Human Rights

Overview of issues

At times, describing “our issues” is complicated as the topics overlap. For instance, every SGI member initiative has some human rights dimension. We see all our work through a social justice lens. SGI members have been working with companies across all sectors to eradicate human rights abuses in their operations and supply chains, including sweatshop labor in the garment industry, improving conditions for tobacco workers, and promoting ethical recruitment for laborers.

In 2011, the United Nations adopted the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights declaring the corporate responsibility to respect human rights in company operations and supply chains and providing a global framework for addressing these often unseen risks to individuals, communities and companies.

SGI is an active member of Racial Justice Investing, a group of investors, asset owners, and business leaders who are taking action for racial justice within our own organizations, as well as in our engagements with portfolio companies. As well, SGI is a member of the Midwest Investors Diversity Initiative (MIDI), an investor coalition of regional institutional investors engaging companies in the Midwest on board diversity. Led by the Illinois Treasurer, MIDI members work collaboratively to understand company practices and take targeted engagement actions to institutionalize best practices and improve board diversity.

As social justice advocates and as investors, SGI members help educate the companies we own about the enormous human, financial and reputational implications when formal human rights policies aren’t adopted and these risks aren’t properly managed.

SGI’s engagement

SGI shareholder resolutions