Active Actions

Active Actions2022-06-02T06:32:47-05:00

6/2/22 – New York Times – Ruger shareholders vote for a study of gunmaker’s impact on human rights.

Today, we got a really good news on our resolution with Sturm Ruger.  We weren’t the primary filer but having it pass was a miracle.

In the New York Times article, Ruger shareholders vote for a study of gunmaker’s impact on human rights, “The proposal, put forth by a group of activist shareholders who are members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, is nonbinding. It is not clear whether Ruger, one of a small number of public gun manufacturers, will choose to follow it. Ruger would have to open itself up to scrutiny by an independent firm seeking to determine how the company’s business practices and the guns it made affected human rights on a broad scale.” READ 

5/25/22 – Bloomberg Law – ESG Investors Push More Racial Issues After Wins at Apple, J&J

Chevron is opposing an audit proposal from Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, a Roman Catholic order of nuns known for promoting corporate social responsibility. The proposal, which is under consideration at Chevron’s annual meeting Wednesday, urges the company to analyze and report on whether its policies and practices discriminate or have a disparate effect on people of color. The proposal cited concerns that Chevron’s greenhouse gas emissions and oil leaks can disproportionately harm non-White communities.  READ

5/25/22 – Washington PostWorkers’ advocates turned away at Dollar General meeting

A civil rights advocate says he and two Dollar General store workers were denied access to the company’s shareholder meeting Wednesday in Tennessee where they had been outside protesting for better pay and workplace safety improvements.

The Rev. William Barber II told The Associated Press he and the two workers sought to enter the meeting inside Goodlettsville City Hall with their proxy paperwork, but were told they could not go in after the meeting’s start time. Video posted to social media shows Barber approach the meeting room’s door, saying multiple times that “We are shareholders,” to which a person staffing the meeting said, “I hear you. We just closed the check-in.”

. . .Barber said he was attending as a proxy representative for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, which he said means the group owned at least $2,000 in stocks in the company for at least three years.  READ

4/6/22 – Medical Design and Outsourcing –  Johnson & Johnson faces another ballot battle on racial equity audit

Johnson & Johnson is fighting another shareholder proposal for an independent racial equality audit of the company.

New Brunswick, New Jersey–based J&J (NYSE:JNJ) defeated a similar measure at last year’s annual meeting of shareholders, though the vote was far from a landslide. The company also unsuccessfully petitioned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to keep it off the ballot.

Investors backing the proposal include philanthropists Christopher and Anne Ellinger and faith-based organizations such as the Providence St. Joseph Health system, Portico Benefit Services and the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, among others.   READ

3/14/22 – ICCR – Wells Fargo’s Human Rights Impact Assessment Leaves Shareholders Dissatisfied

A failure to publish the complete findings of the assessment has investors wondering about the integrity of the process and whether any learnings gleaned will inform much-needed reforms.

Shareholders in Wells Fargo who have been engaging the company for two decades around practices with the potential to harm stakeholders and customers, today announced their response to the company’s publication of a summary of its Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA)

The document was developed in response to shareholders’ call for an HRIA in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) to assist the company in identifying potential human rights harms impacting its key stakeholders, primarily WF customers, as a result of the company’s numerous and very public ethical and oversight lapses.   READ

1/07/22 – Food Marketing to Children and Retail Practices

We are excited to update the group that the FTC included some of these asks in a new investigation into supply chain disruptions. The investigation calls on nine retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers to provide internal documents related to supply chains, pricing, marketing, profits, and market shares to aid the FTC in determining if consumers or competition are being harmed. Related to CSPI’s request, the FTC asked Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger to produce the contracts that detail their trade promotion practices and category captain arrangements, including disclosing details on how suppliers dictate product choice and marketing, and the total fees paid to retailers. See the statement CSPI released last month and a recent blog post for additional details.

We commend the FTC for taking this action to protect consumers and competition in the grocery store environment. In the coming months, we will urge the FTC to make their findings publicly available and pursue any enforcement actions found necessary by the investigation. Additionally, CSPI will continue to pursue FTC action on the topic of food marketing to kids.

12/11/21 – Bloomberg – Tyson to conduct racial audit after outcry over workers

Tyson Foods Inc., one of the meatpackers that came under fire during the height of the pandemic for its treatment of a largely minority workforce, will commission a detailed study to determine whether its practices contribute to racial inequities.

An independent group will carry out the equity audit of the biggest U.S. meat company by sales, with Tyson aiming to publish its findings within a year, spokesperson Gary Mickelson said.

This is good news! Behind the scenes there were many conversations between ICCR, IASJ, Venceremos, and Tyson. ABHMS co-filed the proposal for a racial audit in August with 16 other investors, including Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. READ

10/01/21 – Record Breaking News from Smith & Wesson

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia were among 15 religious communities who filed a resolution with Smith & Wesson, one of the largest gun making companies in the world. This wasn’t our first.

For several years we have been working hard to “put the gun industry on warning” that we as religious communities would not stop sending resolutions in favor of a more peaceful world and supporting human rights.

We haven’t exactly succeeded but we’ve made some in-roads. We made sure that Dick’s Sporting Goods doesn’t sell any ammunition and the CEO supported our case.

We’ve caused Smith and Wesson to rename its “deceptive” American Outdoors back to Smith and Wesson.

