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2012 Social Impact
2012 Social Impact
Download our 2012 Social Impact Updates (PDF Format).
As a shareholder in the Domini Funds, you make a difference in the world. Listed below are just a few of the ways that you made a difference in 2012. Read our quarterly Social Impact Updates for more information.
Confronting Coal Financing: In 2010, PNC Financial Services adopted a policy prohibiting the direct financing of mountaintop removal coal mining. Nonetheless, like many mainstream banks, PNC continues to service coal-mining clients. This year, we joined other investors in filing a proposal asking the bank to address the climate impact of its financial services, including its lending to coal companies. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with PNC.
Sustainable Forestry Engagements:Before we can begin to address the problem of global deforestation, we need quality information. This year, in response to engagement by Domini, Lowe’s, the home improvement company,published a detailed report outlining its efforts to purchase sustainably harvested wood and reduce its impact on threatened forests. RR Donnelley, a global printing company, also agreed to talk to us about our concerns regarding its paper sourcing policies and has taken several important steps to address its exposure to illegal deforestation.
Addressing the Impacts of Payday Lending: A number of large banks have begun offering “payday lending” services, in which they provide the working poor with advances on their paychecks, generally at exorbitant fees that can trap the borrowers in cycles of debt. This year, working closely with the Center for Responsible Lending, we filed a proposal with US Bancorp, asking the bank to address concerns regarding its “checking account advance” program, a payday lending service. Our proposal prompted an informative dialogue with bank executives, culminating in an agreement to withdraw our proposal in exchange for continuing discussions and the bank’s commitment to publicly address how it is mitigating the potential risks of its service.
Taking a Stand against Bribery and Corruption: Since 1977, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has placed the U.S. at the forefront of the fight against bribery and corruption around the world. Recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a powerful business lobbying group, proposed certain “clarifications” to the FCPA that many believe will weaken our government’s enforcement efforts. In response, we met with senior officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice – the two agencies with joint authority over the FCPA – to express our strong support for the Act and our concerns about any efforts to weaken it. We then worked with other investors to draft a statement explaining in detail why strong enforcement is in the best long-term interests of investors, corporations and society. In mid-August we submitted the final statement to the SEC and DOJ, on behalf of more than fifty institutional investors managing more than $3 trillion, in addition to several large investor networks.
The Domini Funds are subject to market risks and are not insured. You may lose money. This information is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be considered investment advice with respect to any of the holdings listed. The Funds’ portfolios are subject to change.