The tragic events currently unfolding in the Ukraine, which have devastated communities and displaced a population, are having both a disastrous short term human cost as well as wider reaching implications for society, global markets and sustainability efforts.
Respect for human and labour rights is a priority engagement theme for EOS. As the world grapples with the consequences of the conflict, it is important that we explain our approach to engaging with companies which are affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Given the escalating nature of the conflict, we have decided to temporarily suspend engagement with Russian companies, as we believe it is highly unlikely that businesses in Russia will engage with us meaningfully at this point in time. This decision will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
We will also be asking non-Russian companies in the engagement programme with material connections to Russian clients, suppliers, or counterparts to update us on a number of key issues. This includes what actions are being taken to ensure the safety of employees; increased due diligence on identifying connections to human rights violations and actions to remedy these. This involves the urgent mapping of supply chains or partners that could be involved in supporting the conflict either through products, services or finance.
We expect companies to protect their staff in the region and prioritise the opportunity to prevent and mitigate the most salient human rights impacts to people Through our engagement efforts, we remain committed to helping them achieve positive outcomes.