GBOPHB Participates in
For Immediate Release
May 8, 2008
Contact: M. Colette Nies, Managing Director, Communications
(847) 866-4296 or email@example.com
Evanston, IL—Project Kaleidoscope, a multi-year effort to improve compliance with labor standards among overseas contractors and suppliers, released its final report in April 2008 through a working group that included the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church (General Board), The Walt Disney Company and McDonald’s Corporation.
The project was launched as part of an ongoing effort to strengthen labor standards by drawing on the expertise of interested investor organizations and by exploring means to promote “sustained compliance” with labor codes. Project Kaleidoscope was piloted at ten contractor factories in southern China that produce goods for McDonald's restaurants and Disney licensees. This collaboration resulted in a field-tested alternative approach to promoting and enhancing long-term, sustained compliance with manufacturing labor standards mandated by corporate codes of conduct.
For many years, McDonald’s and Disney have maintained strict codes of conduct for their licensees and manufacturers. These codes address a range of key labor rights issues including the prohibition of forced and child labor and the setting of requirements in the areas of health and safety, working hours, compensation, and compliance with applicable laws. Both companies report that they have undertaken educational, monitoring and remediation efforts to promote compliance with these codes at the factories where their products are sourced throughout the world.
In addition to the General Board, The Walt Disney Company and McDonald’s Corporation, the Project Kaleidoscope Working Group included the As You Sow Foundation; the Center for Reflection, Education and Action (CREA); the Connecticut State Treasurer's Office (fiduciary for the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds); Domini Social Investments LLC; the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR); and the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
Read the Project Kaleidoscope report.
About the General Board
The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits is a not-for-profit administrative agency of The United Methodist Church, responsible for the general supervision and administration of the retirement, health and welfare benefit plans, programs and funds for more than 74,000 clergy and lay employees of the Church.
With more than $16 billion in assets under management, the General Board is the largest faith-based pension fund in the United States and ranks among the top 100 pension funds in the country. As a socially responsible investor, the General Board is actively involved in shareholder advocacy, proxy voting, portfolio screening and community investing.