In the past two decades the number of investment funds using environmental, social and governance factors has increased more than two thousand percent. Yet social considerations – the “S” in ESG – have often been overlooked.
Investors hold a tremendous amount of influence. While they are increasingly paying attention to environmental and governance practices, social factors—especially modern slavery—are not fully understood or considered.
This lack of consideration has both fuelled and resulted in a shortage of tools, metrics datasets, and approaches available to groups working with investors on these issues.
Approximately 25 million people worldwide are victims of forced labour, with 16 million working in the private sector. Every investor’s portfolio, from the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund to the Teachers’ Retirement System of Alabama is connected in some way to modern slavery.
Earlier this year a group of Commissioners released a seminal report at the United Nations calling on the financial sector, including banks and investors, to do more to combat this scourge.
With the announcement of the Moving the Market initiative, Humanity United, the Freedom Fund, and UBS Optimus Foundation are seeking to fund projects that meaningfully shift investor approaches to, and increase the development and use of, social metrics that address modern slavery.
For modern slavery to be eliminated all actors should come to the table, including the financial sector. Moving the Market will seed innovative strategies to leverage the influence of the investment community as an agent of change.
For more information, please review the full request for proposals.