Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Part XXIII: Developing a Coherent Transnational Jurisprudence of Ethical Investing: The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund Ethics Council Model

This Blog Essay site devotes every February to a series of integrated but short essays on a single theme.  The Ruminations Series in 2009 produced a series of aphoristic (ἀφορισμός) essays, meant to provoke thought rather than explain it. The hope was that, built up on each other, the series would provide a matrix of thoughts that together might lead the reader in new directions. Ruminations continue to be produced form time to time.  For 2010, this site introduced a new series--Business and Human Rights.  The series took as its starting point the issues and questions raised by John Ruggie, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on business and human rights, in a global online forum
For 2011, this site introduces a new series of integrated essays--Developing a Coherent Transnational Jurisprudence of Ethical Investing: The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund Ethics Council Model.  The object of this series to to consider the work of the Ethics Council of the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund.  The thesis of this series is this:  The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSWF ) investment program is grounded in the application of a set of Ethical Guidelines adopted by the Storting (the Norwegian Legislature) and enforced through an Ethics Council charged with determining whether a company should be excluded from investment by the NSWF.  The work of the Ethics Council has produced the beginnings of a coherent jurisprudence of ethics for corporate investment.  That jurisprudence may contribute significantly both to the development of transnational social norm standards and  affect the way domestic corporate law is understood. This is Part XXIII of the series.

From The Oil Drum, July 9, 2010.

Part XXIII: Ethics and a Jurisprudence of Responsible Investment:  The Statistics--Part IV
Some of the most interesting issues of the Ethics Council's work relates to its exclusion actions.  I have included a final set of additional data in chart form below.

 Company responses by year, type of exclusion

Elected not to respond: 2005/Custer Munitions (Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Alliant, Thales) 2006/Cluster                                                       Munitions (Poongsan), 2007/Cluster Munitions (Rheinmetall), 2005/Nuclear Weapons (Finmeccanica, Safran, Boeing, United Technologies, Honeywell), 2007/Nuclear Weapons (GenCorp), 2007/Environmental Damage (Vedanta Resources)

Letter affirming violation: 2005/Cluster Munitions (General Dynamics, L3, EADS), 2007/Cluster Munitions    (Hanwha), 2005/Nuclear Weapons (Northrop Grumman), 2007/Nuclear Weapons (Serco), 2008/Burma (Dongfeng), 2007/Corruption (Siemens)

Letter denying atrocities: 2009/Environmental Damage (Barrick), 2006/Environmental Damages (Freeport), 2008/Environmental Damage (Rio Tinto)

Not directly answered/averted: 2002/Landmines (Singapore Tech.), 2006/Human Rights (Monsanto), 2009/Environmental Damage (Norilsk Nickel), 2009/Other (Elbit)

Testimony: 2008/Other (Israel Electric Corp.), 2006/Human Rights (Monsanto)

Not stated/Never asked: 2005/Human Rights (Wal-Mart & Wal-Mart de Mexico), 2006/Environmental Damage (DRD Gold), 2006/Other (Kerr-McGee)

Declined comment: 2005/Nuclear Weapons (BAE Systems), 2010/Environmental Damage (Samling)

Previously excluded: 2005/Nuclear Weapons (EADS

This is to look at the tendency that under certain types of accusations for exclusion, companies will be reluctant to respond to requests from the Council, more open to responding to the Council, or will not directly speak the questions asked from the Council. Further it examines whether the recommendation for exclusion mentions that the Council talked to the company in question or not.

 Chart of NGO and type of exclusion

Land Mines: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (Singapore Tech.)

Cluster Munitions: Human Rights Watch (General Dynamics, L3, Raytheon, Lockheed, Alliant, EADS, Thales), Norwegian People’s Aid (General Dynamics, L3, Raytheon, Lockheed, Alliant, EADS, Thales), International Campaign to Ban Landmines (General Dynamics, L3, Raytheon, Lockheed, Alliant, EADS, Thales), Ethical Investment Research Service (General Dynamics, L3, Raytheon, Lockheed, Alliant, EADS, Thales), Jane’s Information Group(General Dynamics, L3, Raytheon, Lockheed, Alliant, EADS, Thales).

Nuclear Weapons: Federation of American Scientists (BAE, Boeing, Finmeccanica, Honeywell, Northrop, United Tech., Safron), Jane’s Information Group (BAE, Boeing, Finmeccanica, Honeywell, Northrop, United Tech., Safron)

Burma: None

Tobacco: None

Human Rights: National Labor Committee (Wal-Mart & Wal-Mart de Mexico), International Textile Garment & Leather Federation (Wal-Mart & Wal-Mart de Mexico), International Labor Rights Forum (Wal-Mart & Wal-Mart de Mexico), SwedWatch  (Wal-Mart & Wal-Mart de Mexico), Free Trade Centre  (Wal-Mart & Wal-Mart de Mexico), Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee  (Wal-Mart & Wal-Mart de Mexico), Wal-Mart Litigation Project (Wal-Mart & Wal-Mart de Mexico), Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (Wal-Mart & Wal-Mart de Mexico), (Monsanto), Global March Against Child Labor (Monsanto), Physicians for Human Rights Child Rights Group (Monsanto), India Committee of The Netherlands (Monsanto), Anti-Slavery (Monsanto)

Corruption: Transparency International (Siemens)

Environmental Damage: WALHI (Freeport), Jatam (Freeport), Global Witness (Freeport), Mineral Policy Institute (Freeport, DRD Gold, Barrick), International Crises Group (Freeport), International Institute for Environment and Development (Freeport, Rio Tinto), Carnegie Council (Freeport), Amnesty International USA (Freeport), Friends of Earth (Freeport), Oxfam Australia (DRD Gold, Barrick), Environmental Watch Inc. (DRD Gold), Center Environmental Research and Development (DRD Gold), Citizen’s Constitutional Forum (DRD Gold), Indian’s People Tribunal (Vedanta), India Resource Center (Vedanta), India Committee of The Netherlands (Vedanta),  Social Watch (Vedanta), MAC: Mines and Communities (Vedanta), National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Vedanta), The Indian People’s Tribunal on Environment and Human Rights (Vedanta), SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors (Vedanta), Mines, Mineral, & People (Vedanta), “Local NGO’s” (Barrick), The Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization (Barrick), Observatorio Latino de Conflictos Ambientales (Barrick), Australia and New Zealand and Conservation Council (Barrick), Blacksmith Insititute (Barrick), Bellona Foundation (Barrick), EarthSight Investigations (Samling), (Samling), Swiss Foundation for Development and International Cooperation (Samling),

Other: Norwegian People’s Aid (Israel Electric Corp.), International Committee of the Red Cross (Africa Israel Investments)

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