CoNGO Committee on Sustainable Development, NY
Environmental, social and economic development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Date: 13 Oct. 2011 at 1:15
Venue:Hardin Room of the Church Center
Chairs: Iryna Kurowyckyj & Ann Braudis
Secretary: Madeline Labriola
Ann Braudis Iryna Kurowyckyj
Jerry Price Gerard Farias
Alice Benzecry Pat Scharlin
Brad Jenkins Joe Laureni
Kevin Cawley Frans Verhagen
Anita Wenden Joe Foley
Nicole Kurszko Jean Stoner
Susanna Seibert Paulette Forbes Igharo
Caroline Themm Lois Beilin
Shiroma SDS Madeline Labriola
Patrick Ryan Mary Singletary
Mary Ivers Rachel Racich
Pete Walker Huiyon Ye
Shiuho Lin Mary Corbett
Patricia Connolly Clare Condon
David Weaver May Akale
Aine O’Connor Celine Paramunda
Kathleen Quain Kate Twohy
Suzanne Golas Margaret Mayce
Helen Ojario Magdelene Galazyn
Lobi RedHawk Carmen Gloria Arrigada
Joy Garland Erika Boll
Minutes of the previous meeting: As there were no comments or additions to the September Minutes they were approved as posted on the website.
Agenda: The meeting agenda was approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Aaron Etra was not present to give the Treasurer’s Report
Summary of presentation:
A member of the CSD, Gerard Farias, Fairleigh Dickinson University gave a presentation titled “Corporate Social Responsibility: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” which he co- authored with his wife Christine Farias. This paper was initially presented in India.
Mr. Farias enlightened the members of the apparent contradiction that many companies present when they claim to be socially responsible. He explained that most of them take part in social responsibility as a shield and it is often a sham. In fact corporations are not really playing their role and in fact creates the impression that they are doing the “right thing” when they are not. It is good public relations without commitment and there is no notion about actually effecting change.
Although the term responsibility would mean that it would be their duty or obligation to be environmentally responsible it has become a choice instead that is made in the public relations department. If it is not imbedded in the corporations values then it be done because it is the right thing to do but because they have something to spare. It is not contingent on the core values of the group.
Companies will try to mitigate harm from value chain activities. Mr. Farias believe that they should not create harm in the first place.
For example Pepsi has Healthy Child Program on its website. At the same time they are advertising an unhealthy product. Both Coke and Pepsi claim to focus on health but are these really compatible?
Some questions to consider:
Does McDonald’s care about child health?
Why does Whole Foods sell bottled water?
If a company believes in sustainability should they be doing this and encouraging people to buy what they don’t need?
The Green Rush allows some companies to claim to be environmentally sustainable. While some companies put out a line of green products but they still make the bad stuff. If they are really committed and socially responsible they would embed these approaches in everything the company does. The compensatory approaches enable a company to look good even when it continues to do harm.
These companies must “drop the charade” and make their profits honestly. The time has come to adopt a constraint-based approach driven by our human values.
Some companies like Interface Carpets and 7th Generation have put the stake in the ground first and are now working toward the goal. In these cases there is a PLaN to transition out of harmful products to healthy alternatives.
We need the responsible corporation that has:
Values driven (don’t drop it, find ways to stick to your values)
Engaged-internally and externally
Corporations can do good but should not hide behind what they do.
Ann asked for volunteers to give a presentation on any sustainable development subject matter which would be of benefit to us. These presentations would be part of each meeting. See Ann before you leave today to get on list.
Election of Officers: Levi Bautista will run the election . Since the treasure is not present we will invoke the honor system for voting if you have paid your dues.
Slate: Iryna Kurowyckyj Co-Chair
Ann Braudis Co-Chair
Jerry Price Secretary
Kevin Cawley Treasurer
Patricia Scharlin Member at large, Advocacy Officer
Gerard Farias Member at large, Membership Officer
Pete Walker Member at large, Web Master
Meena Khadimi Member at large, Correspondence Sec.
Nomination committee certifies that all nominees meet the requirements of the by-laws.
Members-at-large have 4 spots with responsibilities: membership, advocacy, web master,
New innovation is corresponding secretary who is in another part of the world and will stay in contact by Skype. Meena Khadimi is in Bahrain and will serve in this capacity. . If a member is not able to attend the meeting she/he can send comments to the corresponding secretary and she/he will be called on by the Chair to find out who has made comments about agenda items.
A motion from the floor was made and seconded to accept the slate as proposed by the nominating committee. There were no questions or discussion. Each nominee was invited to speak briefly. Meena Khadimi spoke from the Skype phone. ( Meena is Vice president. of CoNGO worldwide.)
Be it recorded that the slate was unanimously upheld.
Note: Ann will be co chair for one year.
WG on Sustainable Development and Integrity of Earth.
Margaret Mace reported that the final draft of the Earth Summit Rio + 20 paper to be submitted for the UNCSD Inputs and Compilation document will be distributed for support by the following week. A mechanism for registering NGO support will be set up. The deadline for submission is 1 November 2011. Following this, we will have a massive effort to get many people to register support before the Rio +20 Conference next June.
The CoNGO board has established the Working Group for Earth Summit and we are asked to submit this paper to them.
A discussion followed with suggestion regarding ways to augment the effect of the paper and stimulate further discussion and preparation for the Earth Summit, multiplying the effect of our work.
Franz Verhagen reported for the WG on Monetary Transformation: The main insight reported was casting the work of the WG in terms of monetary justice. Frans has been successful in having the WG work posted by the stakeholders forum web site and considered as one of their monetary priorities. Following is a summary of the points made by Frans:
· Banks could be made into utilities (no money creation facility)
· The financial system would be based on credit not debt (govt. will circulate $ not have to go to banks)
· See: Americanmonetaryinstitute.org
· US Senator Kucinich introduced a bill which will regain coinage as a government function and not leave it to banks.
· Monetary system can be based upon a carbon standard.
These changes must come from the NGO’s. They will not come from governments.
Dates to remember:
Oct. 25 Special Event will be sponsored by CSD featuring Don Brown.
Next meeting on 17 Nov., at 1:15, CC 11th floor. (Franz was asked to make a presentation on his monetary transformation proposal.)