(Monday 6th November) ShareAction has today called on the Government to use this year’s King’s Speech to boost public health by introducing legislation that would require companies and investors to report on their social impact and the risks posed to their business due to social issues.
The responsible investment charity is calling for the Government to implement its delayed Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR) regime and ensure that this includes issues like health alongside environment.
Fergus Moffatt, Head of UK Policy at ShareAction said: “Companies contribute to many causes of poor health in this country, such as air pollution and unhealthy food. Ill health harms the wellbeing of communities, creates a drag on our economy and increases pressure on health services.
“Well-designed policy is key to unlock the potential of businesses and their investors to have a more positive impact and help shape fairer, healthier societies.
“To boost public health, we’re calling on the Government to include mandatory social and health reporting in its new policy agenda. This greater transparency would drive up accountability and ambition, giving shareholders the information they need to ensure the companies they invest in are having a positive impact on people.”
Currently, companies and financial institutions will have to report on environmental impacts under a framework published by the UK’s Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
The SDR regime was withdrawn from the Queen’s Speech last year, making it a missed opportunity to support the UK’s climate ambitions by streamlining reporting around environmental impact. Health and other social factors were not included in the proposed plans.
Notes to editors
Ill health is estimated to cost the UK economy as much as £77.5 billion a year.
ShareAction is an NGO working to shape a world where the financial system serves our planet and its people. We mobilise global investors to use their influence to drive up labour standards, tackle climate change, protect the natural world, and improve people’s health. We push policymakers to ensure the financial system is working in the best interests of society. We work with people to create a movement for change. Visit shareaction.org or follow us @ShareAction to find out more.
The Long-term Investors in People’s Health initiative, led by ShareAction and supported by The Health Foundation and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation, unites asset managers and asset owners who want to help shape healthier, fairer societies. It comprises 43 investors from eight countries, managing over $5.1 trillion in assets. More information here.