September 24, 2021
At the beginning of 2019, Finnfund introduced a Human Rights Statement to guide our work in respecting and promoting human rights in all our operations. The statement is based on the key principle that as a development financier and impact investor, human rights are at the very core of our work. Finnfund is now reviewing the current state of implementation of the statement.
This has also been a request by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs as part of the Government Ownership Steering Memorandum for 2021. The steering memorandum stresses the importance of insuring that Finnfund has sufficient implementation resources, tools and expertise and includes comprehensive human rights reporting within the annual sustainability reporting.
To support the work, Finnfund has hired Pillar Two as a consultant for the review. Pillar Two is a Melbourne-based boutique business and human rights advisory firm with extensive global experience supporting businesses to develop effective responses to human rights risks, and to meaningfully engage stakeholders around their human rights approaches. Pillar-two is headed by Vanessa Zimmerman, who participated in the drafting of the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights, under the direction of John Ruggie.
The review includes analysing Finnfund’s implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and Finland’s Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA); providing recommendations and a plan setting future actions and improvements; and benchmarking relevant industry human rights due diligence best practice.
Discussions and consultations with stakeholders form an integral part of the assessment. The consultant will have one-on-one discussions with Finnish and international stakeholders during the autumn of 2021.
“While the development and implementation of the human rights due diligence system is still on-going, at this stage, it is extremely valuable for us to receive ideas and discuss perspectives on how development finance institutions in general, and Finnfund in particular, can improve their human rights due diligence processes. As we strive to constantly develop our processes and tools, I am confident that all these insights will be extremely valuable for us,” said Helena Arlander, Finnfund Deputy CEO.
The assessment is expected to be ready by the end of this year, and the results will be published on Finnfund’s website.
Sylvie Fraboulet-Jussila, Senior Environmental and Social Adviser, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 40 587 6467
Päivi Michael, Environmental and Social Adviser, email@example.com, tel. +358 40 563 5414
Helena Arlander, Deputy CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 50 561 1516