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Renewable Energy

BHRRC Renewable Energy & Human Rights Benchmark Briefing

Renewable energy is key for our transition to a low-carbon economy, but companies’ human rights policies and practices are not yet strong enough to ensure this transition is both fast and fair. 

The resources below provide a series of briefings and online platforms analysing renewable energy companies' human rights policies and practices, as well as human rights risks in their supply chains. The briefings highlight human rights concerns, examples of good practice, as well as cases showing that failure to respect human rights can result in project delays, legal procedures and costs for renewable energy companies, underlying the urgency to strengthen human rights due diligence.

Spotlight

Podcast: How can renewable energy overcome its human rights problems?

The renewable energy sector’s poor human rights performance places its legitimacy at risk. Jessie Cato from Business & Human Rights Resource Centre sheds light on how the industry can avoid labour abuse, land grabs and other violations.

Renewable Energy & Human Rights Benchmark

This first human rights benchmark of renewable energy companies analyses the policies of 16 of the largest solar and wind companies worldwide. The results suggest that none of the companies analysed are currently fully meeting their responsibility to respect human rights, as defined by the UN Guiding Principles.

Transition Minerals Tracker

The Transition Minerals Tracker is a project that tracks mining operations related to solar energy, wind energy and electric vehicles worldwide. It tracks company human rights policies, as well as allegations against mining companies extracting minerals key to the energy transition.

Sector-specific briefings

Practical Guide for Investors

This briefing sets out how investors can help tackle the climate crisis while respecting human rights in a just transition. It is divided into five snapshots, which provide statistics and case studies highlighting key human rights risks and impacts for each of the major renewable energy subsectors: wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal, and hydropower.

Wind and Hydro Sectors

This briefing analyses 50 wind, hydropower and utility companies’ human rights policies and practices as well as allegations about wind and hydropower projects.

Solar, Bioenergy and Geothermal Sectors

This briefing analyses 59 solar, bioenergy and geothermal companies' human rights policies and practices on five key areas: human rights commitment, community consultations, grievance mechanisms, labour rights and supply chain monitoring.

Further resources

Interactive Company Platforms

The Resource Centre’s interactive platforms on renewable energy provide a mapping of company responses from the wind & hydropower sectors as well as the solar, bioenergy and geothermal sectors. Click to explore and compare company approaches to human rights.

Case Studies

The Resource Centre is collecting case studies of best practices and allegations of abuse against renewable energy companies. Cases are featured on our online portal and can be explored by region, sector, and type of issue. Companies, investors and civil society are welcome to share cases by emailing [email protected]

Mapping the Renewable Energy Sector to the SDGs

This report highlights how renewable energy project developers and operators can best support the achievement of the SDGs by incorporating responsible and human rights-respecting practices into their core business operations.