Absolute, definitive proof that responsible companies perform better
By Marjorie Kelly
February,2005 OK, yes, it's true that researchers don't speak this
way: They'll never say "absolute, definitive proof" of anything
has been found - not even that the sky is blue. Theirs is the language
of positive correlations, statistical significance, and other somnolent
phrases. I'm no statistician. I am instead someone who's observed the
socially responsible investing (SRI) field for 17 years, and in that
time I've seen countless theorists attempt to scale the Everest of SRI,
reaching for the summit of certainty: Do socially responsible companies
perform better financially? The answer has long been the statistical
Holy Grail: eagerly sought, ever out of reach.
I'm here to announce the search is over. The evidence is in. And even
the statisticians are saying it's conclusive. Social and environmental
responsibility does go hand in hand with superior financial performance
- that's the finding of two "meta-studies" in recent months.[READ
Principles for Corporate Law By
Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
February 16,2005 The fundamental assumptions of corporate law have changed
little in decades. Accepted as truth are the notions that corporations
are voluntary, private, contractual entities; that they have broad powers
to make money in whatever ways and in whatever locations they see fit;
that the primary obligation of management is toward shareholders, and
shareholders alone. Corporations have broad powers but only a limited
role: they are entities that have as their primary objective the making
of money. Not much else is expected or required of them. [READ
The Code For Corporate Responsibility Does To read what the code accomplishes (in a bullet point
Change The DNA Of Corporations By
John Karvel, July 28, 2002 Why is it that in the law corporations have the single
purpose of making a profit for the shareholders? Isn't it obvious that
there are more stakeholders that make up the corporate community? Analysis
shows that employees are really the major contributors to creating wealth.
The communities in which corporations operate have much to gain or loose,
depending on how responsibly the corporations there operate. And the
environment, our environment, has everything at stake.
Economic Forum Ron
James, August 13 ,
2002 Ron James, CEO of the Center for Ethical Business Culture
in Minneapolis, MN, was able to speak when the President was present.
He told the President "that business leaders
do two things very well". One, "they are concerned about all
of their stakeholders". Two, "they balance long and short-term
trade offs. They create value for the shareholder over the long-term
by serving all of these stakeholders. Reports and studies show that
companies that practice this grow revenues four times as fast, workforce
eight times as fast and stock prices twelve times as fast as companies
that don't. It is not about doing either or. You can do both. You can
create an ethical environment that serves multiple stakeholders but
can insure your are creating value for the shareholders."
Corporate Law Inhibits Social Responsibility By
My goal is to build consensus to change the law so it encourages good
corporate citizenship, rather than inhibiting it. The provision in the
law I am talking about is the one that says the purpose of the corporation
is simply to make money for shareholders. Every jurisdiction where corporations
operate has its own law of corporate governance. But remarkably, the
corporate design contained in hundreds of corporate laws throughout
the world is nearly identical.
Globally, Hoping Locally
The promise of state-level action as an avenue for corporate
By Marjorie Kelly,
Spring 2003 Despair is a word like a wound, so tender one hesitates
to touch it. It's a feeling one might hesitate to invoke, were it not
so palpable today in even the most casual conversations. There are many
reasons for despair:
Code for Corporate Responsibility:
Widening the Perspective of Management A
Paper for Robert J. Milano School of Management and Urban Policy
New School University By
Gili Chupak, May 2004
In this paper, I have researched corporate responsibility.
What is it? How do we get there? And what is blocking us from arriving
at corporate responsibility? I used a whole systems perspective in order
to determine the most effective strategies. I described each strategy
based on its ability to impact responsible corporate behavior using
the leverage point categorizations offered by the whole systems analysis.
I limited my analysis of the strategies to the framework of law to accommodate
the mission of C4CR. [READ
Green Is Good By
Paul Hawken, Dragonfly Media
Posted on October 8, 2004, Printed on November 4, 2004
http://www.alternet.org/story/20119/ The term 'socially responsible investing' is
so broad it is meaningless. If the SRI mutual fund industry is to stay
true to its name, it needs to create real standards, enforceability
and transparency. [READ
Precautionary Principle in Action
A Handbook Written
for the Science and Environmental Health Network
"When an activity raises threats of harm to human
health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even
if some cause-and-effect relationships are not fully established scientifically."
from the January 1998 Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary
The Code For
Corporate Responsibility (California SB 917): An Idea Whose Time Has
Nichole Su A Litmus Test For All Political Candidates?
