D044 Tools for Effective Shareholder Engagement for Human Rights

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church affirm the following criteria for evaluating the impact of our investments and the use of our money, to inform our shareholder engagement and, when warranted, the divestment of Episcopal Church resources from corporations that are complicit in state violence and violations of human rights, and that we commend this criteria to the Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility to implement with regard to The Episcopal Church’s stated policy on corporations that are profiting from human rights abuses associated with the military industry, the prison industry (including for-profit prisons and immigration detention centers), border control, militarized local policing, and violations of international human rights law and agreements anywhere in the world, including the United States of America and the Occupied Territories of Palestine:

  • Salience, defined as the the severity of a violation. This term is taken from the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights Reporting Framework, measuring the severity of the negative impact of a company’s activities and/or business relationships. Salience measures the impact on people, not on the company’s revenues.
  • Significance, defined as the degree of the company’s involvement in a violation. It is assessed on a case by case basis, and would include both the significance of the company’s activities to a human rights violation and the significance of that relationship to the company itself. For example, unlike the supply of an off-the-shelf product, supplying specifically designed crucial equipment and services would constitute a significant involvement.
  • Responsiveness, defined by the company’s responsiveness to multi-stakeholder engagement, as well as the continuity of the said corporate activities. Responsiveness is assessed by monitoring the dialogue efforts with a company on the relevant issues as well as all changes in corporate policies or activities

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