New strategies for collective action, a few early wins and new ways to greet old friends and colleagues (elbow and feet bumps): all part of ICCR's 2020 March conference!
ICCR members gathered March 2-6 for a weeklong conference in NYC to network with fellow investors, take some deep dives on key ESG issues and develop new strategies to improve our collective impact through shareholder engagement. Over the course of five days and over 20 sessions, we heard from fellow members, subject matter experts and NGO allies about their work on a range of topics and connected with fellow members on issues of common concern.
A sample of sessions include:
Antimicrobial Resistance: We heard from Dr. Michael Hanson of Consumer Reports, Dr. Anthony So of IDEA Johns Hopkins, and Fatema Rafiqui of the AtM Foundation about the risks of antibiotic use across the environment, people and animals, and the resulting public health crisis of human antimicrobial resistance.
Gun Safety: Sandy and Lonnie Phillips of Survivors Empowered, Adam Skaggs of the Giffords Law Center and Igor Volsky of Guns Down America shared their organizations' current campaigns and future strategies to curb the epidemic of gun violence.
Worker Driven Social Responsibility in Action: Worker-Driven Social Responsibility (WSR) is a new paradigm for ensuring the human rights of workers in global supply chains, founded on the understanding that in order to achieve meaningful and lasting improvements, human rights standards in corporate supply chains must be worker-driven and based in legal agreements with corporations, making WSR standards binding and enforceable.
Child Sexual Exploitation Online: Incidents of Child Sexual Exploitation Online (CSEO) have skyrocketed in recent years, with abuse material increasing by 10,000% since 2004. Social media, telecom, online gaming and Internet service companies have some responses, but they have been inadequate to staunch the tidal wave of law enforcement cases and child victims online. Signy Arnason, Associate Executive Director of the Canadian Centre For Child Protection and Stephen Blight, Senior Advisor, Child Protection at UNICEF were on hand to educate us about these abuses and learn what corporations can do to prevent them.
During the week, other sessions explored members’ work on issues including ethnic cleansing in China; racial justice investing; investor advocacy on corporate lobbying and political spending; a deep dive on ways investors can help secure the right to a healthy environment; and strategies for promoting a just transition in the energy sector as we face the climate crisis. We also had an update on the projected impact of the SEC's proposed changes to rule 14a(8) which governs investor access to the proxy.
The week was a good way for us all to re-connect with the rest of the ICCR community both in formal sessions and during informal networking opportunities and to remember the power that comes from leveraging our collective wisdom, experience and energy to help solve some of the world’s most intractable environmental and social problems.