Raising awareness on antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
Engagement progress update
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a natural phenomenon in which microorganisms develop resistance to antimicrobial agents. However, it is being accelerated by poor stewardship of antibiotics in healthcare and farming: antimicrobial-resistant microbes can spread between people and animals, and from person to person. As a result, a growing number of common bacterial infections – from pneumonia to urinary tract infections – are becoming more difficult to treat. If antibiotics continue to lose their effectiveness, caesarean sections and chemotherapy, as well as other commonplace medical interventions, could become extremely high risk and severely undermine modern medicine.
2020 was the Investor Year of Action on Antimicrobial Resistance – a collaboration between the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return Initiative (FAIRR), the Access to Medicine Foundation, the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and the UK Government – to galvanise investor efforts to address AMR. We participated as an Investor Partner because we believe that investors need to take urgent action against this threat to public health, particularly as the Covid-19 pandemic risks affecting antimicrobial stewardship activities and accelerating the spread of AMR. We began our cross-sector engagement project on AMR in 2019, and are continuing it this year.
November 18 marked the beginning of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020. As an Investor Partner, we committed to two initiatives during this week:
- Publishing an in-depth ESG Viewpoint explaining how major food and pharmaceutical companies are overcoming the myriad challenges posed by AMR, and outlining our related engagement.
- Releasing a podcast episode to further raise awareness about AMR.