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Investors Urge Companies to Use New UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework

MARCH 5, 2015: Trillium Asset Management has joined a group of over 60 investors, from Europe, North America and Australia with a combined $3.9 trillion of assets under management, who are urging 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 last week, and said they aim to incentivize better corporate governance, management and reporting of human rights risks.

The investors signing the statement include some of the world’s largest and most influential investors including: Boston Common Asset Management, APG, Aviva Investors, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Church of Sweden and Wespath.

The nearly $4 trillion 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. The new framework is a tool that enables companies to assess, manage and disclose their human rights performance in line with the global standard ‘UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’. The new framework has already been adopted by companies including Unilever – the first adopter – plus Ericsson, H&M, Nestlé and Newmont.

Lauren Compere, Managing Director at Boston Common Asset Management said, “Ultimately, investors want to protect value by knowing human rights risks are being monitored and managed by the companies they invest in. This is a groundbreaking new tool as the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework provides smart and comprehensive guidance that means investors can more effectively identify and understand human rights risks in their portfolio. We hope it will encourage more investors to engage with companies on human rights as investors can now say to their investee companies – ‘please use this guidance as a straightforward way to start improving your controls and disclosure on human rights’.”

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For the full investor statement please see: www.ungpreporting.org/early-adopters/investor-statement

For more information: Elliot Frankal, ESG Communications, + 44 (0)207 683 6621, elliot@esgcomms.com

Important Disclosure: This piece is for informational purposes and should not be construed as a research report. The information provided in this material should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. It should not be assumed that investments in such securities have been or will be profitable.

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