Access to capital is a critical factor in nations’ and individuals’ capacity to participate and advance in society. PAB addresses the issues of criteria for lending, micro–finance, and capital flight to avoid taxation with Bank of America.
and Gender Diversity:
Diversity on Boards of Directors
When a corporate board has no representation of women or minorities, PAB withholds support for the board during proxy voting. This is communicated to the companies biennially.
Governance Promotes board accountability through pay equity and equality-diversity in corporate governance. PAB encourages management of Cisco Systems Inc. to evaluate pay disparity among top executives and lowest paid workers in the U.S. and abroad.
A resolution seeking disclosure of political contributions with Caremark Rx Inc. received a votes of over 42%! A similar resolution with Wyeth, Inc., received 29%. Monsanto agreed in November 2006 to post their corporate political contributions as a result of an Adrian Dominican Sisters’ shareholder initiative which was cofiled by several other proponents .
PAB will maintain contact with the Dominican Order NGOs, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch regarding human right abuses. PAB has communicated to Tyson Foods, Inc. and Smithfield Foods, Inc., regarding the physical and financial aspects of workers in these corporations’ meat-packing and poultry plants world-wide.
Trafficking of children is the focus of shareholder initiatives with Hilton Corporation and Host Hotels and Resorts, Inc.
PAB engages Wal-Mart regarding sustainable wages. A sustainable wage level meets basic needs including food, clothing, housing, energy, transportation, healthcare and education of workers and their families. It provides sufficient money to enable participation in cultural activities, as well as enough discretionary income to support the development of small businesses in local communities where workers live.
Evidence of global warming continues to mount. The implications for humanity, wildlife and entire ecosystems are tremendous, with greatest likely impact on those least advantaged (e.g. low-income populations on shorelines). PAB advocates for greater fuel efficiency with Ford Motor Company, for renewable energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions with ExxonMobil Corporation, and for emissions reduction goals in company operations and finance clients, with Wells Fargo & Company.
and Violence in Our Society Best Buy, responding to shareholder work of PAB and others, has published its policies regarding the sale of Mature-rated games to children and teens. The retailer implements its policy through training employees; monitoring for compliance; rewarding and disciplining employees; reporting compliance quarterly to senior management; and posting the policy on the website.
Engineered (Transgenic) Seeds and Foods
Genetically engineered seeds and foods have been commercially produced
in the United States since 1996. Environmental, health and social concerns
remain about the long-term impacts, particularly on those most disadvantaged.
While no cases of negative health repercussions have been documented,
the current U.S. regulatory system is established for oversight but does
not verify food safety. In addition, there are several reports citing
gaps in the oversight system.
December, 2006, U.N. Secretary General cautioned that international community lacks safeguards to prevent bioterrorism and accidental harm from biotechnology advances. Illegal Liberty Link Rice was discovered in US rice crops in 2006, disrupting the US rice export market.
The Adrian Dominican Sisters have led
shareholder initiatives with Dow Chemical with a focus on the right of farmers to save seed. In 2006, the shareholder proposal asking Wendy’s International, Inc. to label genetically engineered foods received 17.6 percent shareholder vote, very high for this issue. Similar initiatives are occurring with General Mills, McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Safeway.
In June 2006, the global alliance Action by Churches Together took a stand in support of the “right to know” whether there are genetically engineered ingredients in the food purchased or seeds sown, and endorsed a precautionary approach:
The use of food crops to produce pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals heightens concerns about crop segregation, as well as post-market monitoring.
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) can have a very negative
impact on surrounding water systems. PAB has requested Hormel Foods
to report on the environmental impacts of company-owned and contract livestock
operations. PAB has given feedback to the company on its first citizenship report.
to Health Care
The Adrian Dominicans are using the shareholder voice with Abbott, Eli Lilly & Co., Pfizer, and Schering Plough about the ever-rising cost of prescription drugs, and the impact on the un/under-insured, the workplace and the health care industry. PAB is working with ICCR members to advocate with large employers on Health Care Policy. See www.kaisernetwork.org, www.familiesusa.org, or http://commoncause.org.
HIV/AIDS PAB has addressed access to essential HIV/AIDS drugs with Gilead Sciences, a biotech company that focuses on drugs for infectious diseases. Gilead now sets the industry standard on licensing these medicines to low-income countries.
Toxins and Hormone Disrupters
The health and environmental issues associated with the use of PVC (polyvinyl
chloride, #3 plastic) include the toxic by-products formed during the
production and disposal, as well as with the additive used to make the
plastic flexible. PAB has contacted Hasbro, Inc., regarding PVC in toys.