Yesterday, we received an absolutely huge vote on our resolution of 43.91% from all shareholders. That’s never happened in this industry. That means we received support from other than the religious or faith-based shareholders.  At yesterday’s Annual General Meeting the company announced that they will move their headquarters from Massachusetts to Tennessee because of more freedom with 2nd Amendment Rights. Massachusetts has proposed legislation that, if enacted, would prohibit the company from manufacturing certain firearms in that state.

ICCR’s press release announcing the S&W vote can be found by clicking here. Thanks to Judy Byron, Adrian Dominican for leading

09/29/21 – Investor Letter on Permanent Federal Paid family and Medical Leave

The Sisters of St. Francis are signors on this letter.

Investor Letter on Permanent Federal Paid Family and Medical Leave, represents $1.6 trillion in assets under management, calling on the United States Congress to pass a comprehensive and permanent federal paid family and medical leave program by the end of 2021.

A comprehensive paid family and medical leave policy includes three types of paid leave:

  • Parental leave: time to welcome a newly-arrived child; applies to adoption, fostering and
    birth, and applies to all parent.
  • Family caregiving leave: time to care for a seriously ill family member, with an
    expansive definition of family
  • Personal medical leave: time to address one’s own serious illness.

Read More

09/03/21 – – Tyson Investor Calls on Meat Producer to Perform Racial Audit

America’s biggest meat company is the latest to come under investor pressure to conduct an independent racial equity audit.

Tyson Foods Inc. should assess whether its policies and practices impact communities of color, according to a shareholder proposal from American Baptist Home Mission Society. Concerns include everything from a lack of opportunity for promotions for minorities, to allegations of discrimination and harrassment at the company. Tyson said it has established programs to support minorities, and even hired a chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

ABHMS co-filed the proposal last month with 16 other investors including Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Province of New York and Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.   READ

08/10/21 –  Citing Robust Democratic Structures as a Critical Pillar of Economic Activity, Investors Urge Passage of For the People Act

In a letter to Congress, investors make clear that they view an election system free of discriminatory practices and the political influence of “dark money” as central to a strong democracy where businesses can thrive.

A group of 71 institutional investors announced they had sent a letter to Senators urging passage of the For the People Act, legislation introduced by Maryland Representative John Sarbanes intended to safeguard democratic structures by expanding voting opportunities, banning discriminatory gerrymandering and promoting transparency regarding campaign finance.

Investors say the For the People Act will create a level playing field for all Americans to exercise their Constitutional right to vote and help fortify our democracy, leading to a stable economic environment that favors both the public interest and business.  Sr. Nora Nash is quoted in the article. Read more

06/24/21 – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are among 350 signatories urging President Biden to appoint a Climate Commissioner to FERC Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“As climate change continues to accelerate, it is critical that all decisions from your administration reflect your own view that climate change is the ‘existential crisis of our time.’ The upcoming vacancy at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission provides a clear opportunity to rapidly move off of fossil fuels and fossil fuel infrastructure. We urge you to appoint a new commissioner who is committed to this vision.”

Learn more here: .

05/13/21 – Web Wire– Major investors demand ambitious methane regulations in the U.S.

Inaction will leave investors and oil and gas companies vulnerable to climate and reputational risks

As the Biden administration prepares to revise federal methane regulations, 147 oil and gas industry investors representing $5.35 trillion in assets under management signed on to a statement calling for comprehensive regulations to curb dangerous GHG emissions — and more stringent enforcement mechanisms to back them up.

As “prudent fiduciaries”, the statement says, the signatories believe that virtually eliminating methane emissions supports the financial goals of companies and investors.  Read more

03/22/21 – The Catholic Sun – Shareholders push companies on racial justice, equity in vaccine access

A resolution filed by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia with California-based Chevron, one of the country’s largest oil and natural gas producers, provides an example of the issues related to racial justice that cross over into other concerns.

Sister Nora Nash, director of corporate responsibility for the religious order, said the resolution asks the company to commission an independent third-party report that analyzes how Chevron’s policies, practices and the impacts of its business “perpetuate racial injustice and inflict harm on communities of color in the United States.”  Read more

03/14/21 – Pittsburgh Post Gazette–Our world cannot afford to wait for action

Letter from Sr. Nora Nash – “It is clear that we are in the midst of a climate crisis requiring immediate action, not only at the federal level but also in Pennsylvania, the fifth-largest greenhouse gas polluting state in the nation. If we are a large part of the problem, we must be part of the solution — our natural world, of which we are stewards, cannot afford to wait. This is why I offered public testimony in December in support of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate cap-and-invest program among nearly a dozen Northeast and Middle Atlantic states with a proven track record of reducing carbon pollution from fossil fuel power plants.” Read More

03/10/21 – Philadelphia Inquirer–‘Remember to vote!’ The CEO’s $14.3M pay at drug distributor AmerisourceBergen inspires dueling campaigns

As AmerisourceBergen prepares to face investors at its annual meeting Thursday, the pharma distributor is locked in a campaign battle with dissident stockholders over its CEO’s paycheck, after the company said it would shoulder a $6.6 billion loss to settle opioid litigation….“It’s our job to push them to see that they find better ways of doing what they’re doing,” said Tom McCaney, associate director for corporate social responsibility at the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. With “the distribution of opioids, there are people’s lives at risk.” Read more

03/8/21 – Did you know that the largest trash incinerator in the U.S. is located in Chester, PA?

Chester, Pennsylvania is a small city south of Philadelphia and located in Delaware County. The city spans 6.1 square miles with 34,000 residents, and is also home to the largest trash incinerator in the country (Covanta), a sewage waste treatment facility and sludge incinerator (DELCORA), chemical manufacturing plants, and other polluting industries.

