Submitted by: Calvert
Categories: Socially Responsible Investing
Posted: Oct 04, 2007 – 03:30 PM EST
Oct. 04 /CSRwire/ - BETHESDA, MD. - October 4, 2007 - In testimony delivered today before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Bennett Freeman, Calvert's senior vice president Social Research and Policy, said that "Targeted divestment is a well-crafted, well-timed tool that combines economic with political pressure. At the same time, it enables citizens and governments at all levels, together with corporations and their investors, to make a vital difference. Moreover, it is the right of investors to insure that their investments do not support genocide and do support peace and security in Sudan. Investment decisions matter, and what matters most now is bringing the conflict and abuses to an end by using all the tools at our disposal to save the people of Darfur."
In his comments, Freeman said: "At the beginning of 2007, Calvert formed a partnership with the Sudan Divestment Task Force (SDTF) and the Save Darfur Coalition (SDC). Calvert is lending analytical and advocacy support to these two groups. Calvert fully supports the approach of the Task Force and the Coalition to engage with companies where possible, and divest only when necessary. Targeted divestment focuses on a narrow group of companies, mostly in the oil and infrastructure sectors, that contribute disproportionately to the government of Sudan's revenue base and in turn help facilitate its actions in Darfur.
Freeman said: "Calvert has always operated on the principle that investment can be a positive force in the world. Application of Calvert’s human rights and Indigenous Peoples' Rights criteria ensure that our socially responsible mutual funds have no investments in companies that contribute materially to maintaining the Sudanese government in power. Calvert has sharpened its focus on Sudan as the crisis in Darfur continued and as the Sudanese government resisted deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force. As a SRI firm with a long history of shareholder advocacy and a strong commitment to human rights, we wanted to make an even more tangible contribution."
He added: "Our involvement in the campaign to end apartheid in South Africa made us familiar with the positive impact that divestment can make. The Calvert Social Investment Fund was the first U.S.-based mutual fund to prohibit investment in companies operating in apartheid South Africa. In the last two years, we have been struck by the growing and potential further impact of the Sudan divestment movement, the most significant to have emerged since that directed at apartheid. Calvert resolved to make the most appropriate contribution we could--above and beyond ensuring that our own funds do not invest in companies materially involved in Sudan--by offering support consistent with our mission and capabilities."
To read Bennett Freeman's full testimony delivered today before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, click on the link: http://www.calvert.com/pdf/Testimony_Darfur_20071003.pdf.
Calvert is one of the nation's largest socially responsible mutual fund firms with $15 billion in assets under management. Calvert offers forty-one funds that allow individual and institutional investors to pursue a broad range of investment objectives within a single fund family. Calvert launched the Calvert Social Index®, a benchmark for measuring the performance of large, U.S.-based socially responsible companies. In addition to its equity funds, Calvert has an extensive lineup of tax-free and taxable fixed income investments. For more information on Calvert, click on www.calvert.com.
For more information on any Calvert mutual fund, please call Calvert at 800.818.8397 for a free prospectus. An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of an investment carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.
Calvert mutual funds are underwritten and distributed by Calvert Distributors Inc., member FINRA, a subsidiary of Calvert Group, Ltd., a UNIFI Company. (#7397, 10/07)