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


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On March 4th, Calvert Investments, in collaboration with the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) released “Investing the Rights Way: A Guide for Investors on Business and Human Rights.” This new guide is a practical tool that shows investors how to integrate human rights effectively and consistently into investment decision–making and corporate engagement.

Human rights risks apply to all business and investors

Over the last 20 years, there has been a growing focus on the human rights risks and responsibilities of businesses. According to the UN Human Rights Council, virtually every industry and business faces human rights risks, challenges, and responsibilities in today’s global economy. In 2011, the Council unanimously endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the UN Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework, which clearlydelineate the respective roles and responsibilities of governments and companies regarding human rights.

Human rights responsibility also extends to investors, and not just sustainable and responsible investors, but across all asset classes. According to Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President of Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert and contributor, “this new guide provides a due diligence framework for investors to evaluate human rights–related risks across their portfolios in a very practical manner.”

A tool for corporate engagement

For many years, Calvert has led initiatives pressing companies and entire industries to respect human rights—from improving factory labor practices, curtailing human trafficking in global supply chains, and divesting from Sudan to promoting freedom of expression and the right to privacy on the Internet. Calvert believes it is critical for companies to adopt core human rights standards throughout their operations and to manage human rights–related risks. “Investing the Rights Way” provides all investors with a common set of practical questions and issues to engage companies and assess their implementation of the UN Guiding Principles.

“While investors are the primary audience for this guide, it also offers significant utility for companies to improve their management of human rights–related risks. It provides a solid framework for companies to engage investors on human rights risks,” said Mike Lombardo, Senior Sustainability Analyst at Calvert and a contributor to “Investing the Rights Way.”

The guide will be launched at investor events in New York on March 8th and in London on March 15th 2013 with Professor John Ruggie, former UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights.

Download a copy of the report: “Investing the Rights Way: A Guide for Investors on Business and Human Rights.”

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