The Sisters of St. Francis are active members of the Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living. Under the leadership of Mike Ewall from Energy Justice Network and citizens, Zulene, Erica, and many others, we are making tremendous progress toward getting the Coventa Incinerator shut down but it will take each one of you to accomplish the goal. I ask you to carefully read the information on the enclosed link. You will be shocked to see how this incinerator is causing serious health problems for Chester residents, all of Delaware County, and counties in the surrounding areas. This is a human rights issue, an environmental justice issue, and a serious racial issue. Your participation is critical. All that is required of you is to sign a letter. Please sign ASAP, either as an individual or as an organization and forward it to others that you know. We want signatures from all over the United States.

Click here to learn more and to sign the letter:   Once you open the link don’t forget to read the message from Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living so that you’ll be fully aware of what is happening.  Note: The sign on is completed with the “Action” button.

01/15/21 – Reuters – Investors push for social media controls ahead of U.S. inauguration

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are signatories to the attached letter to Alphabet, Facebook, and Twitter, calling on the board to take all necessary steps to address their role in enabling and facilitating violence at the U.S. Capitol and at state houses across the country in the run-up to inauguration day. Investors are calling on appropriate board committees to convene immediately and, as a matter of public record, take steps to exercise oversight of management’s decisions on these matters to ensure adequate controls are in place to mitigate future harm.  Read More

Read the full letter here.

12/4/20 – With Bank of America Announcement, Every Major U.S. Bank Has Ruled out Funding for Arctic Drilling

We join the Sierra Club in celebrating this announcement about Bank of America. The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia joined other shareholders in filing a recent resolution to ask the bank to stay out of the Arctic.

Bank of America has reportedly joined its peers and ruled out funding for new drilling in the Arctic, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citi have all announced similar policies this year. Bank of America has faced mounting pressure in recent months from Indigenous communities, environmental advocates, and shareholders to follow suit.

The Trump administration is racing ahead with plans to hold a lease sale in the delicate coastal plain of the refuge in the final days before President-Elect Biden’s inauguration, but industry analysts have raised questions about whether oil companies, or the financial institutions that fund them, will be interested in making such a risky investment. Biden has pledged to protect the Arctic Refuge from drilling.

“It has long been clear that drilling in the Arctic Refuge would trample Indigenous rights, threaten vulnerable wildlife, and worsen the climate crisis. Now that every major American bank has stated unequivocally that they will not finance this destructive activity, it should be clearer than ever that any oil company considering participating in Trump’s ill-advised lease sale should stay away,” said Sierra Club Senior Campaign Representative Ben Cushing.

“The Trump administration has never even pretended to care about the Indigenous communities whose human rights would be threatened by the destruction of the coastal plain, but major financial institutions are listening to us,” said Gwich’in Steering Committee Executive Director Bernadette Demientieff. “We will never stop fighting to protect the sacred calving grounds from destructive drilling, and we will prevail.”

10/22/20 – ICCR Letter to CEOs

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, through the Office of Corporate Social Responsibility, are active members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). On our behalf, ICCR has communicated with over 200 CEOs—including members of the Business Roundtable as well as the media companies Facebook, Google, Alphabet, and Twitter—that are considered particularly exposed on election concerns. We are also sending the same letter to those companies where we are primary filers.

This message from the board chair and the attached letter are worthy of your attention.

“As our board chair, Frank Sherman mentioned at the Member’s Meeting on October 6th, we are in unprecedented times with respect to the election next month, and we believe ICCR has an opportunity and a responsibility to use our collective voice for action. It seems clear that there is potential risk for a high degree of uncertainty and instability in the days and weeks immediately following the November 3rd election as citizens exercise their right to vote via mail in record numbers due to the global pandemic. As faith-based and values-based investors we believe that we have a moral imperative as well as a business case to communicate to leaders in the business community urging them to publicly speak out and give full-throated support for the key processes and procedures that are the bedrock of our democracy.”  Read more

7/29/20 – National Moratorium on Power, Water & Broadband Shutoff

Attached is a letter in which we are signatories. The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have joined faith leaders across the country to support a National Moratorium on Power, Water, and Broadband Shutoffs.  It draws attention to the need for a national shutoff moratorium.  Read more by clicking here!

Read more about the issue in an NPR article,  here. 

July 13, 2020 – GreenBiz – Chemical footprinting comes of age

The article points out the importance of chemical footprinting relative to structured racism, Covid-19, and consumer trust and brand protection in a time of great uncertainty. We are members of the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) and some of our work on chemicals is through that organization. Getting rid of chemicals is more important now than ever before with the coronavirus and Pennsylvania’s love for chemicals and the oil/gas industry.

The article states, “When the Chemical Footprint Project launched in December 2014, it aspired to become the next carbon footprint or the next widely used tool for measuring company performance on a critical sustainability concern — toxic chemical use in the manufacturing of products.

It’s made steady progress since then, with 31 companies, including Levi Strauss, Walmart, and HP Inc., using the Chemical Footprint Project’s annual survey to inventory and report on their hazardous chemical use, as well as their progress towards safer alternatives.

Last month, however, the initiative scored a big win that just might bring it closer to reaching its lofty goal. Nearly 45 percent of TJX Companies’ shareholders voted in favor of a resolution calling on the discount retailer to report on its plans to reduce its chemical footprint (the “chemicals of concern” used to manufacture the products it sells in its stores).”

