S - Social / Societal Issues and Concerns


  • Supply Chain Concerns – Outsourcing - Production Issues – Contract Supply Issues (includes direct / indirect employment; human rights of workers; contractor and vendor policies; vendors; local management behavior; monitoring, third party verification aspects)
  • Supply Chain – Compliance with Local Laws, with International Protocols, Third Party Verification – Quality Standards - Oversight
  • Human Rights – Domestic & Foreign Employees
  • Social / Societal Accountability – Demonstrated by Policies & Practices
  • Diversity – Workforce, Promotions, Board Make up (also a Governance concern)
  • Pay Equity Issues (gender, foreign labor, contract labor in USA etc.)
  • Labor General – Child Labor, Prison labor, Forced Labor – Many Third Party Monitors in Place around the globe
  • Union Organizing (and Opposition to organizing – e.g., Wal-Mart Stores, Coca Cola)
  • Ingredients – Raw Materials – used in manufacture by contractors or vendors (China – pet food – China – lead paint on toys – Mexico – food products, raw materials – harmful to workers? To customers?
  • Environmental Justice / Economic Fairness Issues (advocate concerns)


  • Healthcare – Access, Cost – the Uninsured – Health Benefits – Healthcare System Sustainability – Quality Issues


  • HIV – AIDS Reporting / Treating HIV / HIV Pharma issues
  • Animal Testing (Pharmaceutical, Cosmetic industries issue)
  • Pharmaceuticals – Access, Cost, Vulnerable Populations, Pricing
  • Labeling – Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  • Doing Business with Regimes with Poor Human Rights Records / Lack of Democracy / Despots / Dictators
  • Cooperation with Foreign Governments (e.g., China and USA Telecoms & ISPs – [privacy protection issues – Yahoo, ISP companies)
  • Food Issues – Supply, Diversity, Agricultural Community Relations (Sustainability – Security – Sourcing – Standards – many issues)
  • Water Issues – use of water (Coca Cola, India); water in product (bottled water); impact on local water supplies (especially in emerging nations)
  • Privacy Rights – Corporate Censorship – Corporate “Prying” (Internet)
  • Weapons Sales – Militarization of Space – Overseas Sales of Weapon Systems
  • Access to Capital – Fair Lending Policies – Practices
  • MacBride Principles – Northern Ireland Employment Standards
  • Genocide (Sudan-Darfur – Disinvestment Campaigns underway)
  • Fast Food – Beverages – Sales in Educational Facilities
  • Sales of Fast Food / Beverages in Educational Settings
  • Independent Monitoring of Production Facilities / North America and Asia
  • Social Policies of College and Foundation Endowments / Investment / Divestment of Rogue State [corporate stock or corporate or sovereign corporate debt, etc.)
  • Political Contributions – Impact on Public Policy – on Government Processes – Transparency – Contributions to Trade Association for Party or Individual
  • Nanotechnology Impact – on individuals / families, on institutions, on communities
  • Current: Subprime and Predatory Lending Practices


Are companies and individuals accountable to stakeholders?

  • Employees
  • Shareholders – Debt Holders - Investors
  • Communities
  • Customers / Markets
  • Public Sector
  • Advocates / Activists
  • Foreign Lands – Government and Private Sector
  • Business Partners / Alliances / Contractors

G – Corporate Governance

  • Board of Director Independence

* * *



Intersections of Corporate Policies, Practices, Behaviors and Shareholder and Stakeholder Issues and Concerns

Investor Activists may link corporate policies on pharmaceutical access and pricing (for vulnerable populations) to corporate governance actions – they have been filing shareholder-sponsored resolutions that link CEO compensation (governance issue) to company’s improvements in mitigating pharma access / pricing issues. Access to AIDS drugs is an example in recent shareholder campaigns.

Religious and faith-based institutional investors have been creating these intersections in recent years – thus linking “S” (societal) and “G” (governance) issues to bring pressure on the board and C Suite through publicity, comprehensive coordination of proxy voting activities, involvement of mainstream investors (such as public employee pension funds), and more.

Be sure to check the other checklists for ESG –

Environmental & Energy
Corporate Governance Issues

- The Institute Editors
- September 2008



Governance & Accountability Institute is a monitoring, intelligence-gathering and knowledge management center operating at the intersection of powerful forces reshaping relationships between stockholders and stakeholders, and the public corporation. The key players transforming the markets and interacting with corporate management and boards include fund owners and asset managers and their third party advisors-in sovereign wealth funds,socially responsible investment organizations, activist hedge funds, public pension funds, labor union funds, private equity firms, investment banks...and more.

G&A identifies key players, monitors their activities, conducts research, charts the players's influence on capital markets and companies, and provides news and intelligence through G&As "SustainabilityHQTM" advisory services. SustainabilityHQTM resources at the intersections of powerful capital markets players--and the public and private companies they invest in.