Corporate Human Rights Benchmark releases ranking results on human rights performance of 98 companies

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The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark released its results at an event in London today. The benchmark ranks 98 of the world's largest publicly traded companies, from 3 at risk sectors, on human rights performance. This page will be updated with articles on the Benchmark's findings.

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Article
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Author: Anne-Catherine Husson-Traore, Novethic (France) (copyright: www.novethic.fr)

« Droits humains: une notation publique pour 100 multinationales », 21 mars 2017

La première évaluation publique sur le respect des droits humains par les entreprises est disponible. Cette notation est le fruit d’un travail collaboratif de deux ans entre investisseurs responsables et organisations spécialisées. Elle a été lancée en grande pompe à Londres le 13 mars. Objectif : inciter les multinationales à avoir de bons scores sur le respect des droits humains...[Lire la suite : http://www.novethic.fr/empreinte-sociale/droits-humains/isr-rse/notation-droits-humains-publique-pour-100-multinationales-144332.html] [Fait référence à Adidas, BHP Billiton, Marks & Spencer, Nestlé, Rio Tinto, Unilever]

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Article
20 March 2017

Corporate Human Rights Benchmark sparks competition among companies to improve

Author: Mara Lemos Stein, Wall Street Journal (USA)

"The Morning Risk Report: A New Tracker for Corporate Human Rights", 20 Mar 2017

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, a collaborative of pension fund managers, socially-minded investors and non-profit groups, looked at 98 large companies in the agricultural products, apparel and extractive industries and scored them on 100 human rights indicators.  In what the group said is “an uncomfortable finding,” all but six companies researched scored under 50% overall, and only 18 of them had scores above 40%.  The average score “is a mere 28.7%,” the CHRB report said.  “There is clearly no perfect company or industry in human rights terms, and no scope for complacency anywhere,” said Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors, in the foreword.  “However, it is clear that some are trying much harder than others and we have identified clear leaders and laggards.”…“Competition is a beautiful thing when it is used to do good,” said Mark Wilson, chief executive of Aviva, in a statement.  “More transparency and a desire to improve in the ranking will spark a race to the top in corporate human rights.”  [Also refers to BHP Billton, Marks & Spencer, Rio Tinto, Coal India, Sinopec, Kohl's and Macy's].

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Article
20 March 2017

Human rights ranking incentivises responsible conduct from companies, governments & investors

Author: Fibre2Fashion (India)

"New benchmark ranks corporate human rights performance", 16 Mar 2017

The first-ever public ranking of corporate human rights performance has been launched to incentivise companies in a race to the top for the moral and commercial advantages of a strong human rights record...Investors are encouraged to use the benchmark's results in their analysis of companies and investment decision making, including the identification of key human rights risks to discuss with management...The ranking also paves the way for governments to use a smart mix of regulation and incentives to enhance transparency and minimum standards of corporate behaviour..."In our company engagements, we have noticed that public benchmarks make sustainability topics more concrete for companies and create a 'race to the top'. We expect the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark to do the same for international and industry-specific standards on human rights and responsible business conduct," said Angélique Laskewitz, director, Dutch Association for Sustainable Investing. [Also refers to Marks & Spencer Group, Adidas, Macy's].

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Article
16 March 2017

Commentary: Low scores underscore need for Corporate Human Rights Benchmark

Author: Sudeep Chakravarti, Livemint (India)

"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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Article
16 March 2017

Commentary: What's next for the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark?

Author: John Morrison, Chief Executive of the Institute for Human Rights and Business, in Ethical Corporation (UK)

"Where next for The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark?", 16 Mar 2017

In an age of increasing populism, nationalism and short-term expediency, corporate responsibility really matters…particularly when minorities and groups are neglected or…targeted by their national governments.  The “social license” of business and its activities is becoming increasingly material to investors, governments and consumers…The CHRB…measures companies on what they are doing – whether or not they are reporting through sustainability or annual reports…[T]here is a wealth of data now available on these first 98 companies approaches to human rights…but there is…more analysis possible to draw out…fine grained examples of leading practice and gaps to fill…we will be collecting feedback from this initial ranking…There will be…learning about…the scoring system…and…issues that differentiate strongly performing companies from the laggards.  [T]he…existing industries will be ranked again in 2018…looking at, at least, one additional industry...We are particularly interested to examine how CHRB influences the behavior of investors…and the leverage and incentives this might…build within companies…we hope that CHRB is a tool embraced by those looking at how human rights can be best integrated into public procurement or export credit decision-making...[and] that consumer groups will start to use CHRB to produce materials and tools that will allow consumers to reward companies directly…

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Article
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Author: Corporate Human Rights Benchmark

Hoje foi lançado o primeiro e único índice sobre o desempenho das empresas em matéria de direitos humanos. O Índice procura incentivar as empresas a fazer parte de uma corrida para alcançar um desempenho positivo em direitos humanos, com vantagens morais e comerciais posteriores.

BHP Billiton, el Grupo Marks & Spencer, Rio Tinto, Nestlé, Adidas e Unilever estão dentro de um pequeno grupo de empresas que se destacam. Costco Wholesale, Macy’s, Grupo México and Yum! Brands estão dentro do maior grupo de empresas com uma pontuação mais baixa.

