The New York TImes examines low-carbon investments

Last week, The New York Times published an article, Funds That Can Put Your Investments on a Low-Carbon Diet, that examines low-carbon investments. Like SGI in our resource page, the article highlights Fossil Free Funds, a resource from As You Sow. The article highlights some of the investment funds that provide low-carbon alternatives. It also includes a general assessment from an industry leader, Jon F. Hale of Morningstar, on the risks and performance of these funds.

As the NYT is behind a paywall after ten monthly free articles, here is a PDF version of the article without the photos or links: Funds That Can Put Your Investments on a Low-Carbon Diet – The New York Times.

Donations in honor of Fr. Mike Crosby

We have received inquiries about how a person might honor Fr. Mike Crosby, O.F.M., Cap., who passed away on August 5th. ICCR, for example, has encouraged its members to donate to SGI, and we are grateful for the support. They wrote:

Many of you know that Mike was instrumental in helping to recruit Catholic congregations into the ICCR fold and organizing them under regional coalitions for responsbile investment or “CRIs”. Mike himself was the Executive Director of the Midwest CRI also known as the Seventh Generation Interfaith CRI.

Seventh Generation Interfaith CRI is a 501(c)(3) public charity almost entirely based on member dues. If you would like to contribute to its mission in memory of Fr. Crosby, please, make your tax deductible check out to Seventh Generation Interfaith Inc. and send it to the following address:

Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investment
1015 N. 9th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233

2018 Filing Deadlines

Here are links to documents with the 2018 Corporate Resolution Filing Deadlines (XLSX) (PDF).

Please, remember that, by the close of business on or before the company’s filing date, mail or overnight to the Corporate Secretary:

    • Your cover letter
    • The resolution
    • Verification of your stock ownership

Ideally, send the letter via FedEx, UPS or other sign upon-receipt delivery, so that there is a record of who at the company signed to receive your letter. You should retain this receipt in the rare case the company argues your letter did not arrive by the deadline. For more information, visit ICCR’s helpful resource: “How to File a Resolution.”

“Well done, good and faithful servant”

With sadness, we share the news that Fr. Mike Crosby, O.F.M., Cap. has died. In December of 2016, a CT scan and subsequent testing resulted in a diagnosis of cancer of the esophagus. In April, just after Easter, Fr. Mike underwent surgery after a course of radiation treatment and chemotherapy. While the initial prognosis looked positive, another CT scan in June revealed that the cancer had returned with force, and Fr. Mike entered hospice care in Detroit early that month.

Michael Crosby died on 5 August 2017 at the age of 77, after suffering with cancer.

Michael Crosby was born on 16 February 1940, the son of Hugh and Blanche Crosby of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He was invested in the Capuchin Order on 31 August 1959, perpetually professed his vows on 1 September 1963, and was ordained on 6 October 1966.

A writer and speaker, Michael was also the executive director of the Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investment, which focuses on social ministry and activism through investment. Michael did pastoral ministry at St. Elizabeth Parish (now St. Martin de Porres Parish) in Milwaukee from 1968-1973. From 1973 until his death, Michael ministered in the area of corporate responsibility. Additionally, he was a collaborator for the canonization cause of Capuchin friar Solanus Casey.

Michael is survived by his brother Daniel (also a Capuchin friar), as well as his many Capuchin brothers with whom he lived, prayed and ministered during the past 58 years.

Thurs., Aug 10: St. Bonaventure Monastery, Detroit, 5-8 pm,
with service at 7 pm.

Friday, Aug 11: St. Francis Parish, Milwaukee, 5-8 pm, with service at 7 pm

Liturgy of Christian Burial:
Sat., Aug 12, St. Lawrence Seminary, Mt. Calvary WI; 10:30 am, with viewing beforehand.

Burial in Capuchin cemetery, Mt. Calvary WI

Fr. Mike’s reflections, and those of his brother Fr. Dan, are found on a Caring Bridge site.

ICCR Statement of Support for new Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh

As investors shareholders engaged in dialogues with retailers, we are heartened by last week’s announcement that global unions and companies signed an agreement to extend the Accord for Fire and Building Safety for an additional three year period in force after May 2018. This is great news!  Investors, including those from SGI, have played an important role in supporting the Accord, assessing its progress and recommending areas to be strengthened going forward.

ICCR’s statement applauding the agreement is found here.

SGI members signed onto the April 2017 investor statement on the 4th Anniversary of the Rana Plaza Tragedy.  Our recommendations included:

  • Accord companies and trade union representatives agree to extend the Accord for the period of time needed to remediate systemic issues that still threaten worker safety and livelihood.
  • Broaden the current scope of the Accord to include; i) a focus on freedom of association and collective bargaining and integrate this into the Complaints Mechanism process and ii) additional parts of the supply chain where similar risks exist such as washing, dying, fabrics, leather and home textiles.

The new agreement responds positively to these recommendations.  Over the past four years, investor activism has made a difference in providing support and urging further action to make sure that garment factories are made safer now and in the future.

Priests of the Sacred Heart continue to challenge TJX’s executive pay policies

The TJX Companies, which includes well-known discount chains of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods, is the leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the U.S. …and worldwide. They claim 40 years of sales and earnings growth to the satisfaction of their shareholders. But not all shareholders are happy. “TJX maintains one of the largest pay gaps in America,” said Mark Peters, Director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation for the Priests of the Sacred Heart. “As public scrutiny of the gap between CEO and worker pay increases, TJX may be risking the health of its labor force and the reputation of its brand.”

Mark filed a shareholder resolution with TJX concerning their executive pay policies and the widening pay gap with their workers for the third year in a row (see proxy memo). “The company’s proxy states that developing and retaining talent is a key component of their continued success. But this attention should not be limited to their executives. Their Associates’ pay has stagnated while executive compensation packages continue to escalate. Long term, this hurts the company and society.”

CEO pay has grew by almost 1000% over the past 40 years, greatly outpacing the growth in the cost of living, the productivity of the economy, and the stock market. This disproves the claim that the growth in CEO pay reflects the performance of the company, the value of its stock, or the ability of the CEO to do anything but disproportionately raise the amount of his pay (Economic Policy Institute).

Beginning in 2018, a Dodd-Frank Act provision requires companies to report the ratio of the CEO’s total compensation and that of their median employee. While the Trump administration is reviewing this requirement as too burdensome, Mark believes that it is not enough. “Shareholders need a historic view of this ratio and board’s informed view on whether the CEO-to-worker pay gap comes at the expense of the health of the Company’s human capital and long term shareholder value.”

See also: Priests of the Sacred Heart_TJX Proposal 8- 2017_Memo