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10 May 2021

Investor Alliance for Human Rights

Investors with US$5.8 trillion in assets urge companies scoring zero on due diligence in 2020 CHRB to act on results

"Investors with $5.8 Trillion Exhort Companies Scoring Zero On the CHRB to Know and Show their Human Rights Risks", 10 May 2021

A group of  208 global investors organized by the Investor Alliance for Human Rights (the Alliance) and representing US$5.8 Trillion in assets under management announced it has sent a statement to 106 companies that have scored zero on all the human rights due diligence indicators in the 2020 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) report...

Based on the latest 2020 CHRB ranking, 106 companies – nearly half of the 230 largest publicly traded companies in high-risk sectors measured against five human rights due diligence indicators – scored zero on all five indicators, a strong indictment of their human rights performance...

A sample of the companies receiving the letter include PetroChina ($PTR), Devon Energy ($DVN), Costco Wholesale ($COST), Starbucks ($SBUCKS), Yum! Brands ($YUM), Target ($TGT), General Motors ($GM) and Honda ($HMC). The investors say in the case of several companies, this represents the fourth time they have reached out to zero-scoring companies requesting that they disclose through the CHRB, and while some companies have responded, the vast majority have failed to do so.

"We have been calling on companies to act on CHRB results since 2017,” said Anna Pot of APG Asset Management. “While we do see that some scores have improved, only a minority of companies are demonstrating their commitment to human rights. As a responsible investor, APG wants to see companies perform human rights due diligence and report on outcomes. Period. We have clearly communicated our expectations in the joint investor letter. Companies need to take it seriously. It is time to act."

In March 2020, 176 international investors sent a letter to the 95 companies that failed to score any points on the human rights due diligence indicators, calling for urgent improvement. Of those 95 companies, 79 continue to score 0 on human rights due diligence...

Vaidehee Sachdev of Aviva Investors [said] “[c]ompanies scoring zero on the CHRB are clearly failing in their responsibility... Workers and communities along the value chain have endured devastating impacts as a result of the pandemic - now is the time to embrace the responsibility to protect human rights, not withdraw from it. We encourage investors in these companies to hold these recalcitrant companies to account.”