Current Priority Issues:
Climate & Environmental Justice
IASJ has engaged in shareholder advocacy on climate change since the early 1990s, raising a prophetic voice about this emerging crisis. Climate Change is a fundamental challenge to society and human rights, presenting enormous financial risks and a compelling moral imperative to mitigate its negative impacts, especially on the poorest and most vulnerable. In light of the recent IPCC report that reinforces the imperative to limit warming to 1.5°C given the severe climate impacts of warming 2°C, IASJ is launching a campaign on climate & environmental justice. Through investor letters, dialogue with corporate leadership and filing shareholder resolutions, we will engage companies in the chemical manufacturing, conglomerates, mining/extractives, and utilities sectors on issues of reducing emissions, ensuring a just transition, and conducting robust human rights due diligence around climate change and environmental justice.
Our company list for this campaign is in development.
Impact Highlight: After shareholder engagement, IASJ led a group of investors alongside Ceres to encourage Ford Motor Company to develop its first 2 degree scenario report, providing input on the report. This report integrates the TCFD framework, maps pathways for the low-carbon transition, and tests Ford’s business resiliency against various climate scenarios.
Business Impacts on Immigrants’ Rights
IASJ is responding to growing concerns about the corporate role in the immigration crisis in the United States, which ranges from enabling family separation and detention at the US-Mexico border to increased surveillance and tracking of immigrant communities by engaging companies that have business relationships with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), CBP (Customs and Border Protection), and ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement). We have initiated engagements with banks, tech companies, consulting companies, and defense contractors to encourage implementation of robust human rights due diligence processes to assess how their business activity or government contracts may negatively impact immigrant communities.
Impact highlight: We led the group of shareholders putting pressure on JPMorgan Chase to stop financial relationships with CoreCivic and GEO Group, private prison companies which operate immigration detention centers where there have been accusations of severe human rights abuses. The bank announced its decision to back away from these business relationships in March 2019.
Companies We Engage:
- Bank of America
- General Dynamics
- JP Morgan Chase
- Northrop Grumman
- Wells Fargo
Shifting Gears Campaign:
IASJ is using our voice as faith-based and responsible investors to engage with our portfolio companies in the automotive sector as part of an initiative called Shifting Gears: Accelerating Human Rights in the Auto Sector. Automakers source thousands of commodities from around the globe, exposing risks of child labor, forced labor, and dangerous working conditions in the farms, mines, or factories where these goods are harvested and produced. IASJ is engaging with automakers to ensure effective supply chain risk assessment and management, encourage increased transparency, and raise awareness among the investor community about the risk in the automotive sector associated with vast supply chains.
Companies We Engage:
- Axalta Coating Systems Ltd.
- BASF SE
- BMW Group
- Bridgestone Corporation
- Continental AG
- Denso Corporation
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.
- Ford Motor Company
- Garrett Motion Inc. (formerly part of Honeywell)
- General Motors Company
- Genuine Parts Company
- Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
- Groupe PSA
- Honda Motor Company, Ltd.
- Johnson Controls International PLC
- Lear Corporation
- Nissan Motor Company Ltd.
- Nucor Corporation
- PPG Industries, Inc.
- Tesla, Inc.
- Toyota Motor Corporation
- Volkswagen Group
Human Rights Due Diligence:
According to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) companies have a responsibility to respect human rights across business operations and through business relationships. They can meet this responsibility in part through Human Rights Due Diligence, which is an ongoing risk management process that we encourage companies to use in order to identify, prevent, mitigate, and remedy the human rights impacts of business activities. IASJ has engaged with companies to encourage them to adopt a Human Rights Policy, on implementing their human rights policies, conducting human rights saliency assessments, and addressing human rights impacts of business activities on workers, communities, and other impacted stakeholders. We also join investor efforts to create an enabling environment for responsible business conduct, such as domestic and international regulation on modern slavery transparency or sustainable finance.
When we engage companies on human rights due diligence we identify salient issues to address in our dialogues, such as eliminating forced labor and child labor in the supply chain, ensuring ethical recruitment, and respecting the Human Right to Water.
Impact highlight: After shareholder engagement on forced labor helped reinforce the need for Hershey to develop a Human Rights Policy, IASJ participated in a human rights saliency assessment and provided feedback on the draft human rights policy, which was integrated into the final policy launched in April 2019. While serious challenges remain for implementation of this policy to address child labor in the cocoa supply chain, this comprehensive framework and meaningful management systems should help guide and strengthen Hershey’s efforts to address this.
Read more about this impact story here:
Corporate Actions to Address Child Labor in Cocoa Production: Case Study – The Hershey Company
Companies We Engage:
- Chevron (Human Right to Water)
- Hershey (Human Rights Due Diligence)
- Tyson Foods (Human Rights Due Diligence)