Stepping off the Sidelines: The Role of Financial Services Companies on Gun Sales
February 21, 2018 // Boston, MA – On Monday, The New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin, proposed that the finance industry — credit card companies; credit card processors; and banks — take the lead on setting new rules for the sale of guns in America. In his piece, Sorkin emphasized the moral responsibility that corporations have to help their communities and to confront social challenges. He argues that in light of policy makers failing to address gun violence, it is now time for companies that are in a position to do something to address it and to step up to the moral imperative.
At Trillium Asset Management, we understand the important role that corporate America plays in helping society achieve social equity and ecological sustainability. We incorporate those priorities into our investment process and express those priorities through our advocacy at the companies where we are shareholders. Trillium does not invest in companies with greater than or equal to 5% revenues derived from firearms.
It has been clear for a long time that gun violence in the United States is a significant social problem. Every year, tens of thousands of people are killed with guns in the United States. According to the Violence Policy Center, since 1980, there have been at least 50 mass shootings in the United States where the shooter used high-capacity ammunition magazines. School shootings have captured the attention of the public in the most visceral manner and have resulted in consistent and regular calls for action.
Trillium believes that Sorkin’s idea has enormous merit and it has our full support. We are encouraged that he reports interest in the idea from companies’ leadership. As a shareholder in many of these companies we wish to express our belief that now is the time for the financial services industry to step off the sidelines and to take a stand. By being part of firearm transactions, the financial services industry already is playing a role in this issue and cannot escape some responsibility. The question is what role does it want to have and how does that role fulfill its responsibilities to society.
Contact: Caroline White, Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org