More than 220 investment firms representing $30trn in assets have backed a Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) stewardship initiative focused on human rights.
All 220 groups have signed a statement saying they recognise the need to respect and safeguard human rights as set out in international standards such as the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Responsible Business.
Around 120 investment firms will take an active role in targeting engagement with 40 initial focus companies in the mining and metals and renewables sector in the first phase of the initiative. The PRI said it has published for the first time a list of investors and the focus company they are engaging with in a bid to enhance levels of transparency.
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For example, lead investors Schroders and Morgan Stanley Investment Management will be engaging with Anglo American, Nomura AM and Man Group are focused on Nippon Steel, Boston Common Asset Management and Storebrand with Orsted, PIMCO and CCLA are engaging with NextEra, EOS at Federated Hermes and JP Morgan Asset Management are talking to POSCO, and ACSI is the lead investor engaging with Rio Tinto with support from Phoenix, Aviva & PIMCO.
Speaking about the launch of Advance, David Atkin, PRI’s CEO, said: “Investors’ collective efforts can truly bring about change in the way corporate practices impact people. Through Advance, we aim to offer investors the opportunity to shape the way forward through more ambitious stewardship and accelerate action on human rights and social issues.
“From tackling global inequalities to preventing damage to the environment which can impact the health of people for generations, we hope Advance will drive positive outcomes for workers, communities, and society at large; supporting investors in fulfilling their own responsibility to respect human rights; and helping the industry manage risks to overall investment returns.”
The 220 member groups of Advance have also agreed to develop their own human rights policy and human rights due diligence process, if they don’t have one already, within one year of joining the initiative.