Investors say the BRT’s vision of “an economy that serves all Americans” is well-served by the strong climate, health and labor features of the plan and should be strongly supported by the business community.
NEW YORK, NY, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27TH – A group of 67 institutional investors engaging their portfolio companies on ESG risks announced they had sent a letter to the CEO members of the Business Roundtable asking them to support the Build Back Better (BBB) reconciliation package currently pending in Congress.
The investors say passage of this critical legislation, along with the bipartisan infrastructure bill, will facilitate critical investments seeking to address long-standing systemic risks that are fueling the climate crisis, exacerbating economic and racial inequities, and inhibiting prosperity for many Americans.
Invoking language from the BRT’s 2019 Statement of the Purpose of the Corporation which called for “an economy that serves all Americans” the letter asked the member companies to live into their statement of purpose, and to demonstrate their commitment to turn its ideals into principled action.
Investors have long made the business case for many critical programs and policies included in the BBB reconciliation package, including:
- Climate action that will rein in lethal GHG pollution and speed the transition to a clean energy economy while supporting workers and communities;
- Programs that safeguard and promote the human right to health and the equitable access and affordability of health care services, and;
- Policies and programs that invest in America’s workers, particularly those that address workplace safety, and workplace gender and race inequities.
“As we speak, corporate interests are lobbying intensively to remove key provisions from the Build Back Better package such as the Clean Electricity Performance Program which would reward utility companies for getting energy from renewable sources,” said Rob Fohr of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). “As investors, we welcome all provisions in the BBB reconciliation package designed to reduce fossil fuel dependency and carbon emissions because they present serious systemic risks to the economy. We urge BRT companies to stand strongly in favor of the climate opportunities presented in the BBB plan.”
“We know the BRT and hundreds of businesses have publicly supported a federal paid leave policy as a way to ensure workers, especially women, who need to care for a child or a sick relative can do so without being penalized professionally,” said Marcela Pinilla. “The BRT is strongly positioned to make the business case for a national paid leave policy as a foundational component of an equitable and inclusive workplace.”
The letter also cited the responsibility of the business community to help underwrite the BBB plan by paying its fair share of taxes given how business directly benefits from our nation’s vital infrastructure and countless other government-funded programs. And the investors further cautioned the companies against lobbying or political activities seeking to undermine the bill’s passage.
“Companies generally agree with the provisions of the Build Back Better plan and know that they will benefit from the enhanced social safety net and climate action,” said Frank Sherman of Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investment. “We may differ on how to pay for it, but we cannot afford not to act. This is not in business' best interest and it's not in the interest of their shareholders.”
About the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)
Celebrating its 50th year, ICCR is the pioneer coalition of shareholder advocates who view the management of their investments as a catalyst for social change. Its 300-member organizations comprise faith communities, socially responsible asset managers, unions, pensions, NGOs and other socially responsible investors with combined assets of over $4 trillion. ICCR members engage hundreds of corporations annually in an effort to foster greater corporate accountability. Visit our website www.iccr.org and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.