Industry super fund, Vision Super, has joined a coalition of investors worth US$4.53 trillion calling on Amazon to enter into a dialogue on the implementation of labour rights in Amazon’s operations and supply chain.
Chief Investment Officer Michael Wyrsch said the fund has a strong focus on ESG.
“Vision Super is a values-based fund,” Michael said.
“All three factors of ESG are built into our investment beliefs, which inform our investment decisions – we believe that environmental, social and governance issues and sustainability considerations are important within the context of optimising net risk-adjusted returns.
“A lot of organisations have an ESG approach that’s really centred on the environment factor and ignores the rest. At Vision Super, we think all three are important.
The ‘S’ factor – social considerations – is an important factor that drives companies’ long-term performance. We want to understand Amazon’s approach to human and labour rights, and how it might affect their trajectory, and our members’ investment.
“There has been previous negative media coverage about how Amazon treats workers – including reports that Amazon has retaliated against workers who attempt to organise or strike.
“A positive approach to labour rights, such as the right to join a union of your choice, is really important for reducing risk and driving productivity in an organisation – and in the end, that means better returns for our members.
“That’s why we joined the Investor Alliance for Human Rights in calling on Amazon to explain their new supplier code of conduct, how this reflects the standard laid out in the International Labour Organisation’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and how they’re implementing the code.
“The new supplier code of conduct is a step in the right direction. We’re asking Amazon to enter into a dialogue about it to help us learn more as investors.”
Vision Super was one of only three Australian superannuation funds to sign the letter, along with fellow industry fund Statewide Super and retail fund Australian Ethical.