Pillar S

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There are currently 20 Social Pillar terms in this directory
Cluster Munitions And Anti-Personnel Mines
Cluster munitions are weapons designed to disperse multiple explosive sub-munitions. Anti-personnel mines are explosive devices designed to harm or kill civilians. Schroders fully supports the international conventions on cluster munitions and APMs. Consistent with this support, and in line with our commitment to responsible investment, we will not knowingly hold any security that derives revenue from or provides funding for either. [Source: Schroders]

Community Investing
Directing investment capital to communities that are underserved by traditional financial services institutions. Generally provides access to credit, equity, capital, housing, and basic banking products that these communities would otherwise lack. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Gender Lens Investing
The allocation of capital to investment strategies that directly benefit women and girls by enhancing their access to opportunities, contributing to their physical wellbeing, enhancing their safety and security, and/or promoting a better life. [Source: Invesco]

Human Rights
Basic rights that belong to all human beings. They include the right to life, liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, and freedom of opinion and expression. [Source: Allianz]

ILO Conventions
ILO conventions encompass international labour standards which are integrated into legally binding international treaties, setting out basic principles and rights at work. Those legal instruments are ratified in all participating countries. The eight fundamental conventions cover the topics freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; the effective abolition of child labour; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. They are frequently used as the basis for exclusion and engagement approaches. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Refers to small loans from a microfinance institution granted to lower income entrepreneurs in developing and emerging market countries. These loans contribute to the development of local economies and therewith contribute to creating jobs and reduce poverty. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Microenterprises are those with ten or fewer workers. They are often unregistered businesses and run by financially impoverished people. Definition of microenterprises may differ across countries. [Source: First Affirmative Financial Network]

A range of financial tools (loans, savings, money transfers, etc.) provided by microfinance institutions and designed for people who do not have access to the traditional banking system. Microfinance products are typically offered to companies and individuals in developing and emerging market countries. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Microinsurance products are designed for individuals in developing and emerging market countries who do not have access to traditional insurance services. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Minder Initiative
Swiss referendum launched by a politician named Minder with the aim to reduce wage levels at Swiss companies. The adoption of the 'Minder Initiative' in March 2013 resulted in an Implementing Ordinance (VegüV), temporarily defining the implementation of this new article of the Swiss Constitution. The main principles are: annual mandatory votes for pension funds on board remuneration of Swiss companies and transparent reporting on votes, no severance payments for governing officers, regulation in articles of association of credits and pensions payable to governing officers, and custodial sentence for persons violating these principles. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Modern Slavery
Although no standard definition exists, modern slavery can broadly be thought of as the exploitation of people who are coerced into an activity by someone who “controls” them, often with violence. It can take many forms including forced or bonded labour, early or forced marriage or human and organ trafficking. [ Source: Allianz]

An organization that is dedicated to accelerating a new global market at the intersection of money and meaning. SOCAP seeks to create a platform where social impact leaders can connect and present their ideas to a global audience [Source: First Affirmative Financial Network]

Social Equity
A broad term used to encompass issues related to the provision of equal opportunity and access to traditionally disadvantaged populations including women, minorities, LGBTQ+, veterans, and individuals with disabilities, as well as regionally disadvantaged populations. [Source: Invesco]

Social Factors
Social factors within ESG criteria in the context of investing include, but are not limited to, worker rights, safety, diversity, education, labour relations, supply chain standards, community relations, and human rights. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Social impact bonds
Investments designed to improve the social outcomes of publicly funded services. Providers are typically charities that are often pioneering a new approach to a specific social problem. The investment is used to fund the working capital needs of the project. [Source: Schroders]

Socially Screened or SRI Mutual Funds
SRI mutual funds integrate ESG analysis into the investment process—generally seeking to avoid owning companies with a harmful impact on society, and seeking to own the most responsible companies with the highest profit potential. Such funds may represent any asset class and many different investment strategies, including domestic and international investments. A growing range of products is available, including hedge funds and ETFs (exchange traded funds). [Source: First Affirmative Financial Network]

SRI - Socially Responsible Investing
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is the term previously used for sustainable or responsible investing. SRI had its origin in the Anglo-Saxon investment world, where it originally referred to investments based on exclusionary screening and later to investments with a best-in-class approach and other forms of sustainable investments. Some players still use it as a generic term for sustainable investing. Socially responsible investing is the practice of investing money in companies and funds that have positive social impacts. It is investment strategy which seeks to consider both financial return and social/environmental good. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

Thun Group of Banks
The "Thun Group of Banks" is an informal group of bank representatives that have been discussing the meaning of the "Guiding Principles for the implementation of the United Nations 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' Framework on Business and Human Rights" ("Guiding Principles") in regards to universal banks and how they could be applied in relation to banking activities. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
The Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights are meant to support the implementation of the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework. This set of guidelines seeks to provide a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse human rights impacts linked to business activity. They were proposed by the UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, John Ruggie, and endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011. As they cover all areas of business, they are also applicable to the financial sector. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]

WMA - Swiss Federal Act on War Material
The WMA is a piece of Swiss legislation in force since 1998. This Act focuses on the fulfilment of Switzerland's international obligations and the respect of its foreign policy principles by means of controlling the manufacture and transfer of war material and related technology. At the same time, it aims at maintaining Swiss industrial capacity adapted to the requirements of its national defense. The WMA was amended in 2013 to include the prohibition of the production as well as the direct financing of controversial weapons, encompassing cluster munition, anti-personal mines, as well as biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. Switzerland is one of the 13 countries regulating the financing of controversial weapons. [Source: Swiss Sustainable Finance]


  1. Allianz Global Investors, ESG Glossary, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  2. First Affirmative Financial Network, Glossary of Responsible Investing Terms, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  3. Global Affairs Associates, ESG Glossary, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  4. Invesco Ltd., Glossary: Understanding ESG jargon, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  5. Nuveen, LLC., Glossary: Responsible investing, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  6. Schroders Investment Management North America Inc., Understanding sustainable investment and ESG investment terms, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  7. Stanford Graduate School of Business, Corporate Governance Research Initiative, Retrieved: September 12,2020
  8. Swiss Sustainable Finance, Glossary, Retrieved: September 12,2020

Disclaimer: This glossary is NOT intended to be an authoritative reference document. All information in this glossary is for educational use only. This glossary has been compiled based on public domain information available on the websites of the mentioned sources. While due care has been taken in compiling this glossary, ESGSense does not assume any liability for any inaccuracy or factual error. Any term or definition mentioned here does NOT constitute financial or investment advice. ESGSense assumes no liability for any financial decisions and/or investments made on the basis of information gained from this glossary.