Investor Coalition Backs First Ever Human Rights Benchmark

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Corporate Human Rights Benchmark

The first ever wide-scale benchmark on companies’ human rights policies, processes and practices has the support 80 investors. The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) announced today that the investors, with a combined $4.8 trillion in assets under management, have pledged support for the project.

The investors included in this statement are some of the world’s largest and most influential investors including: Boston Common Asset Management, Aviva Investors, APG Asset Management, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Church of Sweden and Australian Ethical Investment.  A full list of investor signatories can be found below.

This coalition of investors originally came together in February 2015 to lend its support to the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, as a critical means to advance meaningful disclosure of companies’ human rights performance. Given recent momentum in this area, the group has decided to add its support to the CHRB by amending the UNGPRF Investor Statement to include the following paragraph:

“The undersigned signatories welcome and support the creation of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) which has announced it will provide a free public ranking of major companies starting with particularly exposed sectors and based on information published through the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework and other public information from and about companies on human rights issues. We encourage companies to make proper disclosure under the UNGP Reporting Framework.”

The $4.8tn investor coalition led by Boston Common 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.

Lauren Compere, Managing Director at Boston Common Asset Management said, “Investors want to protect value by knowing human rights risks are being monitored and managed by the companies they invest in. The CHRB is a critical tool, creating the analytical environment for investors to understand what good corporate human rights performance looks like. CHRB further supports the need for companies to use disclosure frameworks such as the UNGP Reporting Framework to know and show how they are respecting human rights.”

Steve Waygood, Chair of the CHRB Steering Committee and Chief Responsible Investment Officer at Aviva Investors, said: “There is no question that human rights issues are material to the financial performance of some companies. I welcome the support this $4.8 trillion investor coalition has given to the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark today. This statement once again signals a desire by investors to drive improved corporate human rights performance around the world through greater accessibility of transparent information and performance ratings.”

Read the full investor statement