The 56 investors and their representatives with more than $1.7 trillion in combined assets under management or advisement have published a joint statement strongly condemning the Russian military invasion and ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine.
“Russia’s human rights abuses and violations of international law have manifested in salient and material risks that should compel investors to take measures to help protect both the rights of the Ukrainian people and the integrity of our investment portfolios.”
“We are committed to reviewing our portfolios to ensure compliance with relevant sanctions and export controls targeted at Russian and Belarusian economic actors. However, we do not consider legal compliance a sufficient response to the urgency of this crisis,” says the statement published on the website of the Heartland Initiative.
As investors committed to human rights, they endeavor to conduct enhanced due diligence of their respective portfolios as called for by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Guiding Principles) and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines).
In the joint statement, the investors also call on companies across all sectors with business activities or business relationships in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, or other conflict-affected and high-risk areas (CAHRA) to take immediate steps to align their operations with the Guiding Principles and OECD Guidelines.
Among other things, such companies must map their business activities, relationships, and/or investments across their value chain to identify and assess any human rights harms they are causing, contributing to, or linking to.