Construction materials

British investors extend anti-slavery campaign to construction and materials sectors

  • $ 10 trillion investor group to start talks in third quarter
  • Builds on initial engagement with hotel companies
  • Occurs against a background of increasing focus on business supply chains

LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) – A coalition of British investors urging companies to unearth modern slavery in their supply chains said on Monday it would expand its campaign to the construction and materials sectors.

The “Find It, Fix It, Prevent It” initiative – founded in 2019 by CCLA Investment Management – has so far focused on the hospitality industry.

“It is estimated that the construction industry contains 18% of the victims of forced labor in the world,” said CCLA Executive Director Peter Hugh Smith.

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“It also has a complex supply chain that spans the globe. These two factors make it an important sector for investors who wish to engage in the fight against modern slavery. “

The coalition said it now has 56 investors among its members – including M&G, Fidelity International, Schroders and Edentree – who together manage £ 7 trillion ($ 96 trillion) in assets.

He said he would start engaging with companies in the construction and materials sector in the third quarter of 2021.

There has been growing attention to ethical issues in business supply chains.

A separate group of religious and socially conscious investors, backed by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, told Reuters last month it was stepping up pressure on Western clothing companies with supply chains in China. Read more

Sara Thornton, the UK’s independent anti-slavery commissioner, said in a statement that companies must do more to protect vulnerable workers.

“Investors have a central role to play in making sure they do this,” she added.

($ 1 = 0.7295 pounds)

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Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Andrew Heavens

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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