Ethical Partners has made a submission this week to the Australian Parliament on the Customs Amendment (Banning Goods Produced by Uyghur Forced Labour) Bill 2020.
Modern Slavery and Forced Labour is an area of deep engagement and critical analysis for Ethical Partners, and is something we discuss with all of our portfolio companies. Evidence clearly shows the abhorrent and human rights violating situation involving the Uyghur people, to which Australian investors and corporates are markedly exposed through the import of products and their supply chains. We furthermore believe that investors have a very important role in advocating for action on these issues, both in order to better mitigate forced labour risks in their portfolios and to create positive impact.
Pleasingly, in a nod to our extensive investment and engagement process, we note that the two fashion companies that have adequately addressed the risks of Uyghur labour in their inaugural Modern Slavery Statements are Kathmandu – a long standing holding of the Ethical Partners Australian Share Fund and Woolworths – a company with whom we have had long term engagement and dialogue.
Please see attached our Submission.
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.