Recently, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recognized racism as a threat to public health.12 It is important to note that the pledge by the AMA to combat this issue is rooted in recognizing race as a social construct, not a biological one. This highlights the commitment to addressing systemic racism and inequality in the health sector, and investors recognize that companies also need to consider the ways in which their policies and business models can inadvertently perpetuate racial inequities in communities of color.
Therefore, in November 2020, under the leadership of ICCR, a group of investors led by Trinity Health, Boston Common Asset Management, Common Spirit Health, Mercy Investment Service, Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia, Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition, Socially Responsible Investment Coalition, and Investors Advocates for Social Justice sent out letters to 21 companies: 11 food and beverage companies, 5 restaurant brands, and 5 retailers. The companies included: Campbell’s Soup Company, Coca-Cola, Conagra, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Kraft Heinz, Mondelēz, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever, Dine Brands, McDonald’s, Restaurant Brands International (RBI), Wendy’s, Yum! Brands, Amazon, Costco, Dollar Tree, Kroger, and Target.
The following statement provides an update of how each of the 21 companies have responded to our campaign.