Após mais de 2 anos de consultas a mais de 400 empresas e organizações Índice Corporativo de Direitos Humanos tem o apoio de 85 investidores. O Índice é impulsionado por investidores e organizações sem fins lucrativos e analisa 98 empresas em três indústrias de alto risco (agricultura, têxteis e extrativa). Mas o numero de empresas analisadas aumentará todos os anos para se alcançar 500 grandes empresas globais. Examina políticas, governança, processos, práticas de negócios e transparência, e como as empresas respondem a alegações de graves violações dos direitos humanos. Isso se dá por meio de pontuação às empresas a partir de 100 indicadores que tratam de seis questões mensuráveis. Um pequeno número de empresas foi líder com uma pontuação entre 55-69%. A maioria, 63 de 98 empresas analisadas, tem, contudo, uma pontuação inferior a 30%.

(Veja abaixo press release em espanhol)

 

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Article
15 March 2017

Commentary: CHRB - a significant step for corporate human rights policy, says Ethical Corporation

Author: Liam Dowd, Ethical Corporation (UK)

"CHRB - a big step for corporate Human Rights", 15 Mar 2017

[T]he…[launch]…of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB)…marked a significant step as investors, NGOs and other stakeholders can now see which companies perform best within the Extractives, Apparel and Agricultural sector around Human Rights.  There's also detailed information on where they need to improve or where there's "blind spots".  Mark Wilson, CEO of Aviva, lead the opening keynote speech and described the CHRB as the beginning of something that will bring accountability to companies around the Human Rights.  Tables and benchmarks bring an air of competitiveness and there was a sense that over the coming years companies will work to be a top performer in their industry - and thus improve their work around Corporate Human Rights…[This]…was the first iteration of the Benchmark and, whilst only approx 50% of the companies engaged in providing data and information to the Benchmark, a few companies should be lauded for scoring above 50% for their efforts around Human Rights: Extractives: BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto…Apparel: Marks and Spencer, Adidas…Agriculture: Unilever, Nestle (and Marks and Spencer).

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Article
15 March 2017

Commentary: Corporate Human Rights Benchmark is ambitious & welcome, says Ethical Trading Initiative

Author: Cindy Berman, ETI (UK)

“Ambitious and welcome: the inaugural Corporate Human Rights Benchmark”, 14 Mar 2017

[T]he CHRB is a collaborative effort involving leading investment firms and initiatives and human rights organisations.  Firms such as Aviva are keen to get investors thinking far more about the human rights impacts of their investments, and in rewarding companies that are more transparent about their policies and practices.  They recognise that the success of investments are not to be judged on today’s market share index, but on the moral as well as commercial impacts of corporate operations in the long term…it has the potential to be catalytic if it drives change through greater transparency.  But it must get company buy-in, and needs to build on the collaboration it has established with key stakeholders…Only six companies scored more than 50%...But…Being rewarded for what they publish does not necessarily equate to leadership on what companies do…Some…may not be as good at communicating ethical success…Driving a race to the top is urgent but it also requires a long-term approach and collaboration.  Listening to the speakers at the launch, four issues struck me as critical and requiring far more attention:…Governance…Commercial and price pressures…Impunity…[and]…Quality and credibility of information...

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Article
15 March 2017

Commentary: No scope for complacency in the wake of Corporate Human Rights Benchmark

Author: Moe Myint, Irrawaddy (Myanmar)

Myanmar Center for Responsible Business’s director Vicky Bowman said that the… Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB)...serves as test as to whether foreign conglomerates in Burma are following UN principles.  “This is looking at global behavior,” she pointed out, adding that one surprise she encountered in the survey results was how “companies like Coca Cola, Heineken and Shell have actually done a lot of human rights due diligence and [created] human rights policy.”  Yet these companies were not listed in the top three in…CHRB’s findings.  She pointed out that some foreign firms avoid releasing relevant information on human rights practices to the public, citing high market risk; Bowman pointed out that many of these companies scored very low in the CHRB survey despite regularly stating that they are committed to promoting human rights worldwide.  The Irrawaddy contacted the Heineken Co., which is affiliated with the Alliance Brewery Co.,on Wednesday afternoon…[S]enior staff declined to comment…and said that they were not aware of [CHRB’s] findings.  They re-directed questions…to the head office based in the Netherlands.  The Coca-Cola company’s communications officer did not respond to multiple phone calls.  [Also mentions BHP Bilton, Rio Tinto, Marks & Spencer, Unilever, Nestlé, Adidas, YUM!, Costco, Macy's, Kohl's, Ross Stores, Grupo Mexico, India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, China Petroleum and Chemical, Coal India, Heineken and Coca-Cola]. 

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Report
15 March 2017

Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Key Findings Report 2017

Author: Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Limited (CHRB Ltd)

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Key Findings Report was released 13 Mar 17.

A deceptively simple question – which company performs best in human rights terms – has been impossible to answer objectively.  Today, we take an important step towards answering the question as we rank just under 100 companies from three industries on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other internationally recognised human rights and industry standards.  The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) is about more than setting benchmarks. It’s about ranking companies. It’s about making this data public and free...The CHRB’s Pilot Methodology is the result of extensive multi-stakeholder consultation around the world over two years, involving representatives from over 400 companies, governments, civil society organisations, investors, academics and legal experts...the CHRB Measurement Themes...look at companies’ policies, governance, processes, practices and transparency, as well as how they respond to serious allegations...This report summarises the 2017 results of the...[CHRB]...and the key findings they signal. Detailed results by industry, measurement theme, and company are available at www.corporatebenchmark.org.

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