Finance

Investing the Rights Way - A Guide for Investors on Business and Human Rights

Report, 02 March 2013

IHRB in collaboration with Calvert Investments and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility has published a guide that shows investors how to effectively integrate human rights into investment decision-making and corporate engagement.

"Investing the Rights Way: A Guide for Investors on Business and Human Rights" provides practical insights into how the globally accepted framework of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights can help investors assess and address human rights risks in their portfolios and more effectively benchmark and engage the companies they hold.

The new Guide addresses mainstream investors across all asset classes and provides an overview of key developments, standards and resources.

Investors, managers and service providers can use the Guide in a number of ways to:

  • Engage with companies on human rights.
  • Benchmark or rank companies on their human rights performance against their peers.
  • Screen companies in or out of a fund.
  • Explore what lies behind a company’s public reporting statements.
  • Establish whether a fund, investor or company should invest in a particular region, country or sector.

As Professor John Ruggie, former UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights and Chair of IHRB said,

“The UN Guiding Principles affirm that all companies have a responsibility to respect human rights in their operations and their business relationships. ‘Investing the Rights Way’ highlights strategies investors can use to help them prevent and remediate negative impacts.”

Margaret Wachenfeld, Director of Legal Affairs at IHRB and lead author of the Guide observed:

“Human rights risks now go well beyond the important but iconic concern of child labour in supply chains. For example, human rights risks around land acquisitions have the potential to affect whole asset classes. The Guide can help investors work with companies to ensure they have the systems and know-how to deal with human rights risks.”

Bennett Freeman of Calvert Investments and a Trustee of IHRB said:

“Virtually every company in every industry faces some degree of human rights-related risk, and investors have a responsibility to evaluate that risk across portfolios and asset classes”.

ICCR’s David Schilling added:

“As with all risk assessments, investors require credible information to evaluate a company’s performance against its peers. The Guide helps investors determine whether and how companies are diminishing human rights-related risks to the company, and, more importantly, to people and communities.”

Ed Potter, Director, Global Workplace Rights with The Coca-Cola Company added:

“Although this Guide is written for investors, it also provides a succinct and clear roadmap for all companies on implementing respect for human rights and engaging with the investor community on human rights policies, human rights due diligence, and mitigation of human rights impacts.”

 

Prof. John Ruggie's opening remarks at the launch of Investing the Rights Way in London, March 2015:

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