By  on September 14, 2007

Shareholders are pushing Dillard's Inc. to release sustainability reports on environmental, social and governance performance.

Christian Brothers Investment Services Inc. said in a statement that a recent regulatory filing by the retailer indicated that 46.4 percent of the votes cast by shareholders in May had urged the company to prepare a sustainability report.

The Dillard's shareholder resolution was sponsored by CBIS, the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, the New York City Pension Funds and Amalgamated Bank's LongView Collective Investment Funds.

Apparel manufacturers and retailers such as Gap, Nike, Target and Timberland have "recognized the growing relevance of global labor standards practices and have disclosed their supplier codes of conduct in publicly available reports," said CBIS.

Christopher Smith, corporate governance research analyst at Amalgamated Bank, said in a statement, "We hope that Dillard's will join the ranks of other retail industry leaders and issue a sustainability report that would include the steps the company is taking to better identify, assess and control for sourcing risks. Becoming more transparent can help the company increase its competitiveness, reduce risk and enhance the credibility of its existing supplier code of conduct. This type of transparency is an important aspect of corporate social responsibility and is a critical tool for building trust with investors and the public."

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr., investment adviser to the five New York City Pension Funds, said in the statement regarding sustainability reports: "Shareholders believe this information is necessary for making well-informed investment decisions, as it speaks to the vision and stewardship of management and can have significant impacts on a company's brand, reputation and on shareholder value. Given the high number of votes cast in favor of the resolution, shareholders have sent a clear message to Dillard's management that they are concerned about these issues, and now Dillard's should address those concerns."

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