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20 Apr 2022

Paloma Muñoz Quick and Kindra Mohr, BSR

Business for Social Responsibility launches Human Rights Roadmap for Transforming Finance report

The financial services industry—from asset owners and managers to private equity, venture capital, and banks—has a catalytic effect on the behavior of business and the economy. Its vast range of financial products, services, and client relationships ripples through every industry, value chain, and transaction. With this backdrop, the sector has enormous potential to create a global economy that puts people’s lives and the health of the planet at the center, while contributing to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

For the financial services industry to transform the global economy to center people and planet, financial actors must work at every level to uphold human rights—a standard to which every individual is entitled in order to live life of fundamental welfare, dignity, and equality— and proactively address the social and environmental risks and opportunities associated with the business of finance.

In this report, BSR provides an overview of key areas of progress to tackle global challenges and contribute to new systems grounded in respect for human rights. We highlight the materiality of human rights for FIs and argue that adopting a human rights approach to finance can strengthen the impact of traditional ESG practices. This report further elaborates on the call to action set out in the UNGPs 10+ Roadmap—from adapting core business and driving respect for human rights in financial markets to engaging with people affected by investment value chains and ensuring that victims of harm have access to remedy. The report concludes with next steps for transforming finance.