Investors representing $1.3 trillion call on govts to make human rights due diligence mandatory throughout investment lifecycle

On 25 March 2019, the Investor Alliance for Human Rights (IAHR) on behalf of a group of investors representing $1.3 trillion in assets called for enhanced investor due diligence to address environmental, social and governance risks, including human rights risks, throughout the investment lifecycle. In the statement sent to European Union policy-makers, members of the United States Congress, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, they specifically call on 

  • Investors to set up and carry out robust due diligence processes to manage risks to people and the environment; and
  • Governments to support investor due diligence through better regulation of financial systems.

The statement is available below.

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Article
23 April 2019

Investors issue strong call to action as EU Parliament votes in sustainable investment disclosure rules

Author: Global Witness

"Investors issue strong call to action - as European Parliament votes in new rules to ensure finance doesn't cause human rights abuses and environmental destruction", 18 April 2019

This week has seen historic moves from across both politics and industry, which could transform the financial sector in the European Union.

The European Parliament has made a major step towards a more ethical financial sector, by unanimously voting for new rules that mean investors will have to put proper measures in place ensuring their activities do not cause human rights abuses or environmental destruction.

This major move was also backed by big players in the investment industry itself – with the likes of Aviva, Hermes, Sycomore and Robeco issuing a major call on investors to set up and carry out robust due diligence processes to manage risks to people and the environment. They also urgently called on governments to support investor due diligence through better regulation of financial systems...

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Article
25 March 2019

Investors representing $1.3 trillion voice support for legislation to mainstream ESG risk management in global financial systems

Author: Investor Alliance for Human Rights

The statement, Making Finance Work for People and Planet, notes that the world is facing urgent environmental and social challenges... Signatories [...] argue that investors have the ability to help mitigate these challenges and achieve the vision laid out by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement by applying more robust ESG due diligence. When they do, investors say, they are not only making a positive contribution to global sustainable development, they help achieve higher risk-adjusted returns and increase the robustness of corporate risk management as well.   

To this end, investors express support for the goals of the EU Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth, which calls for the mainstreaming of sustainability issues (also referred to as ESG issues) in investors’ risk management. They further note with enthusiasm recent developments indicating that the European Parliament and Council have reached a political agreement on a new set of rules known as the Disclosure of Sustainability Risks regulation, requiring European investors to carry out ESG due diligence and to disclose the steps they take to address the adverse social and environmental impacts of their investment decisions...

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Article
25 March 2019

Making Finance Work for People and Planet

Author: Investor Alliance for Human Rights

In a statement sent to European Union policy-makers, members of the United States Congress, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, a group of institutional investors representing $1.3 trillion in assets under management, call for enhanced investor due diligence to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, including human rights risks, throughout the investment lifecycle.

The statement, Making Finance Work for People and Planet, notes that the world is facing urgent environmental and social challenges including food and water shortages and millions of refugees due to climate change, some 40 million people living in situations of modern slavery and half the world without access to essential health care. Signatories to the statement argue that investors have the ability to help mitigate these challenges and achieve the vision laid out by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement by applying more robust ESG due diligence. 

In particular, the signatories call on:

  • Investors to set up and carry out robust due diligence processes to manage risks to people and the environment; and
  • Governments to support investor due diligence through better regulation of financial systems.

Read the full post here

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