ECCR is an ecumenical organisation and it includes within its membership representatives of many mainstream Christian denominations, corporate agencies of the churches, religious communities and orders, and many interested individuals.
Aims and Objectives
ECCR seeks to foster a sense of corporate responsibility within the economic life of the churches and of the wider community.
ECCR focuses on British-based transnational corporations (TNCs) and on the churches, church related and religious organisations which invest in them.
ECCR seeks to research, interpret and educate on the issues raised by TNCs; and works in collaboration with others similarly engaged. It assists representations or campaigns by religious and member organisations, especially where they are stakeholders in British-based TNCs.
ECCR seeks to facilitate exchange and contact on the social policy and programme objectives of participating groups, and to provide co-ordination to achieve a more effective use of investments for socially responsible ends.
ECCR seeks to develop international co-operation in the corporate responsibility movement; and to promote inter-agency co-operation between churches, religious and other faith communities, transnational corporations and all their stakeholders.
Having regard to its base in Industrial Mission, ECCR encourages the way of dialogue with companies and with their workforces wherever possible.
ECCR seeks to carry out these Aims and Objectives through the following programme:
ECCR seeks to function as a â€˜clearing-houseâ€™ for ideas, concerns and programmes of investment and shareholder responsibility. It seeks to become the meeting point for the faith communities of Britain and Ireland where corporate responsibility is studied, developed and planned in collaboration.
ECCR has significant experience of conducting research on the issues of corporate responsibility. It has also worked with other agencies in this function and, on a number of occasions it has commissioned research. It seeks to disseminate the outcome of such research amongst its membership and to its partner organisations.
Working on issues of global concern, especially in regard to transnational corporations has led ECCR to develop close international partnerships with, first of all, its counterparts in North America (ICCR in the USA and TCCR in Canada) and subsequently with members of a much wider partnership in 22 countries around the world. These links are most closely associated and expressed through work which ECCR has promoted to establish the Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility: Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance which was first launched in 1995 and updated and further developed in 1998 and 2003.
When in 1992, ECCR undertook a challenge from the Aid Agencies (Christian Aid and CAFOD) to develop a Study Guide about transnational corporations it used its own research into various companies as the basis of the project. The guide was designed to be used by church groups and in social responsibility programmes. It was also designed to be used by groups of people who work for transational corporations and trade union groups.
This practice of offering educational opportunities has continued to be part of ECCRâ€™s role and an important part in times when the common parlance of business involves corporate responsibility; yet the issues have only just begun to impinge upon faith communities in Britain and Ireland.
It is a fundamental belief of ECCR – and its partners overseas, especially in North America – that the churches should work together to create appropriate patterns of social justice in companies and in the way that they treat their â€˜stakeholdersâ€™. In order to uphold these principles, ECCR seeks to establish careful contacts and connections with companies and to develop a variety of strategies in relating to them.
These strategies involve written and verbal communication with companies and meetings with their executives as issues and concerns demand. ECCR has a strategy of research and of the publication of research information. It also tries, from time to time, to prepare questions and resolutions to corporate Annual Meetings in the pursuit of its overall policy.
A Commitment to Respond:
ECCRâ€™s experience has shown that there are many groups – both far and near – who will make requests of it for support and assistance with their particular concerns. These groups may be co-religionists (often in the Third World), faith communities in the British Isles, organisations with which there is a shared alliance of collaboration but not of fundamental belief, or groups from a wide variety of backgrounds whose support ECCR will need from time to time for its own work and with which it must therefore seek to have patterns of collaborative response.