The Human Rights Commission has said a report, launched today by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), serves as a timely reminder of the value of investing in human rights for New Zealand businesses.
The Responsible Investment Benchmark Report 2016 shows increasing consumer demand for investments that deliver strong returns as well as better social and environmental outcomes. It also shows that investments perform better when they are investing in sustainable companies and assets.
Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue says the report demonstrates why human rights should be at the top of the agenda for kiwi businesses.
“Ultimately, by valuing human rights, businesses can add value to their bottom line. The ground swell for making human rights commitments is growing and Kiwi businesses will face increasing demand from their international partners and their consumers to be making those commitments.
“Now is the time for businesses to learn more about how human rights impact them and how they can assess the who, what, where, when and why of their products and ensure they are doing right by every person in their supply chain and organisation.
“To help Kiwi businesses do that, the Commission is bringing Shift, the organisation that helped craft the United Nation’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, to New Zealand to facilitate the first Business and Human Rights Forum from 9 to 11 August.
“The Forum will give New Zealand businesses unprecedented access to the world-leading experts on business and human rights and will be invaluable for businesses who have a focus on building their corporate social responsibility reputation,” Dr Blue says.
Rachel Davis, Managing Director of Shift says, “No business is immune from the new global expectations of the UN Guiding Principles, but those expectations are reasonable and they are achievable. Shift has worked with companies from all kinds of sectors and all regions of the world on how to meet their human rights responsibilities.
“The Forum is an important opportunity to share those practical tools and approaches to prevent and address human rights risks with New Zealand business, government and civil society stakeholders.”
The Business and Human Rights forum is being held from 9 to 11 August. The launch at Parliament and a Government Roundtable are both being held in Wellington and the CEO Breakfast, the workshop for investors and directors and the workshop for CSR practitioners will be held in Auckland.
For more information and to register for these events, please visit: www.hrc.co.nz/new-zealand-business-and-human-rights-forum