Investors with over US$4.5 trillion in assets criticise weak human rights performance of multi-national companies

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Article
23 March 2020

Costco, Prada and Starbucks challenged on human rights disclosures

Author: Attracta Mooney, Financial Times

A group of more than 175 big investors with $4.5tn in assets have written to 95 companies [...] calling for immediate action from some of the world’s best-known businesses.

The investors, which include Nordea and Aviva Investors, contacted the worst-performing companies on human rights due diligence according to a ranking from the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark...

Pauliina Murphy, engagement director at the WBA, said that with the outbreak of coronavirus it was more vital than ever that companies take human rights seriously...

In the letter, which was sent earlier this month as the coronavirus outbreak was spreading, the investors called for companies to take “decisive action” to report on how they approach human rights before the CHRB begins its next round of assessments in 2020...

The letter targeted every company that scored zero on human rights due diligence in the CHRB 2019 ranking...

Carlsberg said it already published information on human rights in its sustainability report. Prada said it started its first internal human rights assessment in its supply chain in 2019 and will publish information on this soon.

Costco declined to comment. Starbucks and Ralph Lauren did not respond to a request for comment.

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Article
24 March 2020

Investors with over US$4.5 trillion in assets criticize weak human rights performance of leading companies

Author: Investor Alliance for Human Rights

23 March 2020

A group of 176 international investors representing over $4.5 trillion in assets under management have joined forces to call out the human rights performance of some of the world’s most well-known companies. The 95 worst performing companies on human rights due diligence in the latest Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) [...] have been urged to take decisive action before June 2020 when the next assessment begins.

The letter, coordinated by the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, targets every company that scored 0 on human rights due diligence in its 2019 ranking...

The investor letter brings together a coalition of asset managers, public pension funds, and faith-based investors from 15 countries across 3 regions. It demonstrates that socially responsible investors around the globe are increasingly coalescing around the need to ensure that companies integrate respect for human rights at the heart of their business.

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Article
25 March 2020

[Letter] Investor Statement Calling on Companies to Improve Performance on the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark

Author: Investor Alliance for Human Rights

The undersigned 176 investors representing over US$4.5 trillion in assets under management are writing to express our concern regarding the company’s ranking in the 2019 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB)...

[B]ased on the latest CHRB ranking, which assessed 200 companies in high-risk sectors against five human rights due diligence indicators, your company has scored zero on all five indicators. We are concerned that a lack of public communication on human rights suggests the Company has not assessed associated risks or determined how best to mitigate them.

We are therefore calling on the Company to demonstrate respect for human rights by publicly disclosing the following by June 2020:

  1. Your processes to identify and assess adverse human rights risks and impacts in your operations and throughout your business relationships, including throughout your supply chain;

  2. Your processes for prioritizing your salient human rights issues, meaning the most severe impacts on people connected to your business;

  3. Your salient human rights impacts, including impacts in the supply chain,

  4. Your actions to prevent, mitigate, and remediate adverse impacts in relation to your salient human

    rights issues and how these actions apply across your value chain; and

  5. Your approach to tracking the actions taken, how those actions are evaluated and revised for effectiveness, and the effectiveness of your approaches in addressing those adverse impacts.

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