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Commentary: Low scores underscore need for Corporate Human Rights Benchmark

Author: Sudeep Chakravarti, Livemint (India), Published on: 16 March 2017

"Human Rights rankings: no perfect company", 16 Mar 2017

The first Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) ranking for 2017 is finally out. This next big thing in global human rights tracking...hasn’t pulled any punches or run scared of big names…The rankings don’t make for a pretty picture and quite validate the purpose of CHRB…[T]he great bulge of rankings in the 20-29% band…would make your jaw drop with a sampling of seemingly innocent names among habitual offenders, as it were…“The 2017 results are significantly skewed toward the lower bands,” the report states..."Nearly six years on from the UN Guiding Principles’ endorsement, this is an important, if uncomfortable, finding.” This understatement underscores the urgent necessity of efforts like CHRB’s ranking, and the need, as the report suggests, for laggards to “act decisively” so that they can, like the relative leaders, recognize “the moral imperative, business case, and commercial viability of taking action on human rights”...I’m…disconcerted by phrases like “race to the top” for companies to remain competitive in the rankings. [I]t is no secret that races to the top of do-good, feel-good rankings are helped along by massive public relations output.  Glib corporate commitment and outreach has saved more than one company—even entire industries—from perception and financial ruin.  But it could undermine CHRB’s rankings, and that would be a crying shame. [Also mentions Aviva, Oil and Natural Gas Corp., Coal India, China Petroleum and Chemical, Ross Stores, Kohl's, YUM!, Grupo Mexico, Macy's, Costco, BHP Billton, Rio Tinto, Marks & Spencer, Danone, Goldcorp, Dior, Anheuser-Busch InBev, PetroChina, Starbucks, Nordstrom, PepsiCo, Gazprom, Repsol and Prada.] 

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Related companies: Anheuser-Busch InBev Aviva BHP Billiton China Petroleum & Chemical (see Sinopec) Coal India (CIL) Costco Danone Dior (part of LVMH) Gazprom Goldcorp (now Newmont Goldcorp) Grupo México Kohl's LVMH Macy's Marks & Spencer Nordstrom ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation) PepsiCo PetroChina (part of China National Petroleum Corporation) Prada Repsol Rio Tinto Ross Stores Sinopec Starbucks YUM!