Click here to read the full article:

July 9, 2020 – Investors urge Pennsylvania DEP to expand methane-emissions rules

A group of investors representing nearly $4 trillion under management — including the Pennsylvania state treasurer, Pittsburgh-based Federated Hermes Inc. (NYSE: FII) and the California State Teachers Retirement System — is urging the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to strengthen its methane emissions rules in the state’s oil and gas industry.

The 50 investors sent a message to the state’s oil and gas industry — some of whom they invest in — to do more to manage methane emissions. The letter singles out existing sources of methane, including 71,000 older and lower-producing wells that it said was responsible for half of methane emissions from the industry.

Read the attached article that was published in the Pittsburgh Business Times.  This is big news for the State of Pennsylvania and we are signatories and mentioned in the text.  Click here to read more.

A PDF of the article is attached here.

June 18, 2020 – Racism

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia were part of a collective group to help develop this statement and we are signatories to the Investor Statement of Solidarity to Address Systemic Racism and Call to Action. With this clear commitment, we will work collectively to develop the strategies, tools, and resources and share what we learn to be part of the movement to dismantle systemic racism and promote racial equity.
The statement with the full list of 128 current endorsements is available here and now publicly available online at
The press release on the Statement is available here:

May 1, 2020 – Human Rights

We, as members of Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and the Investor Alliance for Human Rights are excited to share the launch of two new briefings that provide guidance for institutional investors and companies on how to respect the rights of human rights defenders:

These briefings highlight the need for companies and investors to identify whether their business practices or relationships may cause, contribute, or be directly linked to harms against human rights defenders. They make clear that it is a responsibility under the UN Guiding Principles for companies and investors to act to manage risks to defenders and outline practical actions they should take to do so.

2/1/2020 – American Airlines Recognizing Human Trafficking Awareness Month

As members of ICCR, we do shareholder advocacy with both American Airlines and Delta Airlines and these results are encouraging.  You might be interested in seeing this news release from American Airlines about their various activities in conjunction with Human Trafficking Awareness Month, including some new partnerships – Read More

11/15/19 – Bloomsberg – Silencing the Nun: SEC Aims to Curb Small Investors’ Activism

Sister Nora Nash, a Franciscan nun from the Philadelphia area, spent the last 15 years pushing corporations to change their policies on guns, tobacco and fracking. As a shareholder, the sisters’ retirement fund has filed hundreds of proposals at companies from Chevron Corp. to Wells Fargo & Co.

She might not be able to do that kind of activism anymore if the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission goes ahead with a plan to limit proposals from small investors like the fund, which often hold just a few thousand shares out of hundreds of millions. Read more

6/26/19 – Bloomberg – Bank of America Will Stop Lending to Private-Prison Firms

For two years members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) has asked/lobbied for three banks to stop financing private prisons. The Sisters of St. Francis have actively advocated on this topic with all three banks as well including, Wells Fargo, J.P.Morgan Chase, and Bank of America.  This is a win from Bank of America

Bank of America Corp., the second-biggest U.S. bank, will stop lending to companies that run private prisons and detention centers.

“We have decided to exit the relationship’’ with companies that provide prison and immigration-detention services, Vice Chairman Anne Finucane said Wednesday in an interview. “We’ve done our due diligence that we said we would do at the annual meeting, and this is the decision we’ve made.’’ Read more

6/24/19 – Union of Concerned Scientists – Chevron Earns Shareholder Distrust on Climate Action

At the end of last month, I attended the Chevron Annual Meeting with my colleague Ortal Ullman and Stanford climate historian Dr. Ben Franta (see his blog reflecting on the experience). While this year’s meeting received significantly less attention than the ExxonMobil meeting, where attendees had to pass a 100-foot-long banner on the climate crisis, or the BP meeting, where some attendees staged a crime scene in the middle of the CEO’s opening remarks, Chevron did not escape activist pressure. And despite its efforts to keep a low profile about its meeting, Chevron faced shareholder discontent over its dedication to climate inaction. Read more

6/3/19 – Walgreens PSA –  Over the past decade, the largest retail pharmacy chains have promoted themselves as healthcare providers. Adding such services as vaccinations, immunizations, health apps., prescription management systems, and even in-store healthcare clinics enhances these companies’ assertion that their primary mission is to improve their customers’ health. As such, Walgreens—as the nation’s largest retail pharmacy company—has an ethical duty to divest itself from tobacco products, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have led a shareholder engagement with Walgreens for the past seven years demanding that the company cease the sale of these deadly products.  With pressure from us and our colleagues at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Walgreens has recently announced that they are raising the age to purchase tobacco products in all their stores to 21, starting on September 1, 2019. This half-measure allows Walgreens to continue to profit at the expense of their customers’ health while appearing to address their egregious behavior. The Sisters of St. Francis will persist in our efforts until this company honors its tagline to live “at the corner of happy and healthy.”

The following PSA was recently created using Ms. Walmsley’s 3rd grade class from Village Leadership Academy. The students share that they want Walgreens to stop selling tobacco products. These are our reasons why. In the video description they ask “Join our mission and boycott Walgreens until they stop selling tobacco. They are a pharmacy. Shouldn’t they be keeping us healthy?”  Watch the PSA here:

High vote behind shareholder proposal seen as a strong call to address human rights risks.

