FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Investors ask Dollarama to address human rights risks in global supply chain
A shareholder proposal filed by the Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada goes to vote June 13 at company annual meeting
June 12, 2019 – Citing concerns about forced labour and unscrupulous worker recruitment, institutional investors are calling on Dollarama Inc. to report on how it prevents and mitigates human rights abuses in its supply chain. The Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada filed a shareholder proposal requesting disclosure of the due diligence process used by the company to identify and address risks to human rights from Dollarama’s business.
The discount retail chain offers roughly 4,000 products and sources from over 25 different countries, with more than half of these products coming from China.
“While the retail sector globally has been tackling the issue of forced labour by establishing monitoring and ethical recruitment practices, Dollarama has not reported any specific policies or practices to effectively and consistently enforce the standards in its Vendor Code of Conduct,” said Marcus Robertson, Chair of the Pension Board for The United Church of Canada Pension Plan. “Investors, customers and lawmakers expect international business to conduct effective human rights due diligence within their operations and supply chains.”
The Pension Plan, working through the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), has been engaging with Dollarama management for years on this issue. The company has responded with initiatives such as a self-assessment survey for its suppliers and a new sustainability report due out this month, but the Pension Board is concerned that the lack of more rigorous policies and procedures exposes Dollarama to significant risks, including potential regulatory action, supply chain disruption, and media reports that negatively impact the company’s reputation.
“Most importantly, as shareholders we would like to be assured that the company is doing its utmost to prevent any human rights abuses within its supply chain,” said Robertson.
SHARE, a non-profit organization that assists in implementing responsible investment strategies on behalf of institutional investors, will present the proposal at the meeting. Its engagement with Dollarama has been backed by investors with more than $23 billion in assets.
“I’ve worked with brands and retailers around the world on this issue for decades, and I can assure you that this limited approach will neither identify nor end human rights abuses in the supply chain,” said Kevin Thomas, Executive Director at SHARE. “I’d like Dollarama to learn instead from the experience of other retailers and develop more efficient and yet still cost-effective alternatives to prevent human rights violations.”
Read the full shareholder proposal here:
Read SHARE’s Dollarama proxy alert here:
About the Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada
The Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada was established in 1928. It is a program for deferral of earnings in order to provide income in retirement, as well as benefits to survivors. The Pension Board and its committees and staff work to continually improve responsible investment and engagement activities. Effective January 1, 2017, the pension plan became a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.
About SHARE (Shareholder Association for Research & Education)
The Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a sustainable, inclusive and productive economy. Since its creation in 2000, SHARE has worked toward this goal by supporting responsible investment leadership among institutional investors and building a network of investors who share our vision with more than $23 billion in assets under management.
Notes for Editors
Interviews available with Kevin Thomas, Executive Director at SHARE
Damon van der Linde, Communications Coordinator