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EIRIS Foundation

Service Providers Framework 2020

You are in Active Ownership Services » Engagement


AOS 04. Prioritizing engagement topics

04.1. Describe how you select priority engagement topics to raise with companies and how you involve your clients in this process.

          Since we are a charity, we are governed by our mission. Therefore, our engagement topics derive from our strategies. Once our projects are defined, we choose the best approach which might include engagement.

In relation to the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark to engagement focusses on the scoring system which has been calibrated after extensive stakeholder feedback (described earlier) to identify those issues that mark out genuinely leading practice in the field of business and human rights for the highest scores.

04.2. Describe how you define the objectives and milestones of the engagements and how you involve your clients in this process.

          This depends on the project we work on. On the Investment in Occupied Lands project, we defined our project in our funding proposal and have developed the specific milestones/objectives on engagement based on the project plan.

In relation to Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, the objectives are determined by the scoring methodology.

04.3. Additional information [OPTIONAL]

          We are also in the process of launching a strategy that will examine what role "transformational engagement" can play in the transition to a global economy in which long term economic success can be sustainable. This will be not so much focussed on ourselves carrying our engagement ourselves, as identifying what engagements are already taking place and looking to understand what would drive a greater use of engagement in transforming the economy in general in the long term interest of investors and society at large.

AOS 05. Channels of engagement

05.1. Indicate what channels you use to engage. Tick all that apply and indicate the frequency with which you typically use the channels.

Engagement type



05.2. Describe your typical execution method.

          In the Investment in Occupied Lands project, every company receives all the details of any information we have identified in relation to investment Crimea or Palestine for the feedback and further information. We are still reviewing the best means to organise investor engagement with the companies identified in the database. 

In relation to the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, all companies have received multiple communications by letter (about consultation, about publishing fresh information and about our conclusions), but they are then also offered an opportunity for an hour long phone call on a selection of issues of their choosing. In the Pilot Benchmark, more than 40% chose to participate in this engagement process with experts from the research team and the methodology committee or the CHRB project leader.

05.3. Additional information [OPTIONAL]


AOS 06. Accessing the appropriate teams when engaging with companies

06.1. Indicate from the options below the employee at the companies you typically engage with.

Employee level




06.2. Describe how you ensure the client’s rationale and engagement objectives are being communicated clearly to the company at the beginning and during the dialogue phase.

          The objectives of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (to improve the practice of business and human rights amongst those companies most at risk by encouraging a race to the top in the long term interests of investors as well as the companies stakeholders) are communicated very clearly by the project materials and documentation, and this has been repeated in the consultation phases of the project as well with companies and trade associations.

The rationale for investor engagement with business in occupied lands has developed some extent the materials presented at the recent tables, but will be developed further in the next phase of the project.

06.3. Describe the escalation strategies you take (or suggest that your clients take) when the engagement objectives are not achieved.

          Investors supporting CHRB have already contacted all companies to reinforce the messages communicated during the project consultation and engagement phases. Attention will be focused in future on the minority of companies who not engaged with the project at all including through giving wider publicity to this list.

In relation to Investment in Occupied Lands the escalation strategies are under review as part of the next phase of the project.

06.4. Additional information [OPTIONAL]


AOS 07. Monitoring engagements

07.1. Indicate how you monitor the progress of engagements.

07.2. Describe how you typically decide what recommendations for next steps to give to clients.

07.3. Additional information [OPTIONAL]


AOS 08. Defining and measuring success

08.1. Describe how you define success when evaluating/reviewing engagements on ESG factors.

          This is done case by case. In the Investment in Occupied Lands project, we view success as the database being used by investors to confirm their exposure to either Crimea or Palestine markets and pursuing their own strategies in relation to those exposures, including potentially asking the companies to conduct human rights due diligence in relation to those operations. 

For the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark the objective is clearly that companies develop their approach to business and human rights so that many more of them get good scores in the benchmark, which is entirely transparent and publicly available.

08.2. Describe how you measure success when evaluating/reviewing these engagements.

          This depends on the project. In the above mentioned project, we measure our success by gathering evidence that the database is being used and consulting by investors. For CHRB the evolution of the scores will be a key public measure of the success of the project.

08.3. Additional information [OPTIONAL]


AOS 09. Companies changing practices/behavior following engagement

09.1. Indicate the number of companies with which you engaged during the reporting year.


09.2. Indicate whether you track the number of cases where a company changed its practices during the reporting year, or made a formal commitment to do so, following your organisation’s engagement activities during the reporting year.

09.4. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]

Engagement by letter was carried out with 250 companies in Crimea or Palestine, and with 200 companies in the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark. Over 40 CHRB cases chose to have an hour long engagement call.

The tracking on impact can be seen in the changing results over time of the companies ranked by CHRB. On the past three years, the project has seen the numbers of companies scoring in the 30-60% bands have doubled from 15 in 2017 to over 30 in 2019. Companies average scores has also seen an improvement of 13% from year 2017 to 2019, with companies average score increasing from 18% in 2017 to 31% in 2019. 

AOS 10. Engaging with policy makers and industry bodies

10.1. Indicate whether your organisation engaged with public policy makers and industry bodies on ESG engagement topics or regulatory/policy issues that could advance ESG engagement in the reporting year.

10.2. Describe what ESG factors and/or regulatory/policy issues have informed your decisions to engage with policy makers and industry bodies. Provide examples.

          The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark is funded by governments (and investors and some foundations) and leading policy makers are very interested in its potential as a soft law mechanism to advance the business and human rights agenda. The extensive consultation process around both the pilot benchmark and the latest developments has included a wide range of trade associations and industry bodies in the three sectors involved to date (extractives, apparel and agriculture/food companies).

We have also met with organisations such as the Charity Commission to discuss the current guidance for charities around responsible investment.

10.3. Additional information [OPTIONAL]