NEW YORK, NY, Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 – At today’s annual meeting for Northrop Grumman, preliminary calculations of approximately 24% of shareholders cast votes in favor of a resolution calling for a report on how the company is implementing its human rights policy.  The resolution was filed by the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, and School Sisters of Notre Dame Cooperative Investment Fund, faith-based investors and members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), that have been engaging the defense company for decades on a variety of human rights impacts. Read more

4/8/19 – Sr. Nora gives an update on the Wells Fargo dealings.  Read here

1/30/19 – ICCR – Investors Say, if Fully Operationalized, Wells Fargo’s Business Standards Report Can Serve as a Road Map for Its Long Road Towards Redemption

We are celebrating some very good news in the fact that after two years of diligent work with Wells Fargo they have produced a document that “may” hold them more accountable in the future. The company has taken some very important steps to rectify their egregious problems. We’re still working with customers who have lost everything including their dignity.

As indicated, this version includes hyperlinks to the report and WF announcement. Both are now live on WF website and our press release is being distributed.  Click here to read more.

1/30/19 – Market Watch – Wells Fargo Issues Business Standards Report

2/28/19 -Philadelphia Inquirer – Nuns, Teamsters, city government and Vanguard all pressure AmerisourceBergen on opioids

CEO Steve Collis received a $1.6 million pay increase last year, earning $11.5 million in 2018.  But if the city of Philadelphia gets its way at the company’s annual meeting Thursday, Collis’ paycheck would be calculated differently going forward: His pay would be cut if the Chesterbrook-based drug distributor paid out large sums to settle lawsuits about the opioid epidemic.

“We believe senior executives should not be insulated from legal risks,” the city’s pension board said in a shareholder proposal to the company, especially “given the potential reputational, legal and regulatory risks [AmerisourceBergen] faces over its role in the nation’s opioid epidemic.” The firm has asked stockholders to vote against the proposal.  Read more

2/5/19 – GlobeNewsWire – Sisters of St. Francis and other investors warn of health and business risks as AT&T and Disney acquire youth-rated Warner and Fox movies full of smoking

“Our letters list concrete, feasible measures AT&T and Disney can take to protect children’s health as well as shareholders’ interests,” said Tom McCaney, Associate Director of Corporate Responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. “Like smoking itself, onscreen promotion of tobacco use to young people is a documented health hazard. We are offering AT&T and Disney a public opportunity to demonstrate genuine corporate responsibility.”  Read more

1/17/19 – – Amazon Shareholders Move to Stop Selling Facial Recognition Tech to Government Agencies

A group of Amazon shareholders are looking to force a vote at the upcoming annual meeting to prevent the company from selling its facial recognition technology to the government until the company’s board of directors has a chance to look at the societal impacts.

“Shareholders request that the Board of Directors prohibit sales of facial recognition technology to government agencies unless the Board concludes, after an evaluation using independent evidence, that the technology does not cause or contribute to actual or potential violations of civil and human rights,” five shareholder groups wrote in a resolution released publicly Thursday. The resolution was submitted by lead filer Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood and four co-filers: The Sisters of St. Francis Charitable Trust (Dubuque), Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia, Maryknoll Sisters and Azzad Asset Management. Read more

12/10/18 – Catholic – Religious investors ask energy firms to oppose EPA emission rollback plan

Nearly two dozen Catholic entities have joined other investors in urging major oil and natural gas producing companies to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rollback of standards governing greenhouse gas emissions.

In an early December letter to the energy firms, the 61 shareholders that are part of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility wrote that any rollback is risky to their investments because it would lead to “excessive methane emissions that needlessly tarnish the reputation of natural gas as clean fuel and call into question the role natural gas can play in a low-carbon future.”  Read more

10/5/18 – BNN Bloomberg – Unswayed by Nuns, Wells Fargo Hands Gunmaker New Line of Credit

(Bloomberg) — Wells Fargo & Co. is doubling down on the gun industry, undaunted by criticism of its deep ties to firearm companies and the National Rifle Association.

The San Francisco-based bank last week issued a $40 million line of credit to gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co., according to financial filings. That’s on top of the $431 million in debt that Wells Fargo has arranged for gunmakers since December 2012, when the Sandy Hook school shooting escalated the gun control debate. No other bank lent more to the industry over that time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The new debt, issued to one of the world’s largest publicly traded gunmakers, came as a big surprise to at least one group: nuns who had been talking to Wells Fargo about corporate-responsibility issues. On Sept. 26, the day before the debt agreement was issued, they had met with the bank’s business-standards employees in New York.

“This is shocking news because we are in sustained dialogue with Wells Fargo,” said Nora Nash, a sister at St. Francis of Philadelphia who was at the meeting as a member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. “This new business relationship with Sturm Ruger is in direct conflict with ethics, culture and respect for human rights throughout the company.”  Read more

10/5/18 – San Francisco Cronicle – Wells Fargo makes another big gun loan

7/6/18 – Philadelphia Inquirer – When Sister Nora talks, her voice is soft, but executives listen

Philadelphia Inquirer: From Disney to Chevron, from Hasbro to Wells Fargo, publicly traded companies in many industries have been touched by the influence of a Franciscan nun.

Sister Nora Nash, director of corporate social responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, based in Aston, is a shareholder activist who spends her days lobbying executives of some of the nation’s most powerful companies. “In working with corporate social responsibility, we have an opportunity to ask all those who have a better lifestyle to remember that it’s important to support people of all dimensions,” Nash said. “People whose lives have been impacted by poverty, by climate change, and by both inequality and inequity.”  Read more

5/28/18 – Philadelphia Business Journal – Why is Wells Fargo afraid of this nun?

