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31 Aug 2022

Investors call for UK due diligence law

Socially responsible investing

In August 2022, 39 investors signed a letter calling on the UK government to bring forward a 'Business, Human Rights and Environment Act' to mandate all companies to conduct human rights and environmental due diligence.

The investors include Jupiter, Ethos, BMO and Legal & General Asset Management. In total, the investors represent £4.5 trillion in assets under management and advice.

The signatories expressed their support for such a law to include appropriate provisions to hold companies liable if they fail to prevent human rights or environmental harms, writing:

"Businesses should be held legally liable for harm, loss and damage arising from their failure to prevent adverse human rights and environmental impacts within their operations and throughout their global value chains and be required to adequately compensate victims of abuse. This should include appropriate administrative and civil liability legislative provisions for human rights and environmental adverse impacts within their operations and throughout their global value chains, while also exploring the potential for other types of liability."

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre monitors the progress of such laws around the world. Legislation is already in place in France, Germany and Norway with a new law set to be tabled in the EU by the end of 2021. A similar EU-facing statement is signed by 94 investors with over US$6 trillion of assets under management.

This statement adds to more than 70 statements made by companies and investors worldwide in support of mandatory due diligence regulation.

More information on the campaign for a UK 'Business, Human Rights and Environment Act' is can be found here.