The Platform Living Wage Financials – three years of growing impact

Today marks the 3-year anniversary of the Platform Living Wage Financials. On this date in 2018, eight Dutch financial institutions celebrated the formal launch at founding partner MN in The Hague, of their joint initiative to promote living wages in global supply chains. By starting to engage with investee companies on this systemic issue, the founding members aimed to advance living conditions for workers worldwide, as well as to reduce related risks, such as child labor and excessive overtime. 

Expanding collective leverage

Over the last years, the platform has expanded its initial focus on the garment and footwear sector with the food, agriculture and retail sectors. The number of companies under engagement has grown to over 50 as of today. Thanks to the growing number of PLWF members, we have been able to expand our leverage and influence significantly. 

What started as a coalition of eight Dutch investors has grown to a group of seventeen international investors, collectively holding over €4 trillion of Assets under Management. And we continue to grow. With AP2 and Storebrand, the PLWF recently again welcomed two new members. 

New members on the PLWF

“Human rights is one of AP2’s focus areas within sustainability. Protecting human rights is essential for the Fund’s mission to manage its assets in an exemplary manner. AP2 strives to implement human rights due diligence into its investment and ownership processes, in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles for Businesses and Human Rights. Human Rights risks connected to Living Wages have been identified as salient risks and focus issues in AP2’s portfolio risk assessment. As strong believers in joint leverage, we have been looking for relevant and effective investor collaborations with a focus that matches ours. We are very impressed by the work done in the PLWF, and pleased that we will now be able to join the platform and contribute to its future work.”

~ Åsa Mossberg, Senior Sustainability strategist at AP2

“Respect for labour rights in company supply chains has been and continues to be a centrally important theme for Storebrand in its work with sustainable investment, and living wages are an integral component in this regard. We see that the issue of living wages is now perhaps even more critical after the disproportionate cumulative effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had over millions of low-paid workers’ health and their precarious work conditions. Addressing living wages and helping to create the structures supporting them, not only has an effect on workers’ health and working conditions in general, it also allows for the eradication of other social issues such a poverty, child labour, forced labour and low-living standards. We also see the benefits that companies gain that contribute to value creation, such as: productivity improvements; reducing absenteeism; reducing staff turnover; increasing worker morale and loyalty; strengthening recruitment opportunities and providing reputational benefits. Storebrand has been following the thorough work of the PLWF initiative for a while and we are very pleased to be able to join a group of such committed responsible investors. We are looking forward to contributing to the initiative and the stakeholder engagements that this issue requires to advance.” 

~ Tulia Machado Helland, Head of Human Rights at Storebrand  &  Kamil Zabielski, Head of Sustainable Investment, Storebrand 

Future perspective

In the years to come, PLWF will increase its efforts to further push and inspire towards the payment of living wages and incomes for all workers. We will continue to build partnerships, share best practices, learn and improve. Are you curious about this years’ assessment cycle and our outlook for the coming year? Reserve the 28th of October, 14:30-19:00 CET for our Annual Conference at Triodos IM, Zeist, the Netherlands. More information will be announced.