The ACCR was formed by concerned investors like you.
Have you ever felt powerless when you read about companies in which you have shares doing terrible things to your fellow human beings or even to the planet? You mutter to yourself… ‘and they are doing these things in my name!’ And then you shrug your shoulders… ‘what can I do about it with my small number of shares?’ and you try not to think about it too much.
Well the ACCR is offering a way of using the power of those proxy votes you throw in the bin. You know… the ones that fall out of the envelope when the AGM invitations come around! Through our work we hope to help you learn how you can join with others who have shares in the same organisation. When you feel strongly about something, we will help you get together with like-minded shareholders to make your voice heard.
We have been impressed by the way shareholders in other countries, particularly in the US, the UK and Northern Europe, have had a say in what their companies actually do. When they feel strongly about the behaviour of the companies they own – say, about the production of products which are dangerous to human health, or even the use of child slaves in a production process, they don’t turn a blind eye. They make an issue of it.
Every year overseas, hundreds of statements and resolutions are placed before corporate AGMs. These thoughtful shareholders can include churches, foundations, environment groups, concerned individuals and even some governments. Generally they collaborate. For over forty years in the US, the Interfaith Centre on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) has facilitated this sort of collaboration with impressive results.
Oddly, prior to the advent of the ACCR, this activity was almost unknown in Australia and New Zealand. Sometimes it has happened behind closed doors but mostly it hasn't happened at all. (The Council for Socially Responsible Investment (CSRI) in New Zealand did successfully press for changes to some government investment practices, but it hasn’t engaged with companies.)
The ACCR was established to give shareholders and stakeholders a sense of their unique role in the shaping of their national and planetary futures.
Here are links to some similar international organizations:
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility