Platform Living Wage Financials

The Platform Living Wage Financials (PLWF) is an unprecedented coalition of 15 financial institutions that encourages and monitors investee companies to address the non-payment of living wage in global supply chains.

As an investor coalition with over €3.2 trillion of Assets Under Management and advice, we use our influence and leverage to engage with our investee companies. We measure their performance on living wage, we discuss the assessment results and we support innovative pilots. Lastly, we make sustainable investment decisions based on (the lack of) progress subject to individual choices and policy preferences of each Platform member. 

PLWF members

The PLWF consists of the following members: ABN AMRO, Achmea Investment Management, Actiam, Aegon, Amundi, ASN Bank, a.s.r., BMO Global Asset Management, ING, Kempen Capital Management, MN, NN Investment Partners, PGGM, Robeco and Triodos Investment Management, who collectively represent over €3.2 trillion AUM. 

Why living wage?

In sectors that employ and rely on masses of manual labor, such as the garment and footwear, food and beverage, consumer electronics or retail sectors, wages are often insufficient to cover workers’ basic living expenses such as food, clothing, housing, health care, and education. Research shows these wages are often on the poverty line and well-below living wage estimates.

 

Benefits of living wage

The benefits of paying a living wage are clear. Workers who earn a living wage, can meet their own basic needs and those of their families as well as put aside savings, thus being more likely to find their way out of poverty. They work regular working hours instead of excessively working overtime to make ends meet, and they are more likely to send their children to school instead of sending them to work. In short, our focus on living wage also advances the respect for a number of other fundamental human rights in global supply chains.
 

Objectives of the collaboration

Under the umbrella of the PLWF, financial institutions come together to encourage, support, assess, and monitor investee companies with regard to their commitment to pay a living wage to the workers in their supply chains. As recognized by, among others, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the OECD, living wage is a fundamental human right. Within the PLWF, we are strongly convinced that living wage is a salient human right that requires urgent attention by companies worldwide.

 

Sector-wide approach

At the same time, we cannot expect individual companies to solve a systemic issue such as living wage on their own. This is precisely why we work with over 30 listed garment and footwear brands, 11 food producing companies and 10 food retail companies and seek to expand our reach in these sectors even further. That way we can really ensure that the key companies in these sectors put a living wage and living income on their agenda. 

By guiding and assessing the companies and building a ‘benchmark’ to determine which companies have been leading on the issue and which need to do more, we aim to motivate the ‘laggards’ to follow their better-performing peers.

 

Adherence to international guidelines and contribution to the 2030 Agenda

Finally, by engaging on living wage, we also honor our commitment to the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, wherein financials are asked to act with due diligence and to identify and mitigate salient human rights risks. In doing so, we also aim to help reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth and we perceive the engagement trajectory as a concrete contribution to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goals 1: ‘No poverty’; and 8: ‘Decent work and economic growth’.
PLWF Members
Supporting parties