management, and screen their investments.
IICCR's core values are:
- Religion guides and shapes their priorities for action.
- Justice: ICCR challenges themselves and corporations to accountability for "right relationships with all of creation."
- Integrity ("We are striving to be credible practitioners of the values we set forth.")
- Inclusiveness and welcoming diversity in working together
ICCR's priorities include
- eliminating sweatshops and corporate involvement in human rights abuses;
- reversing global warming
- halting the proliferation of genetically modified foods until safety is proven;
- making capital available to all on an equal opportunity basis.
- working to make retailers of violent video games more accountable;
- making pharmaceuticals and healthcare safe, available and affordable to all;
- seeking more reasonable executive pay
- seeking more accountable corporate governance structures
- stopping the use of depleted uranium weapons
Opposing sky-high exec pay
Nuns and priests are getting involved in combating high executive pay. In May 2003, Matt Krantz of USA Today wrote, "Faith-based institutional investors — longtime corporate activists on issues like the environment — are taking on CEO pay for the first time at annual shareholders meetings this year. At least 21 companies, including the likes of AOL Time Warner, J.P. Morgan Chase and Cisco Systems, face or have faced corporate governance proposals in the current annual meeting season from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, the nationwide body that coordinates the efforts of religious groups. Because the ICCR doesn't own stock itself, it must count on its members who do, ranging from orders of sisters and priests to the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church."
"Some unlikely CEO gadflies include:
- Nuns. Sisters have long lamented the high pay of top executives relative to rank-and-file employees but did not put proposals to curb it on the ballot until this year, says Susan Vickers, a nun and director of advocacy at Catholic Healthcare West, a hospital chain in California.
- Priests. The pay disparity effort by religious groups is being coordinated by Michael Crosby, a priest with the Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order. His order has taken the lead with the proposal against AOL Time Warner, but he's also helping other orders that hold shares of J.P. Morgan, Alcoa, General Electric and Cisco press the issue there."
They have over 150 members:
- Adrian Dominican Sisters
- Advocate Health Care System
- American Baptist Churches
- Catholic Relief Services
- Socially Responsible Investment Coalition
- Unitarian Universalist Association
- United Methodist Church Foundation
- US Jesuit Conference
Staff as of December 2010 includes:
- Timothy Smith, Executive Director
- Chair: Susan Smith Makos, Catholic Healthcare Partners
- Vice Chair: Kathryn McCloskey, Pension Boards, United Church of Christ
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
475 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10115
Email: info AT iccr.org
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Web site, "About" section
- Matt Krantz, "Nuns, priests join crusade against sky-high exec pay", USA Today, May 19, 2003.
- Neela Banerjee, "Utility Shareholders Demand Liability Disclosure", The New York Times, January 17, 2003.
- Socially responsible investing, Wikipedia, accessed December 2010.
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