Investment Firms to Schwarzenegger: Take Slavery Out of Supply Chains
The California Supply Chain Transparency Act is just one step away from becoming law. SB 657 recently passed both the California Senate and Assembly, and is now awaiting Governor Schwarzenegger’s signature—or veto. If the governor takes no action, SB 657 will become law by default.
As part of the ATEST coalition of seven U.S. anti-slavery organizations, Free the Slaves signed a letter supporting SB 657. Read our statement here (PDF).
Last week, the corporate world joined the chorus of supporters of this bill. A letter, signed by 32 people “representing research firms, institutional investors and faith-based investors” was sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, urging him to allow SB 657 to pass into law. Collectively, the signatories command $40 billion in assets, according to a press release sent out by the Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS), a Catholic, socially responsible investment firm that has co-signed this letter.
Working to eradicate slavery in supply chains is good for business, this letter contends:
“While opponents of the bill have expressed concern about the level and difficulty of disclosure, this type of information is already disclosed by many mainstream corporations operating in California, including apparel companies, manufacturers and retailers such as The Gap, Nike, Target, Wal-Mart, Disney, Levi’s, and Tiffany. These companies, which many of us hold in our portfolios, recognize the growing relevance of global labor standards…
“In addition to helping shareholders and consumers make investment and purchasing decisions, many companies have found reporting on their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their direct supply chains to be helpful not only in uncovering human rights issues that have the potential to impact their reputations, but also in revealing opportunities for improvement.”
Read the rest of the letter here (PDF).