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The PRI issued new recommendations to encourage investors to mainstream Human Rights due diligence. In this blog, Ksapa outlines a multi-year plan for investors to step up to the plate.

In a recent conversation with the Institute for Human Rights and Business, Ksapa alerted to the Human Rights implications of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Now, with a second wave (and perhaps a third) on the horizon, governments are seemingly willing to trade civic freedoms for public safety. Physically isolated by lockdown and social distancing measures, Human Rights defenders are all the more endangered.

What does that have to do with investors, you ask? 1.3 billion reasons. That is the record-breaking fine Westpac bank agreed to pay for breaching anti-laundering rules to enable the funding of child sex exploitation and possible terror activities. This is no way specific to Westpac. Though notoriously risk-adverse, investors have allowed crisis management rather than proactive action to demonstrate the reputational, financial and legal risks linked to Human Rights violations. Understanding their executives can and will be prosecuted, investors, institutional funders and development finance institutions are increasingly heeding global Human Rights frameworks. Human Rights are de facto material to business and clearly linked to the S in ESG policies. They can only become more so as Covid-19 fuels further social inequity. …

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Ksapa recently joined the World Circular Economy Forum led by Sitra, a Finnish Innovation Fund and supported by partners including the Finnish, Dutch and Canadian governments. Here are our highlights on the profound changes generated by Covid-19, that impact the very concept of circularity.

Covid-19 Has Generated A Surge In The Production and Recourse to Single-Use And Disposables

The issue of waste management is becoming increasingly controversial. In recent years, a number of organizations have committed to circularity, only to see these aspirations cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, global mask sales have shot up from $800 million in 2019 to $166 billion in 2020. …

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Ksapa recently took part in a conversation on strategies likely to help companies accelerate their contribution to the 2030 Global Agenda.

The roundtable was joined by Jean Moreau (President and co-founder of Phenix), Manuella Cunha-Brito (Co-Founder and COO of the Good Tech Lab) and Cédric Mainguy (Head of Innovation at Palo-IT and organizer of the event). Together, we discussed technology’s potential to transform corporate business models to complete the Sustainable Development Objectives. The webinar replay is now available online. Here are our key learnings.

Business Must Step Up Contributions to the SDG

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Objectives probably constitute one of humanity’s more important endeavor ever. Estimated at $12 trillion, the magnitude of the investment they require implies a shared effort across states, financial institutions, companies and citizens — for each and every one to do their part. Still, time is running out. Given how we already lagging behind, one cannot stress enough how urgent it is to collectively step up to the plate if we want to give ourselves a chance to fulfil these goals within the coming decade. …

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Venture capital firms have historically been the first investors in many of the world’s largest and most influential companies. In the last few years, the world’s largest tech companies have run into major challenges in managing growing societal issues — the result being that governments, media and activists have dug deeper into their foundational values and cultures. Here, our expert contributor explores some of the challenges venture capital fund general partners, limited partners and founders face in managing ESG issues and suggests a strategic roadmap for the industry along 3 pillars.

First Investors and Board Members Play an Important Role Shaping the Early Years of Tech Company’s Business Models and Cultures

Venture capital funds have been the first investors in many of the world’s largest and most influential companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb and many others. The business model, culture, and values of global companies are often shaped in the early years of a company’s development, and venture capital firms as the first investors and board members play an important role in this process. In the last few years, the world’s largest tech companies have run into major challenges in managing societal issues ranging from living wage, privacy, and protecting human rights and democracy — the result of which has been governments, media, and activists taking a much deeper look how foundational values and cultures were shaped. …

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The regulatory landscape is rapidly evolving on human rights risk remediation. While the general goal is to enforce mandatory due diligence across the supply chain, each new legal development with its own scope, impact and requirements. Ksapa recently held a webinar to explore solutions for businesses and investors to anticipate upcoming regulation and more proactively address their Human Rights risks amid the Covid-19 recession. Check out the replay on our website: learn more about the why… and what to do about it.

