As part of our corporate memberships and legislative work, FSPA is a member of Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. ICCR works with religious congregations in the United States to facilitate systemic change via proxy voting. Issues of interest include ecological concerns (such as water sustainability and the effect of genetically modified organisms), as well as wage discrepancy concerns and sex trafficking in the hotel industry.
These and other legislative actions are facilitated through the assistance of Michael Crosby, Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, who works with ICCR and the Midwestern congregations to bring about legislative change.
Monsanto: change has been accomplished due to proxy voting. Monsanto has taken necessary measures to reduce its impact on water quality in developing countries, continues to address these issues and has issued a sustainability pledge.
Panera Bread Company: shareholders, including FSPA as filer, requested that Panera Bread adopt, implement and monitor a comprehensive sustainable palm oil sourcing policy. As a result, Panera has become one of the first restaurant chains to promise to use only responsibly and sustainably sourced palm oil. Sister Sue Ernster, FSPA, responded, “As a community of Catholic women, we are concerned about the least of our brothers and sisters and the integrity of creation. When it is not sourced sustainably, [the] palm oil [industry] is known to have devastating impacts, including deforestation and forced child labor. We are gratified to see that through our engagement, management is formally recognizing the importance of sourcing sustainable palm oil."