Holy Grail Found
Absolute, definitive proof that responsible companies perform better financially
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 MORE]

New Principles for Corporate Law
By Kent Greenfield, 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 MORE]

What The Code For Corporate Responsibility Does
To read what the code accomplishes (in a bullet point format) please

Let's 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.

President Bush's 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." [READ MORE]

How Corporate Law Inhibits Social Responsibility
By Robert Hinkley
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.

Despairing Globally, Hoping Locally
The promise of state-level action as an avenue for corporate reform
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:

The 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 MORE]

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 MORE]

The 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 Principle  [READ MORE]

The Code For Corporate Responsibility (California SB 917): An Idea Whose Time Has Come
By 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 More

Capitalism with Conscience
By Robert Hinkley, 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 future?

Let'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 MORE]

Can 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?

Becoming 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...

28 Words to Redefine Corporate Duties:
The Proposal for a Code for
Corporate Citizenship

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.

Noam Chomsky on Media and Thought Control in a Democratic Society
By David Edwards - excerpted from The Compassionate Revolution, Green Books, 1998.
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.

Let the Word Go Forth from Hershey, Pennsylvania That Americans Believe That Corporate Rights Come with Corporate Obligations...
By 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
(http://www.citizenworks.org/enron/corp_code.php),
a Corporate Reform Weekly Report and other valuable tools
(http://www.citizenworks.org).