A Ksapa Webinar Exploring Solutions for Businesses and Investors to Navigate Regulations and Practices Amid the Covid-19 Recession

California, France, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Netherlands are often cited for having legislated on business and Human Rights. Further legally-binding instruments are under study at the multilateral and national levels — notably in Canada, Germany, Switzerland and Norway. Global regulators are doubling down on Human Rights due diligence, to ensure their instruments are at once legally-binding, cross-cutting and forward-thinking. Among other instances, the recent update on the UK Modern Slavery Act and EU Directive on mandatory Human Rights due diligence are more than likely to change how business and investors approach human rights risks — that is, with a performance obligation, not just best endeavors clauses. The UK Government indeed revisited its Act of 2015 to extend reporting requirements to all organizations with an annual budget of £36 million, public authorities and multinationals alike. In an effort to boost supply chain transparency, these Modern Slavery Act statements will be published on a publicly-available digital platform by 2021. Much in the same spirit, the European Commission announced a 2021 directive on mandatory Human Rights due diligence, which would cover both potential risk and actual Human Rights impacts. As a result, businesses would be expected to publicly report their results, mitigative efforts and impact on the ground — inclusive of enforcement mechanisms and access to remedy for victims through civil liability. …

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Ksapa recently held a webinar to explore solutions for corporations and investors to #BuildingBackBetter. Here are our key takeaways for navigating the crisis, by learning from the past and exploring innovative solutions to address the unique circumstances of the present crisis.

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Ksapa joined a new workgroup whose object is the mainstreaming of sustainable consumption behavior. We kicked off the conversation with a presentation from Randi Kronthal-Sacco, researcher at the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business. Here, Ksapa shares key learnings from the Sustainable Share Index, its business implications and solutions to move the needle further toward sustainable consumption behavior.

With a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic upon us, businesses and investors seem to be catching up to their responsibility in the economic recession and inequalities nexus. …

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Several initiatives are being developed with a view to harmonize reporting standards for corporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosures. The goal is to instill more consistency amid multiple preexisting reporting frameworks, in hope these streamlining initiatives do not come to contradict one another. Here are 3 essential principles for the development of such a standard.

1. Non-Financial Reporting In 2020: A Case Of Multiplying Reporting Frameworks And Business Fatigue

Corporate non-financial reporting has considerably evolved in recent years. A number of voluntary reporting frameworks the likes of the GRI, SASB, CDP, TCFD, CDSB have helped companies to share more relevant and comprehensive ESG information.

However, each framework offers its own approach and focuses on a specific audience or issues and ultimately hinges on an independently devised choice of indicators. Such approaches are not easily combined when it comes to developing a non-financial performance statement. …

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Ksapa joined a new workgroup whose object is the mainstreaming of sustainable consumption behavior. We kicked off the conversation with a presentation from Randi Kronthal-Sacco, researcher at the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business. Here, Ksapa shares key learnings from the Sustainable Share Index, its business implications and solutions to move the needle further toward sustainable consumption behavior.

With a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic upon us, businesses and investors seem to be catching up to their responsibility in the economic recession and inequalities nexus. …

Image for post
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Several initiatives are being developed with a view to harmonize reporting standards for corporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosures. The goal is to instill more consistency amid multiple preexisting reporting frameworks, in hope these streamlining initiatives do not come to contradict one another. Here are 3 essential principles for the development of such a standard.

1. Non-Financial Reporting In 2020: A Case Of Multiplying Reporting Frameworks And Business Fatigue

Corporate non-financial reporting has considerably evolved in recent years. A number of voluntary reporting frameworks the likes of the GRI, SASB, CDP, TCFD, CDSB have helped companies to share more relevant and comprehensive ESG information.

However, each framework offers its own approach and focuses on a specific audience or issues and ultimately hinges on an independently devised choice of indicators. Such approaches are not easily combined when it comes to developing a non-financial performance statement. …

About

Farid Baddache

CEO ksapa.org #Sustainability #ClimateAction #Supplychain #BizHumanRights #Tech4Good #Leadership #RSE #CSR #SDGs #ESG #ImpactInvesting

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