Sent: 09 April 2018 18:03
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; Peter Challen
Cc: John Arnold; Alison Prout
Subject: ECCR MEMBERSHIP 2017-2018
I am writing to thank you for your support over the past year and to introduce myself. I have recently joined ECCR as Membership and Communications Manager and am looking forward to speaking to you soon. In the meantime, I would like to update you on ECCR’s activities and achievements in 2017 and give you more details on our plans for 2018.
Our Ethical Money Churches (EMC) project has been thriving in the South West where we are now working with 33 churches. We are expanding EMC in the West Midlands and have appointed a Development Manager. We have just launched an EMC pilot in Scotland with the Church of Scotland and are looking into ways to extend the EMC project to London. The EMC programme helps church members think through the implications of their faith for their own finances and their church’s finances. People learn about engagement with companies they are invested in, consider ideas for better use of church resources, take an interest in issues of concern about governance and stewardship in companies around them. We have been very encouraged by the work of a couple of EMC churches on people trafficking in a local old people’s home and a vegetable packing operation – spin-offs not envisaged when the original courses were being written!
Our concern for corporate governance continues. In 2017 we made a submission on the Corporate Governance Green Paper. In our submission to the government, we called for company boards and fund managers to adopt a culture of integrity and stewardship designed to enhance the trust of all stakeholders in the company’s activities. Our submission and response to the subsequent white paper are available on our website. We have started 2018 by participating in St Paul’s Institute’s ‘Fair Work, Fair Pay’ initiative by contributing to a discussion paper and participating in a roundtable event on executive pay. We will share the results of this initiative once published. We are in touch with a number of fund managers who support our work. It is very encouraging to see the much greater interest in governance issues being taken by all fund managers, particularly our members. This is a scene that has changed dramatically in recent years with fund managers being much more prepared to be pro-active on issues of curtailing executive pay, monitoring carbon footprints, asking questions about plastic usage etc.
Intergenerational Justice emerged as a concern for ECCR last year. We held a joint event with Just Share to launch our Intergenerational Justice report at St Mary-le-Bow, London, during Good Money Week. This interest has resulted in us taking a leading role in the Investors Alliance on Plastic Waste, as mentioned in our recent newsletter. Discussions are proceeding about other issues that arise from this concern. We are looking at a joint project with a business school to establish what best current practice in corporate planning may be on this issue.
ECCR sponsored and participated in a gathering of churches to discuss the future of church engagement with tax justice. We will be involved in the launch and subsequent activities of the new body, Church Action on Tax, at the House of Lords in April.
In Good Money Week ECCR joined up with the Church of Scotland, Christian Aid Scotland, Oikocredit UK and Ireland and Eco-Congregation Scotland on “What have faith and money got to do with climate change?”. It explored the key issues around how we can invest our money ethically in order to have a positive impact on the climate.
Last year we launched our partnership project with USPG on mining in the Philippines. This work addresses the concerns of Filipino church communities over the detrimental impacts of the local extractives industry. We are pleased to be using our particular skills, connections and influence to advocate on behalf of these communities and look forward to making a real impact.
Throughout 2017 we continued to work with Father Kevin of our partner, Stakeholders Alliance for Corporate Accountability, to raise awareness of the issues with Shell in Nigeria. We also wrote to Shell challenging them on whether it is true that Nigeria has been short changed by over $13.29 billion over a nine year period and questioning whether Shell’s Board of Directors has commissioned an independent investigation of the company’s involvement in this deal. We have followed up this year with a further letter as Shell and Eni face prosecution in Italy (with other countries considering legal action) for their involvement in Nigerian corruption.
We have started 2018 with a clear vision of growth for ECCR which our Chair, Christopher Stockwell, has outlined on our website here. If you would like to know more please do get in touch and I would be pleased to share our longer strategy document with you and discuss it further. We are very clear about the task that needs to be done, but constrained by funding. Any help you can give towards closing the funding gap would be much appreciated. Let us know of any trust, church or individual you think might be interested in having more information.
I hope you have been receiving the ECCR monthly newsletter. We have freshened it up a bit and would love to include your events, news or articles in it. Please do get in touch if you have something you would like to share. Follow us on Twitter – @eccr1.
ECCR is a membership body and we want to serve and promote our members interests in corporate responsibility as much as possible. I will be in touch to talk more about how ECCR can support Christian Council for Monetary Justice but if you have any thoughts in the meantime, please let me know. Inevitably membership organisations require funding. We do receive grant funding and are pursuing more but your membership subscription is vital to us as an organisation. Christian Council for Monetary Justice’s membership subscription for the 2017-18 Financial year is due so an invoice is attached to this letter.
I look forward to supporting you in 2018 and beyond.
Best wishes, Alison Prout
Membership and Communications Manager, ECCR
Alison Prout • Tel: 07790 002024