The Foundation EVZ was founded in 2000 with a total of 10.1 billion DM. Of this, 9.4 billion DM (4.8 billion euros) and interest accumulated were used to compensate former forced labourers and other victims of the Nazi regime and to cover the costs of organizing these payments; 700 million DM (358 million euros) represented the capital basis for the long-term funding of Foundation EVZ. After concluding payments in 2007, the main task of the foundation is to promote international projects in the foundation’s three fields of activity. These activities are funded exclusively from the yields of the foundation’s capital and occasionally financed using additional donations.
The capital investments of the foundation follow ethical criteria that are derived from the purpose
of the foundation. Thematically speaking, the foundation focuses here on modern forms of forced
labour and human rights violations in the working world. At companies where the foundation is
invested in stocks or bonds, at issue are human rights violations in the realms of child labour, forced
labour, and discrimination. To the extent possible, the supply chain as well is investigated. The concept follows the criteria of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a sub-organisation of the United Nations.
Once a year, the Foundation has its investments examined for violations of the exclusion criteria
human rights violations and “modern forced labour”. The Foundation EVZ commissioned a rating
agency with developing a negative list that is especially catered to the specifications of the foundation. On the basis of this screening, all companies where violations of the defined exclusion criteria are found are confronted with the accusations and in writing asked to respond. Those companies that do not respond are removed from the investments. The answers submitted are subjected to further analysis until a decision can be made. In addition, the foundation’s financial service providers are examined under ethical criteria and, if necessary, collaboration is ended. In recent years, a number of companies were removed from the investments due to various controversies, including Royal Dutch Shell, Apple, Walmart Stores, Barrick Gold, Exxon Mobil, Mitsubishi, Seven & I Holdings, Sony and Tepco.