Investor Statement Calling for a UK 'Business, Human Rights and Environment Act'
Investors can cause, contribute to, or otherwise be linked to adverse impacts through their investment holdings in companies or projects implicated in human rights and environmental harms.
Comprehensive human rights and environmental due diligence by companies thus enables investors to identify the greatest risks to people and the planet linked to portfolios and to fulfill their responsibility to respect human rights. It allows investors to make more informed and sustainable investment decisions and demonstrate to beneficiaries that their money is being managed in line with international standards and expectations.
Due diligence legislation will support investors’ sustainability assessments, enhance risk analysis and processes for impact mitigation, and provide greater understanding of company operations, throughout the value chain. It will also enable investors to conduct better-informed engagement with investees, to respect human rights and give due consideration to environmental issues.
In August of 2022, 39 investors representing 4.5 trillion GBP in assets signed a letter calling on the UK government to bring forward a 'Business, Human Rights and Environment Act' to mandate that all companies and investors undertake human rights and environmental due diligence. The signatories expressed their support for such a law to include appropriate provisions to hold companies liable if they fail to prevent human rights or environmental harms.
Please read the investor statement here