Human Rights Council

Investors, ESG and BHR: Open Consultation - Forum…

Investors, ESG and BHR: Open Consultation - Forum on Business and Human Rights 2023

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Day 3 (Room XXVI) - Investors, ESG and BHR: Open Consultation - 12th United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights 27 - 29 November 2023
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Brief description of the session:
  • The Working Group on Business and Human Rights is to present a report to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2024 examining how to align better Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) approaches in the financial sector, with the UNGPs. In particular, the report will aim to consider the ESG approaches in the context of financial products and services, including the practices of commercial and investment banks, institutional investors, including asset owners, such as pension funds, and asset managers; and funds, including mutual funds, private equity, social investment and venture capital funds, and other relevant investors. The final report will intend to provide guidance to States, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders.
Key objectives of the session:
  • Identify key issues, actors, practices and trends that should be covered in the Working Group's report to the Human Rights Council.
  • Highlight key issues and challenges that are faced by investors and other businesses in relation to ESG approaches in relation to UNGPs alignment.
  • Discuss State regulations which are affecting human rights responsive ESG approaches.
  • Raise any concerns about existing ESG indexes, data and other information in terms of the UNGPs approach.
  • Discuss what effective remedies are available for those whose human rights are adversely affected by investment undertaken using an ESG approach.
  • Share 'good practice' examples of ESG approaches that are responsive to the UNGPs approach.
Key questions:
  • How can ESG indexes, data and research products be improved to align with the UNGPs approach?
  • What State, regional, and international mechanisms and regulations currently exist which promote, require or restrict investment/financing using an ESG approach, sustainable investing or an approach that takes human rights risks into account?
  • How should investors integrate human rights when constructing, underwriting, and/or investing in an ESG product or service?
  • To what extent do investors assess human rights risks and adverse impacts using a risk to right-holders lens as being separate from ESG materiality considerations?
  • What forms of leverage do investors have to address human rights impacts and climate change connected to their clients and portfolio companies?
  • Is the role of consultation with stakeholders, such as the local communities, women and Indigenous Peoples, the same for an ESG approach and an approach set out by the UNGPs and, if not, in what way do they differ?
  • What measures and mechanisms, including grievance mechanisms, should be provided at the investment-level that enable individuals or communities affected by the business in which the investor has invested to report adverse human rights impacts to the investor and seek effective remedy for human rights and environmental abuses?
  • Robert McCorquodale
  • Anita Dorett
  • Kindra Mohr
  • Manele Mpofu
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