Since when do Rabbi Michael Lerner and the National Lawyers Guild of
Los Angeles agree? How about author Thom Hartmann and Loyola Law Professor
Robert Benson, on the pro and con sides respectively, of abolishing
corporate personhood as a corporate reform strategy? Throw into this
mix Marjorie Kelley, editor of Business Ethics magazine, and commentator
Jim Hightower, as well as the National Alliance for Democracy, California
NOW, Santa Cruz Green Party and Southern California Americans for Democratic
Action. All of these individuals and groups are amongst those who agree
that the Code for Corporate Responsibility (introduced in California
as Senate Bill 917 by Senator Richard Alarcon) is an idea whose time
has come. Read
July 16, 2002 In his recent speech to Wall Street, President Bush
stated, "In the long run, there's no capitalism without conscience."
There is little doubt as to the truth of this assertion, but where is
the conscience going to come from that is necessary to assure capitalism's
Act Like Citizens, Not Consumers By
Betsy Barnum, September 29, 2003 In the past few weeks, several articles have appeared
in the alternative press arguing that consumer action is the way to
address corporate abuses and strengthen democracy.
It certainly appears that the problems created for society,
the environment and future generations by corporations are caused by
their economic activity. It may seem logical that we ought to counter
them in our economic role, as consumers.
But it is not simply economically that corporations dominate our lives
and our nation. It is because they have usurped our place as political
decisionmakers in our system of self-governance. [READ
we really do anything about corporations? Yes, says C4CR By
John Karvel, November 22, 2002 52 of the 100 wealthiest entities in the world are corporations.
The other 48 are countries. Corporations as they exist today can not
only out spend you, they will out live you. They elect most of our politicians
and through the military/corporate/political complex globally manufacture
one trillion dollars of weapons annually. Those in control of these
corporations are narrow sightedly accumulating a "wealth"
that is destroying the ecosystems that they and we are dependent upon.
So how do we deal with such a dark situation?
a self-governing people By
Betsy Barnum, March 29, 2003 POCLAD and WILPF
would like to reframe the way we think about corporate power and the
role that corporations play in our society. We have, over time, come
to accept that corporations are a given, that they must be powerful,
and that in their pursuit of profits they will do many things we don’t
like -- things that are harmful to the Earth and human health, like
emitting toxic poisons, things that are inhumane, like exploiting workers,
and things that are destructive of communities, like closing plants
and laying off thousands of people. We usually don’t even consider
whether we could challenge their right to do these things. Instead,
we define our role as citizens as trying to curb these destructive impulses...
Words to Redefine Corporate Duties:
The Proposal for a Code for
By Robert Hinkley Over the past 120 years, state and federal governments
have enacted volumes of laws and regulations to curb the problem of
corporate abuse of the public interest. Examples include legislation
to protect the environment, eliminate child labor, create equal opportunity,
increase workplace safety, limit anti-competitive behavior and protect
the public interest in numerous other ways which corporations have been
unwilling or unable to do voluntarily. Notwithstanding all this legislation,
the damage that continues to be inflicted is more extensive than ever.
Chomsky on Media and Thought Control in a Democratic Society By
David Edwards - excerpted from The Compassionate Revolution, Green Books,
The crucial factor is that individuals are able to do this sincerely
and with the firm conviction that what they are saying is the uncompromised,
freely-expressed truth. This, in the end, is the real genius of the
modern system of thought control -- it is very subtle, invisible, and
its greatest victims are often not the deceived but the deceivers themselves.
the Word Go Forth from Hershey, Pennsylvania That Americans Believe
That Corporate Rights Come with Corporate Obligations...
Robert Hinkley, August 5, 2002 Until June of 2000, I was a partner in
the largest law firm in the world--the same law firm that I understand
has been retained by the Board of Managers in connection with the proposed
sale of your company.
I left that firm more than two years ago because I
realized America's most powerful citizens, its large corporations, have
all the rights of citizenship, but bear none of the obligations that
come with being a citizen.
This lack of obligations results in the pollution of
our environment, employees being treated without respect, deadly products
in the marketplace and most importantly damage to our communities.
Citizenworks.org: Citizen Works has devoted a page to the Code on their
website. They have more articles about the Code
a Corporate Reform Weekly Report and other valuable tools