Aviva adds human rights to ethical investment drive

The Aviva logo sits exterior the business head workplace in the city of London, Britain March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

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  • Aviva Investors aims to maintain business directors to account
  • Wants boards to concentrate on ‘whole picture’ of sustainability
  • Biodiversity also additional to financial commitment criteria
  • ShareAction welcomes a lot more emphasis on social investing

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Foremost British asset manager Aviva Investors strategies to drive boards for higher motion on biodiversity and human legal rights so that firms consider “the whole picture of sustainability”.

Together with climate modify, a main aim for most investors, Aviva’s shift reflects growing concern over the corporate world’s affect on nature and the treatment of social stakeholders, which includes workers, throughout usually prolonged offer chains.

Coverage group Aviva’s (AV.L) asset-administration arm, which handles 262 billion kilos ($354.62 billion) of assets, will now rank human rights and biodiversity together with local climate and government fork out when it selects investments.

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The volume of funds going into ethical resources concentrated on environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges has surged, with traders properly pushing providers to make modifications in these spots.

Aviva Traders CEO Mark Versey wrote in his yearly letter to 1,500 providers in 30 nations around the world that bonuses awarded to business executives must also reflect how properly sustainability targets have been fulfilled, warning that laggard boards would be held accountable.

“Simply just chopping emissions but making it possible for the destruction of the rain forest to continue on will do little to reverse world warming,” Versey stated. “Companies need to adopt an integrated solution for most profit.”

“It is often claimed that trader engagement on the ‘S’ in ESG topics is lagging powering a concentrate on the natural environment. As a final result this inclusion is most welcome,” reported ShareAction, which campaigns for dependable investing.

On local climate improve, all businesses would be asked to create a climate changeover prepare “and organizations in bigger-affect sectors must present these for shareholder approval”, Versey mentioned.

Corporations must get started earning voluntary disclosures dependent on local weather-associated requirements staying drawn up by the new Global Sustainability Benchmarks Board, which was introduced at the COP26 worldwide summit previous November, he added.

“We recognise the standard is still to be completely designed and would help a phased solution to reporting, with full compliance by 2024,” Versey claimed.

Firm executive reward designs should really involve “robust, stretching and externally validated sustainability targets” that are plainly linked to professional method, he added.

Individually on Monday, the European arm of fellow trader BMO International Asset Administration, portion of United States-based mostly Columbia Threadneedle, a unit of Ameriprise Monetary (AMP.N), mentioned it, far too, would thrust firms on challenges which includes human legal rights.

“The occasions of the past calendar year, which includes the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and extreme temperature activities, have reinforced the relevance of building a a lot more resilient future,” mentioned Claudia Wearmouth, co-head of the firm’s Responsible Expense team.

“Climate change, biodiversity decline and human rights are all troubles that involve urgent motion.”

Last June Axa Expense Managers reported it was growing its palm oil financial investment system to exclude providers concerned in main land use controversies or in leading to biodiversity reduction due to soy, cattle and timber.

($1 = .7388 pounds)

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Reporting by Huw Jones
Modifying by David Goodman and Jane Merriman

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