Sister Nora Nash is part of a collection of disruptors shaking up the banking and finance industry in Greater Philadelphia

Whether advocating for cleaner drinking water, keeping families in their homes, improving working conditions or seeking more transparency from management, you will not find a less likely, or more effective, change agent in corporate America than Sister Nora Nash.

As director of corporate responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis, an order of about 400 Roman Catholic nuns in Delaware County, Pa., she spends much of her time coaxing conglomerates to behave in a more ethical manner. Read more

5/9/18 – NY Times – Sturm Ruger Shareholders Adopt Measure Backed by Gun Control Activists

Sturm Ruger, one of the country’s largest firearms makers, had urged shareholders for weeks to reject a proposal from a group of Roman Catholic nuns demanding more transparency from the company on whether it planned to develop safer products and monitor the ones already in circulation.

But when the votes were counted at the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday, a majority of investors sided with the nuns.

Ruger, which makes a variety of weapons, including a style of rifle often used in mass shootings, must now produce a report by February on how it tracks violence associated with its firearms, what kind of research it is conducting related to so-called smart gun technology and its assessment of the risks that gun-related crimes pose to the company’s reputation and finances. Read more

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are among the co-filers of a resolution on GUN Violence at Sturm Ruger. We received a major win with a majority vote today at the meeting in Texas.  Click here to read the resolution.

Click here for the official press release from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsiblity

4/25/18 –CNBC–Trinity Health and Other Investors Caution Smokefree Disney on Purchase of “Tobacco-Contaminated” Fox Movies

Investors have made public a letter sent to Disney CEO Robert Iger before the company’s March 2018 annual meeting in Houston pressing Disney to protect young audiences from exposure to on-screen tobacco when it acquires Fox’s large film library. Fund managers note that future marketing of these films may be affected by the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a global health treatyratified by 181 parties.

In their letter to Mr. Iger, forty-six religious and secular investors organized by Trinity Health and Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia congratulate The Disney Company for its “good faith” in honoring its own tobacco depictions policy. But they warn, “…amid the myriad details involved in a corporate acquisition of this size and complexity, Disney cannot afford to leave young people’s health and lives unprotected.”   Read more

4/25/18 –The NY Times–There’s No Smoking in Disney Films. What About When It Owns Fox?

Add cigarettes to the list of things that the family-friendly Walt Disney Company has to figure out as it prepares to integrate the sharper-edged 20th Century Fox movie and television studio. Now antismoking advocates want Mr. Iger to extend that rule to all future youth-rated films (G, PG, PG-13) made by Fox and its Fox Searchlight specialty label, which are among the assets that Disney is buying from Rupert Murdoch for $54.2 billion.   Tom McCaney, associate director of corporate social responsibility for Sisters of St. Francis, an activist order helping to lead the antismoking effort, said that Disney’s response to the letter was unsatisfactory. “Disney told us it wasn’t appropriate to discuss until the Fox deal goes through,” Mr. McCaney said. “We disagree.”  Read more

4/22/18 –Des Moines Register–Wells Fargo faces shareholders in Des Moines in wake of record $1 billion penalty

Rocked over the past two years with revelations of customer fraud and abuse, Wells Fargo has been working to restore trust — with customers, shareholders, employees and, possibly most importantly, regulators.

Last week, as federal regulators slapped Wells Fargo with a record $1 billion fine, CEO Tim Sloan told investors the bank has more work to do.

“It will take time to put all our challenges behind us,” Sloan said. “But our board and company have made significant progress.”  Nora Nash, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and part of a Wells Fargo stakeholder advisory board, said bank leaders can go a long way to re-establishing her order’s trust with a “transparent and honest report” on its reforms at Tuesday’s meeting.  Read more

Wells Fargo Call to Action!!!
3/26/18 – In Search of Corporate Values: Wells Fargo Agrees to Listen to Stakeholders

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier recently said in an interview, “There are lots of examples of companies that have lost their souls, which is a funny word to use, but companies do have souls.”

Consider the implications when leaders believe their company has a soul; how that impacts their wanting to be more vigilant against causing harm or ethical meltdowns. When leaders see their company as an organization of stakeholders that bring life to a corporate structure, it isn’t enough to just correct ethical failings. The culture also needs to be healed: a touch-and-go process when its immune system has been shut down. Read more

3/6/18 – ICCR – Wells Fargo agrees to investor demands for report detailing root causes of ethical lapses. READ
The attached letter sent to the company on January 31st adds strength and clarity to our resolution and December 14th dialogue. The company’s response to the letter will also determine what we will do about the resolution. Click here
The withdrawal letter of February 26th is in response to a letter of commitment by Wells Fargo. Click here

3/8/18 – Fed up nuns made Wells Fargo write a paper on how it failed to prevent its scandals

The Charlotte Observer –  It’s not your typical homework assignment: A group of nuns upset about the spate of scandals at Wells Fargo just got the bank to agree to write up how it failed to prevent the problems.

This week, the nuns and other Wells Fargo investors announced the bank had bowed to their demands for the report, whose findings are expected to detail the root causes of the scandals, including at the board level.

