Companies should be good corporate citizens during the coronavirus crisis by protecting workers, communities and markets, a coalition of nearly 200 global institutional investors said Thursday.
The statement, organized by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Domini Impact Investments and the New York City Comptroller’s Office, fiduciary for the five pension funds within the $217.9 billion New York City Retirement Systems, and endorsed by 195 investors with more than $4.7 trillion in assets, calls on companies to help workers by providing paid leave, maintaining employment and prioritizing their health and safety.
Companies themselves should exhibit "the highest level of ethical financial management," which could include suspending share buybacks and limiting executive compensation during the crisis, the investors said, while board directors "are accountable for the long-term human capital management strategy" of their firms.
"The decisions companies make in this moment will have profound implications for our social and economic systems," Corey Klemmer, director of engagement at Domini Impact Investments, said in a statement. "Workers create tremendous value for companies, they are a source of value companies should fight to protect. We stand by ready to work with companies and stakeholders however we can."