Investor coalition backs new human rights reporting push
A group of over 60 investors from Europe, North America and Australia, collectively managing $3.9 trillion of assets, have urged leading companies to use new guidance to help them “know and show” their management of human rights risks.
In a joint statement the investors backed the new ‘UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework’, published this week, and said they aim to incentivise better corporate governance, management and reporting of human rights risks.
The investors include some of the world’s largest and most influential investors such as APG, Aviva Investors, BNP Paribas, Boston Common Asset Management and Wespath.
The investor coalition argues that those companies that do not proactively assess and manage human rights issues face potential legal, reputational and other financial risks; while those who meet the ‘corporate responsibility to respect human rights’ gain competitive advantage.
The new framework is a tool that enables companies to assess, manage and disclose their human rights performance in line with the internationally-respected ‘UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’. It has already been adopted by companies such as Ericsson, H&M, Nestlé, Newmont and Unilever.
Companies need only report on those human rights risks that are most salient to their business activities and has been developed through the Reporting and Assurance Frameworks Initiative (RAFI) in a global consultative process coordinated by independent, non-profit centre Shift and accountancy firm Mazars.