“We are encouraged that they are finally agreeing to take this first step towards what we hope will be authentic reform,” Sister Nora Nash, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, said in a statement.  Read more

Other related articles:

3/6/18 – Catholic nuns push Wells Fargo to identify ‘root causes’ of scandals

Financial Times –  Roman Catholic nuns have pushed Wells Fargo to publish a report on what caused the scandals that have rocked the US bank after they raised concerns about its ethics with Tim Sloan, chief executive. Sister Nora Nash with the Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia, who led the initiative, said on Tuesday that it had been a “little bit of a struggle” to persuade the bank to conduct the review but she was “most grateful” it had now agreed. Wells, the third-biggest US bank by assets, said on Tuesday that it would publish a standards report that would identify the “systemic cultural and ethical root causes of recent scandals”.  Read more

3/6/18 -Wells Fargo Pushed by Nuns to Report on Its Ethical Lapses –  Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to publicly report on the root causes that led to a rash of ethical lapses in recent years, a group of investors said.  The group, led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and including about 20 religious organizations as well as state officials from Rhode Island and Connecticut, said Tuesday they would withdraw a shareholder proposal on the issue following the bank’s decision. They had sought to put it to a vote at the lender’s annual meeting in April.  Read more

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have been actively working with corporations who are prominent in the gun industry. We have filed resolutions with Dick’s Sporting Goods, American Outdoor Brands and Sturm Ruger and Co. Dick’s Sporting Goods has taken a positive action and the other two resolutions await the company’s annual meetings.

Read the statement here.

3/14/18 –Water’s Promise: Making Every Drop Count

WorldBank – Today, 40% of the world’s people are affected by water scarcity.  To change the future of water, we must rethink how to understand, value and manage water as a precious resource. Join global leaders on the High Level Panel on Water to commit #iValueWater! Turn it off, turn it on, and turn it up!   More information:…

2/14/18 – Shareholder Resolutions On Opioid Risks Scheduled For Vote At Amerisource Bergen

ValueWalk–  Proposal No. 8, The Board Report Proposal, requesting a report on how the board is addressing opioid-related business risks submitted by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Trinity Health, JLens Investors Network and Missionary Oblates OIP Investment Trust. Read

01/17/18–Activists Hail SEC Ruling On Opioid “Accountability” at AmerisourceBergen Corp

ValueWalk– The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCC) on AmerisourceBergen Corp (NYSE:ABC), Opioids and a recent SEC ruling.

The staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Division of Corporation Finance in decisions dated January 11, 2018 denied efforts by pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen (ABC) to block shareholders from voting on two proposals.  The first proposal asks for greater transparency on measures the company has adopted to manage financial and reputational risks associated with the U.S. opioid epidemic. The second proposal asks for annual disclosure of whether the board clawbacked or recouped incentive compensation from any senior executive due to misconduct.  Read more.

11/17/17 – Investors to Congress: Bipartisan Dream Act is Both a Business and Moral Imperative

ICCR – A group of 112 institutional investors representing hundreds of billions of dollars in assets and led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)–including the Sisters of St. Francis–announced that they have sent a letter to Congress requesting immediate action on the Dream Act of 2017 (H.R. 3440, S.1615), a “clean”, bi-partisan bill unfettered by other amendments, that protects the immigration status of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  Read More

10/25/17 – Corporate Secretary:  Nuns battle online-only AGMs

Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia file resolutions with ConocoPhillips and Comcast

The Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia, known for their work with the poor and elderly and giving a voice to those who usually go unheard, are taking their work to Wall Street by campaigning against online-only shareholder meetings.

The order of more than 400 Catholic nuns have filed resolutions with ConocoPhillips, the oil group, and Comcast, the telecoms company, over their decisions to abandon physical AGMs for shareholders, Corporate Secretary sister publication IR Magazine reports.

The nuns want businesses to reintroduce face-to-face meetings with direct access to boards alongside virtual events.

The ConocoPhillips resolution has been co-filed by the Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust, which oversees the retirement income of pastors and members of the Brethren community, and the Needmor Fund, a social justice organization.  Read more

10/20/17: Financial Times – Nuns tell companies to get real over virtual AGMs

US religious order joins good fight against trend towards online-only annual meetings.  Read here

9/21/17 – URGENT: There’s a new Obamacare repeal bill in the senate. (Yes, AGAIN!) Call your senators at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to save our healthcare.

The Senate-Cassidy Graham Bill

There would be NO guarantee of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Each state that accepts federal block grant funding could waive the ACA’s rules for covering the 10 essential health benefits and other consumer protections. Insurers could take health status into account and raise rates for people with pre-existing conditions. (Note: Pennsylvania already has not been able to pay Medicare $1.2 billion.)

This Jimmy Kimmel YouTube video gives clarity to what is happening:

Call your senators today!

8/30/17 -Stop depicting tobacco in youth-rated films

This is a pretty big deal: major public health organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have sent a letter to the major studios demanding that they stop depicting tobacco in youth-rate films by June 1, 2018. We’re not signers on this letter, but we have worked and continue to work with all the studios on this issue. We’re not signers but we work with all the studios.  Click here to read the letter.
Click here for the press information from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

8/15/17 -Letter to Merck CEO Ken Frazier

Attached is a sign-on letter to Merck CEO Ken Frazier congratulating him on demonstrating that principles matter by resigning from the White House’s business development council after trump’s tepid response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The Sisters of St. Francis were not only a sign-on, but the letter was authored by the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, of which we are members.  Read more

7/10/17 – Public Hearing: Oil and Gas New Source Performance Standards.

