Category

Press Release

Two Years After Rana Plaza

By | Press Release | No Comments

Two years after the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh collapsed, taking the lives of more than 1,100 workers and injured thousands more, a Canadian responsible investment organization has found that some Canadian apparel companies are still not participating in industry safety initiatives in Bangladesh.

Read More

Leading Canadian responsible investment managers and funds say social performance should be part of responsible property agenda

By | Press Release | No Comments

Vancouver, BC:  On the occasion of the World Day for Decent Work, a group of leading Canadian responsible investment managers and funds has endorsed Canada’s Responsible Property Services Code, communicating their commitment to decent working conditions in Canada’s commercial real estate sector. The Code establishes standards for how commercial real estate companies incorporate decent work principles into the procurement of property services such as cleaning, security and maintenance.

Canadian institutional investors are allocating a growing percentage of their assets to real estate. Canadian pension funds have placed, on average, 8% of their total assets to real estate, a value of approximately $104 billion. Real estate investors, both in Canada and globally, have shown a growing interest in improving the environmental performance of their real estate portfolios. But social performance has not received equal attention, despite evidence of the opportunities associated with superior social performance in commercial real estate.

“When workers are paid fair wages, receive full-time work, and have access to health benefits, training opportunities, and legitimate grievance mechanisms, worker productivity improves and companies experience lower turnover and absenteeism and lower risks of workplace accidents and injury” says Shannon Rohan, SHARE’s Director of Responsible Investment, “This means that instead of spending time managing a revolving door of workers, property service firms can focus on delivering superior tenant services and property managers can focus on building better relationships with clients. Well attended tenants are more likely to renew leases and pay premium rents,” she adds.

Recognizing the long-term performance benefits of decent working conditions in commercial real estate properties, the investors that have endorsed the Code are committed to communicating with fund managers and portfolio companies about the Code and the importance of decent working conditions in property service supply chains for the overall performance of commercial real estate properties and property portfolios.

“By supporting responsible contracting practices, fair wages and reasonable workloads for property service workers, we are protecting the value of our real estate assets and thereby safeguarding the stable income streams that we expect from these portfolios” says Erik Mathiesen, President of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation.

In cooperation with Code endorsers, SHARE will work to incorporate more social performance measures into the broader responsible property investing agenda and will continue to encourage Canadian commercial real estate companies to improve their contracting and procurement policies and practices.

###

The Responsible Property Services Code is the product of a two-year process supported by the Atkinson Charitable Foundation that brought together Canadian investors, property managers, civil society organizations and workers to develop a labour code of conduct for the commercial real estate sector. For more information go to the Investing in Decent Work website at: www.decentwork.ca/precarious-employment

SHARE is a Canadian leader in responsible investment services, education and research for institutional investors. We offer proxy voting, shareholder engagement and consulting services, courses and conferences, policy advocacy and timely research that help investors integrate environmental, social and governance issues into the investment management process. www.share.ca

Institutional investors that have endorsed the Code:

  • The Atkinson Charitable Foundation
  • The Canadian Labour Congress Staff Pension Plan
  • Glasswaters Foundation
  • Meritas SRI Funds (OceanRock Investments Inc.)
  • Stephen Whipp Financial
  • The United Church of Canada

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT

Contact:
Shannon Rohan, Director, Responsible Investment, SHARE
T: +1.206.701.6656 | E: srohan@share.ca

 

Invest in Safety: Investor guidance on best corporate health & safety practices released on World Day for Health and Safety at Work

By | Press Release | No Comments

Vancouver, BC: SHARE is marking April 28 – the World Day for Health and Safety at Work – by releasing a guidance report for investors focused on corporate best practices in health and safety.

More than 300,000 workers suffer injuries serious enough to warrant time off work every year in Canada. Mental health problems cost Canadian businesses approximately $33 billion a year, and stress-related absences cost Canadian employers an estimated $3.5 billion a year. Additionally, the cost of absenteeism for Canadian businesses is approximately $5.48 billion a year. Such losses have serious impacts on workers and their families but also on employers, the Canadian economy and by extension, for investors.

“Companies that provide safe and healthy workplaces are also financially safer,” says Sari Sairanen, National Health and Safety Director at the Canadian Auto Workers. “The costs of accidents and workplace illnesses reduces productivity, lowers economic output and resulting investment returns. Paying attention to corporate workplace health and safety is a win-win situation for institutional investors, such as pension funds.”

The SHARE guidance report outlines best practice principles for Canadian companies to provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees, including key questions and recommendations for investors to consider when managing health and safety risks in their portfolios.

April 28 is World Day for Health and Safety at Work, an international day of remembrance recognized by the International Labour Organization to focus attention on the preventable nature of most workplace accidents and occupational disease, as well as the magnitude of global work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

“We are releasing this report as part of our Investing in Decent Work project,” said SHARE Executive Director, Peter Chapman. “The goal of the project is to help build the capacity of pension funds to meet their long-term financial obligations to plan
members in a way that recognizes and promotes the fundamental human rights of workers.”

Read SHARE’s investor guidance on OHS in Canada here: http://www.share.ca/files/12-4-27_Investor_Guidance_on_OHS_-_Final.pdf
For an outline of the risks associated with poor Occupational Health and Safety more generally, please see the report produced by the Global Unions Committee on Workers’ Capital, Investing in Decent Work: Leveraging workers’ capital for healthy and safe workplaces, at www.workerscapital.org

SHARE is a Canadian leader in responsible investment services, education and research for institutional investors. We offer proxy voting, shareholder engagement and consulting services, courses and conferences, policy advocacy and timely research that help investors integrate environmental, social and governance issues into the investment management process. www.share.ca.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT

Contact:
Peter Chapman , Executive Director
pchapman@share.ca
Tel: 604 695 2020
Cell: 416 886 0456