Earlier this year Ethical Partners Investment Director Nathan Parkin spoke at the Elevate Modern Slavery Conference, which included industry, government, NGO and academic speakers and delegates. Nathan spoke on the importance of the investor voice in addressing the Modern Slavery Issue and about the research Ethical Partners has conducted into the supply chain and human rights disclosures of the top 220 companies listed on the ASX. This research showed that only 4/10 companies even mentioned supply chain or human rights in their reporting. He also encouraged the companies present to be willing to look for and address the issue of modern slavery better in their business practices and reporting and be honest about what they find and how they plan to fix it.
Nathan then discussed the importance of investors rewarding companies for doing this, which we hope will make companies feel more comfortable to examine their supply chains honestly. Ethical Partners also feels strongly that companies looking at, and fixing their supply chains, will help to reduce their reputational and business risks, thus benefitting both those affected by modern slavery and shareholders. We look forward to being involved in many more of these collaborative and advocacy events in the future.
While the response to climate change risk by regulators, financial institutions and publicly listed companies is welcome, it currently is not enough to ensure a safe climate. This submission provides a comprehensive assessment of the current risks relating to Australia's key export sectors.
It is estimated that 100 pairs of hands touch your clothes before they arrive in your wardrobe. That’s 100 people at risk of modern slavery, poor working conditions, and exploitation. Ethical Partners has recently signed the Investor Statement in Support of the maintenance and expansion of the Bangladesh Accord.
During March 2021 the Fund returned 3.07% versus the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index of 2.30%, outperforming the market by 0.77%. An overweight position in consumer staples and an underweight position in materials contributed to relative performance while an overweight position in financials and an underweight position in consumer discretionary detracted from relative performance. The Fund is +20% over the last six months.
Globally, 15% of the population are persons with disabilities. The labor force participation rate globally for people with disabilities sits at 32.8% compared to 77.1% for those without disabilities. We believe it is imperative that investors use their shareholder voice to raise the awareness of this important diversity issue and help companies to improve their inclusion.