On Monday, July 10, 2017, Sister Nora M. Nash, OSF along with five other members (Pictured from left to right: Joy Bergey, Chestnut Hill United; Rabbi Daniel Schwartz; Rev. Alison Cornish; Nora Nash, OSF; Rev. Doug Hunt; Mary Elizabeth Clark, SSJ of PA Interfaith Power & Light) traveled to the Washington, DC headquarters of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). They were there for the hearing on the proposed two-year stay of certain aspects of the Oil and Gas New Source Performance Standards, and the accompanying proposed three-month stay. Each registrant was given five minutes to speak.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have been working with oil and gas companies for over 10 years to further reduce the impacts of the industry on the environment, on health and community rights. The future increases in methane will create a significant impact on all aspects of life.

The attached statement was read by Sister Nora and for the record two copies were left with the EPA.

6/23/17 -Dollar Tree says it’s protecting consumers from toxic chemicals. Group wants proof. -A group of consumer advocates and a Catholic nun well known for encouraging corporations to behave want the Chesapeake-based retailer to prove it, especially as it relates to keeping harmful phthalate chemicals – often used to make plastics soft – lead, BPAs and other toxic materials out of children’s toys and products.  “We’re not getting any data that tells us they’re doing any work,” said Sister Nora Nash with the Sisters of St. Francis in Philadelphia.  Read more.

6/12/17 –  Pipeline Awareness Forum:  Protect Penn-Delco presents a pipeline awareness forum.  Join them for a panel presentation with speakers including state representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky, as well as representatives from Sierra Club and Middletown Coalition for Community Safety.    Thursday, June 15, 2017; 6 P.M.; Northley Middle School, 2801 Concord Road, Aston, PA 19014;  Click here for more information.

5/31/17 – ExxonMobil shareholders vote ‘yes’ on climate-change analysis, including Vanguard:

When ExxonMobil Corp. shareholders voted for a historic climate-change resolution Wednesday, mutual-fund giant Vanguard and small investors such as Sister Nora Nash were among them.

ExxonMobil’s board recommended voting against the resolution, proposed by Sister Nora and  like-minded faith-based investors. Yet it passed, with 62 percent of shareholders voting “yes” on the call for a “2-degree scenario” analysis, which, as 195 countries have agreed to under the 2016 Paris Agreement, seeks to prevent the Earth from heating up by more than 2 degrees Celsius since the start of the industrial age. (So far, it’s up about 1.1 degrees Celsius.) Read more

6/1/ 17 – – Vanguard, Philly Nun Press ExxonMobil to Adopt New Climate Change Practice Read more

4/27/17 – Sr. Nora Nash shares what happened inside the AGM with Wells Fargo.  Read more

4/24/17 – BankThink Wells Fargo Investors Should Apply Pressure to Repair the Damage

We will be in Jacksonville, Fla., at the Wells Fargo annual meeting on Tuesday to present our resolution to fellow shareholders requesting a “Review and Report on the Business Standards,” including a full accounting of the systemic failures that allowed the bank’s unethical practices to flourish.

While many shareholders are by now largely immune to the transgressions of the U.S. banking sector, Wells Fargo’s recent phony account scandal has given even the most hardened cynics pause, likely due to the incredible breadth of the bank’s fraud. But it is important to note the historical context here as Wells Fargo has repeatedly had to settle with federal regulators over how it has treated customers. This indicates to us a more persistent and systemic problem with the company’s culture.  Read more

3/28/17 – The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are the lead filer with 16 other investors plus several dozen investors are calling on Wells Fargo Bank to do a review and report on the scandal enveloping the Bank and steps to put new checks and balances in place.

As part of a long-term dialogue with the company, and in the context of the fraudulent cross-selling scandal, the resolution asks the Board of Directors of Wells Fargo Company for enhanced disclosure on the steps taken to improve culture, ethics, reputation, aligning incentives with customers’ best interests, risk management, governance and control processes in order to rebuild trust and give assurance to shareholders that risks contributing to the present scandal are now well understood and will be properly managed to prevent future crises. Read more

03/16/17 – The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are disappointed that the Wells Fargo Board recommended a vote against our resolution requesting a Business Standards Review. ICCR Investors are seeking extensive information that will set the course for real systemic change in culture, ethics, values, and financial sustainability. Wells Fargo has already begun to address the issues that the proposal delineated and the company response is in agreement with our proposal in other than the actual vote itself. We believe that we will get a strong YES vote from shareholders. As faith-based investors, we will continue to hold the company accountable and responsible to customers, employees, and communities. We will continue to press for on-going risk assessments, monitoring, and further disclosure of unethical practices.

NY Times: Wells Fargo Leaders Reaped Lavish Pay Even as Account Scandal Unfolded Read more

The L.A. Times published a good article about it: Read more  Read more

Pensions and Investments: Read more

12/29/16 – Wells Fargo Locks Horns With Some Shareholders Over Proxy Proposals:  Read more

12/10/16 – Update on Resolution- Where Wells Fargo Goes From Here – Business Ethics Read more.

10/10/16– Shareholders Challenge Wells Fargo.   Read more

Article:  Religious investors lose faith in Wells Fargo after scandal | Reuters 

Article:  Religious activist investors push Wells Fargo over fake accounts scandal – Philadelphia Business Journal

Transparency Requirements on Trafficking

The members of ICCR are hopeful that a new bill on trafficking will get increased support in the new congress. We believe there is a greater chance of moving the bill forward if a Senate Republican is a lead sponsor. Thus, this letter to Senator Rob Portman, Republican senator of Ohio. As cosigners, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are showing our support for transparency requirements on trafficking and slavery in global supply chains. Read more