Asset Manager Reports,


Spotlight on State Street Global Advisors: The Role of Fundamental Labour Rights in Investment Stewardship

This report, part of the CWC Asset Manager Report Series, evaluates the strength of SSGAs stewardship framework, the impact of its stewardship practices on workers’ rights and its degree of alignment with the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and rights-based frameworks such as the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGP) and the OECD Guidelines for MNEs.

Furthermore, the report compares and contrasts the policy commitments of SSGA and BlackRock with regards to investment stewardship policies on fundamental labour rights (appendix 1).

Report highlights :

  • SSGA’s public statements and stewardship documents commit to raising the bar on social issues related to COVID-19 and racial justice, but its ESG stewardship framework is based on a narrow analysis of the financial materiality of sustainability issues ;
  • The lack of reference to fundamental labour rights in SSGA’s engagement and proxy guidelines limits the effectiveness of its stewardship framework in holding companies accountable on workers’ rights issues ;
  • SSGA has scaled up its engagements with companies on “human capital management” issues but it is unclear whether these press companies to uphold workers’ rights and labour standards as defined in international frameworks ;
  • SSGA voted against every CWC-supported proxy voting recommendation with one exception ;
  • In its public policy submissions, SSGA advocates for the development of sustainability reporting standards aligned with financial materiality, thereby discounting a “double materiality” approach that calls on companies to disclose their environmental and social impacts on key stakeholders, including workers.

This report is current up to April 2021.