CBIS & $1 trillion in Assets are the Force Behind New Supply Chain Anti-Trafficking Act

CBIS helped to galvanize more than one hundred investors representing over $1 trillion in assets to support The Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015 (H.R. 3226/S.1968). The Act is aimed at strengthening corporate commitment to end human trafficking and modern day slavery by requiring them to disclose the policies and management systems they have in place to better identify and eradicate these violations within their global supply chains.

CBIS played a critical role, helping to craft the statement, organize investor signatories, and speak with legislators. We have supported supply chain transparency legislation since 2010, when we rallied shareholders around the country behind The California Transparency in Supply Chains Law.

Julie Tanner, Assistant Director of Catholic Responsible Investing℠ at CBIS, has led the firm’s effort to support this new Anti-Trafficking Act. “CBIS has long been in the fight to end modern slavery, and this bi-partisan legislation has real potential to make a difference,” said Tanner. “It may also work to support shareholder value, by reducing the potential legal and reputational risks that can occur if an incident arises deep in a company’s global supply chain.” The Act would require public disclosures around auditing and verification procedures, risk assessments, training, remediation plans and accountability mechanisms that address trafficking and slavery risks to corporations.

“We have witnessed the legal and reputational consequences of companies being blindsided when a trafficking and slavery incident surfaces from somewhere deep in their supply chains,” said Julie Tanner of Christian Brothers Investment Services. “Those consequences can have serious financial ramifications that are felt by shareholders. We believe this proposed legislation offers a meaningful solution, and strongly urge lawmakers in both the House and the Senate to co-sponsor it.” Excerpted from the Investor Support Statement

In addition to CBIS, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Calvert Investments, the Connecticut State Treasurer’s Office, U.S. and international public pension funds, and many other faith-based institutions are also participating. Collectively, the group sent a statement to the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and the House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services urging strong bi-partisan support. Additional excerpts:

“It is impressive to see such a demand for supply chain transparency among major U.S. investors,” said Representative Maloney. “As lead sponsor of supply chain transparency legislation, I believe that making corporate anti-trafficking policies public will inspire companies to take concrete action to identify and eliminate incidents of trafficking within their operations. This information empowers investors and consumers alike to make informed purchasing decisions.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal said, “This support for our human trafficking fight is enormously significant in helping to stop the scourge of modern-day slavery. We must prevent global corporations from enabling and profiting from human trafficking and this clarion call by more than 100 investments firms shows a deep, broad commitment to this common-sense legislation. I hope that other investors will join efforts to stop the egregious modern day slavery and exploitation in the global marketplace.”

For more information, please see the Investor Support Statement.