Stockholm (NordSIP) – Responsible investment advisory service GES has teamed up with UNICEF to develop an Investor Guidance for Children’s Rights Integration that they are now inviting investors to review and comment on in preparation of a final version. With the critical role investors play in shaping and influencing corporate actions relating to human rights, children’s rights have little prominence on proliferating sustainability agendas and the objective is to bring these to the forefront of considerations by responsible investors.
“Children make up almost a third of the world’s population and interplay with business as consumers, employees’ family members and workers. They are a unique stakeholder group in local communities as well as in the society at large: children have specific vulnerabilities and needs, and in some cases, business activities that have no negative impact on adults may be very harmful to children’s rights and well being,” the report’s introduction states.
The premise is based on a growing body of evidence of the benefits for incorporating children’s rights in investment decision-making, e.g. how products and services that better meet parents’ and children’s needs can open new markets for companies or how promoting youth employment programs can help secure skilled workforces. Conversely, the risk of undermining children’s rights is by definition unsustainable, creating a range of legal, operational and reputational risk.
The draft outlines both expectations on investors and investor expectations for companies and is based on the UNICEF, UN Global Compact and Save the Children 2012 initiative “Children’s Rights and Business Principles” and GES’ own Investor Guidance for Children’s Rights Integration from 2016. It also highlights key children’s rights risk areas in the workplace, marketplace, supply chains and marketing.
GES possesses 25 years of experience advising clients on responsible investment and is one of the pioneers in the field, offering its screening and active ownership services to help investors integrate ESG factors into decision-making processes and protecting investment returns. It offers solutions at all levels of ESG integration and incorporates both its own and client and other external research into its advisory solutions.
GES began life as a company in 1992 under the name Caring Capitalism as a consequence of the Greenpeace experience of founders Magnus Furugård and Susanne Nyman, who were made aware of the growing implications and challenges of climate change early on and who used their background in economics, management and journalism to bring the concept of sustainability to businesses and investors. The company changed its name to GES Investment Services in 2003 and became GES Global Engagement Services in 2012.
Image: Porapak Apichodilok – Pexels