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.
The tragic human rights situation currently unfolding in Myanmar holds particular significance to our Sustainability Analyst Georgina. Please read Georgie’s poignant thoughts on her visit to the camp, our expectations on our portfolio companies in regard to Myanmar, and why Ethical Partners has recently signed on to the Investor Statement on Human Rights and Business Activities in Myanmar.
As members of the Investor Group on Climate Change, Ethical Partners Funds Management strongly endorses its new roadmap released today in conjunction with the CDP and the Principles for Responsible Investment. It is entitled: "Confusion to clarity: A plan for mandatory TCFD-aligned disclosure in Australia".
During May 2021 the Fund returned 1.56% versus the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index of 2.31%, underperforming the market by -0.75%. An underweight position in IT and an overweight position in Westpac contributed to relative performance while an overweight position in Consumer Staples and an underweight position in CBA detracted from relative performance.