The 'S' in ESG

Without addressing social factors, the ‘S’ in ESG, we cannot hope to achieve a more sustainable economy. Human rights, labour rights, diversity, equality and inclusion are all areas facing greater scrutiny from investors but there is still at times a gap between how environmental factors are measured and addressed when compared to social onces. 

Why are we doing this?

One of our key areas of work revolves around advancing the ‘S’ in ESG, that is, how social factors are considered in investment decisions and businesses’ operations. In order to move towards a more sustainable economy, and world, addressing social factors and ensuring we are adequately measuring and accounting for them within investment decisions is crucial. 

What are we doing to achieve this?

Our work to advance the ‘S’ in ESG is focussed around three specific areas and projects related to each of these. The first is our Social LobbyMap project, the second is business and human rights with the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark and the third is due diligence in relation to investing or operating in conflict-affected areas. 

Social LobbyMap

We are delighted to have picked up an exciting new project to expand the ‘Lobby Map’ approach created by Influence Map to cover social issues. The project has the support of the Laudes Foundation and will build upon the work of Influence Map which identifies and publicises how companies and their trade associations are lobbying governments on climate related policy proposals. Find out more. 

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark 

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) is a UK based not for profit, supported by a mix of investors, civil society organisations and European governments. It produces in-depth assessments and rankings of how well companies in high-risk sectors perform on human rights issues. CHRB aims to harness the competitive nature of the markets to drive better corporate human rights performance, by providing companies, investors, consumers, governments and civil society with the information to make better decisions on the allocation of capital, purchasing, procurement, legislation and campaigns. We are a CHRB research partner and we coordinate all of the other researchers involved in the project. We are heavily involved in the CHRB with responsibility for the operational side of the research: coordinating the researchers, allocating resources, ensuring the methodology is consistently applied across all companies and just generally ensuring the project runs smoothly and within the time allocated. 

Visit the CHRB website: Corporate Human Rights Benchmark

EIRIS Conflict Risk Network (CRN)

EIRIS Conflict Risk Network, an EIRIS Foundation initiative, is a U.S.-based organization whose purpose is to help investors and companies ensure that they are not exacerbating conflict but actively taking steps to support peace and stability.

EIRIS CRN seeks to empower institutional investors, financial service providers, and other engaged stakeholders by providing them with the tools needed to not only detect exposure to areas affected by conflict but also to work with companies to reduce risks relating to conflict through responsible corporate practices that support peace and stability. By operating as an intermediary between companies and concerned investors, EIRIS CRN is in a unique position to harnesses the collective weight of trillions of dollars in assets to incentivize companies with operations in areas affected by conflict to act upon their duties under respected international standards and ensure they are actively taking steps needed to ensure their operations support peace and stability. Though ambitious, through our work, and with the constant support of our engaged subscribers, we aim to reduce the devastating impact that war can have on local communities.

Visit the EIRIS CRN website

Submission to the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights 

Our response to the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights call for input on business related human rights abuses in conflict-affected areas: read the full response

Other useful resources:

World Benchmarking Alliance: The WBA seeks to generate a movement around increasing the private sector’s impact towards a sustainable future for all. In 2015, the United Nations developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help guide us. The WBA is now working to incentivise and accelerate companies’ efforts towards achieving these goals. The EIRIS Foundation is a WBA ally.  

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