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CR May-June 2013

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Upside NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WORK The larger economies landed further down the list. Japan was transparency and accountability in an attempt to stem the flow of ranked 12 and the United Kingdom 25. The United States these minerals, which represent an important revenue stream for ranked 27. many armed factions in the Congo. The statement also expressed How Important Is CSR? The findings from the latest Duke University's and CFO Magazine's Global Business Outlook Survey reveal that businesses in the United States lag behind international firms in their opinions of the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. Just under half of U.S. CFOs surveyed rated CSR and sustainability as moderately or very important to their companies. Compare that to 63 percent in Europe, 67 percent in Asia, 76 percent in Latin America, and 83 percent in Africa. disapproval of a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Business Roundtable. The investors view the rule as an important safeguard for investors through improved public disclosure and reporting on social risk factors such as abusive labor practices and human rights impacts. The group, which submitted a number of recommendations during the SEC's rule-making process that were ultimately included in the final rule, will continue to support the SEC's disclosure requirement against any current or future lawsuits. The survey also asked CFOs why their businesses value CSR. Twothirds of American companies that rated CSR as a key business concern did so because "it's the right thing to do." That was followed by improving external image and brand at 61 percent, improving employee morale (49 percent), and as a response to legal or regulatory requirements (28 percent) as the reasons for emphasizing CSR. The other significant finding from the survey was that CFO optimism about the U.S. economy is above the long-run average for just the second time since 2007. The U.S. Business Optimism Index rose from last quarter's 55 to 61 (on a scale of 0 to 100). That number is also above the index's long-run average of 59. In spite of this rebound in U.S. optimism, the number still falls below Latin America, where the survey reported a value of 66, down from last quarter's 69. Asian optimism was next highest (62), followed by Attack on Fracking Shareholders at ExxonMobil's annual meeting have sent a powerful message that they want the oil and gas giant to release extensive data on the safety and environmental effects of its hydraulic fracturing, or fracking operations. The desire for these disclosures was made clear by the 30.2 percent preliminary vote in favor of the first-time resolution. Sponsored by the New York City Pension Funds and As You Sow, a nonprofit that promotes corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy and coalition building, the resolution calls on Exxon to disclose extensive information and data about the controversial fracking procedure, which is used to extract oil and gas from underground shale formations. Concerns over the Africa (56), and Europe (53). environmental and health risks of fracking have prompted calls for No Conflict Over Conflict Minerals include toxic chemical leaks, spills, and explosions that could pose In a recently released statement, 56 sustainable and socially responsible investment groups voiced their support for Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Also known as the Conflict Minerals rule, Section 1502 will require companies to send reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission detailing their use of conflict minerals from the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The conflict minerals include tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, often found in electronic components, jewelry, and automobiles. bans and moratoria both in the U.S. and abroad. These concerns serious health and safety risks for communities near fracking sites, as well as the contamination of drinking water sources both near drilling sites and at locations much farther away. The resolution appeals to Exxon to provide annual data on the company's reductions in fracking air emissions per region, the number and type of community complaints or grievances the company receives, and whether those complaints are resolved or still pending. It also calls on the company to disclose its goals for reductions in the use of harmful chemicals in fracturing fluids, how it intends to reach those goals, and what Exxon has done to The investors, who collectively manage $458.67 billion in assets, reduce its water use and protect groundwater from chemicals used released their statement one year before U.S. companies will in the fracking process. These calls for quantitative measurements be required to submit their first conflict minerals reports to of fracking's impacts are in line with 2011 Department of Energy the SEC. Their announcement commended the SEC for issuing recommendations that companies disclose data about the a rule that will be practical to implement while still promoting consequences of shale gas production processes. MAY/JUNE 2013 | [7]

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