CCLA Investment Management has appointed Dame Sara Thornton (pictured right) as a consultant on modern slavery.
She joins the charity asset manager having recently served a three-year stint as UK independent anti-slavery commissioner. Thornton will work on the Find it, Fix it, Prevent it initiative, which tackles modern slavery in investees’ supply chains.
During a 33-year career in policing, Thornton served as chief constable of Thames Valley Police between 2007 and 2015.
She said: “As we all know there is a long way to go, but the Find it, Fix it, Prevent it programme continues to gather momentum including spurning a spin-off initiative, Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking Asia Pacific. Finance is the lever that can move the entire global economy and investors, in particular, have a key role to play in eradicating forced labour across the globe.
“While government has a responsibility to protect the people, business has a responsibility to respect the people. There is an ongoing debate between whether it is regulation and voluntarism by the private sector that are required to solve the issue of modern slavery.
“I firmly believe there is a need for both. If we look at other regions such as the United States and the European Union, they are moving fast on implementing various bans on goods made with forced labour. Investors are by their nature future-facing and must play an important role in urging companies to tackle the scourge of modern slavery.”
The firm has also hired Dr Martin Buttle to lead its Better Work scheme, which focuses on ensuring fair and sustainable working conditions for labour forces that are aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
He joins from responsible investing charity ShareAction, where he was head of good work.
Peter Hugh Smith, CCLA chief executive, said: “I am thrilled to welcome both Dame Sara and Martin to the CCLA team. This is about CCLA building an even more meaningful capability, strengthening our team of people that can make a genuine contribution to helping to solve problems in the real world.
“There is a lot of talk about sustainability in investing, but we really have to stop and ask ourselves, is what we are actually doing having a real-world impact? We really want to see other investors join us as signatories on Find it, Fix it, Prevent it to fight modern slavery and to get behind our other Better Work initiatives. At CCLA, we believe that healthy markets are underpinned by healthy communities and we call on the investment industry to collaborate to drive real-world change for everyone’s benefit.”