Asset manager Aviva Investors will push firms to increase their focus on biodiversity and human rights as it looks to promote a more rounded approach to corporate sustainability, its chief executive has announced.
Aviva Investors, which manages around £262bn of assets, said it will now consider human rights and biodiversity as equal to climate targets and executive pay when considering investment decisions.
In his annual letter sent to 1,500 companies, boss Mark Versey said: “We want to encourage companies to consider the whole picture of sustainability because this is how they will create the greatest return for shareholders, while helping to build a better future for society.
“Companies must now turn their pledges into concrete and measurable plans of delivery.”
Versey called on firms to address the full scope of sustainability across climate impact, biodiversity and human rights, and said that businesses should now be aligning executive pay with climate performance.
The firm’s calls for increased focus on human rights come as a leading think tank warned that businesses are ignoring the “social” aspect of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets.
The Social Market Foundation warned yesterday that more than half (53 per cent) of FTSE 100 companies completely failed to mention the word poverty in their annual reports for the financial year 2019-20.