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7 Nov 2023

NGO campaign calls on investors & financiers of Aurubis to advocate for supply chain transparency; incl. investor & company responses

Wikimedia Commons

Research has shown copper mining to be linked to numerous adverse human rights and environmental impacts, including e.g. soil and water contamination and resulting health impacts as well as poor working conditions, in producing countries such as Chile and Peru. Transparency is a key requisite to identifying and verifying possible human rights and environmental violations in supply chains, however according to NGO Facing Finance Europe's largest copper company, Aurubis, has so far refused to name the suppliers and mines from which it sources copper, citing competitive and contractual reasons.

In September 2023, Facing Finance therefore initiated a "Call-To-Action" to investors and financiers of Aurubis, urging them to advocate for more supply chain transparency at Aurubis ahead of its next annual general meeting in February 2024. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre approached 18 of the funders to ask them to comment on the "Call-To-Action", including

  • whether they have engaged with Aurubis on the topic of supply chain transparency,
  • whether, if applicable, they voted on the issue at Aurubis' general assembly in 2023, and if it would be a priority topic for them at next year's meeting,
  • whether they incorporate sustainability considerations into financing/investments models, including Aurubis, and if supply chain transparency played a role.

DekaBank, Salzgitter AG and Union Investment declined to provide additional information to us, and Rossmann Beteiligungs GmbH told us they no longer hold any shares in Aurubis.

Allianz, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, and NORD L/B provided general statements on their commitment to sustainability as part of their investment or financing/lending decisions. (Deutsche Bank said it primarily does not act as an investor, and activities in the field of investments and asset management would be covered by DWS).

ING said it conducts due diligence as part of its Environmental and Social Risk (ESR) Framework and that it would be engaging with Aurubis on the matters highlighted by Facing Finance.

BNP Paribas provided information on its ESG Framework and confirmed that BNP Paribas Asset Management's investment in Aurubis was assessed using this framework, but that it did not have any engagement with the company.

DWS said it is currently not engaging with Aurubis and that it has different ESG-related policies that provide guidance on the integration of ESG information into investment processes, engagement, and proxy voting activities.

Amundi, BlackRock, DZ Bank, Ökoworld, UniCredit did not respond.

An overview is provided in the table below.

We also invited Aurubis AG to respond. Their response is available on this page as well.

Company Responses

Aurubis View Response