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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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El día de hoy fue lanzado un primer y único índice sobre el desempeño de las empresas en materia de derechos humanos. El índice busca incentivar que las empresas sean parte de una carrera por lograr un comportamiento positivo en materia de derechos humanos, con sus subsecuentes ventajas morales y comerciales.

BHP Billiton, el Grupo Marks & Spencer, Rio Tinto, Nestlé, Adidas y Unilever están dentro de un pequeño grupo de empresas que se destacan. Costco Wholesale, Macy’s, Grupo México and Yum! Brands están dentro del grupo más grande de empresas con un puntaje más bajo.

Como resultado de una consulta de dos años con más de 400 empresas y organizaciones, el Índice Empresarial de Derechos Humanos cuenta con el apoyo de 85 inversionistas, que suman $5.3 billones de dólares en activos a su cargo. El Índice es impulsado por inversionistas y organizaciones sin fines de lucro y analiza 98 empresas de tres industrias de alto riesgo (productos agropecuarios, textiles y extractivas), pero se aumentará cada año para incluir a las 500 empresas mundiales más grandes.El Índice examina políticas, gobernanza, procesos, prácticas y transparencia empresariales, además de cómo las empresas responden a denuncias de violaciones serias de derechos humanos. Esto se realiza mediante una puntuación a las empresas a partir de 100 indicadores que abordan 6 temáticas medibles. Un pequeño número de empresas resultó líder, con un puntaje de entre el 55-69%; pero los resultados se inclinaron significativamente por puntuaciones más bajas. Una clara mayoría, de 63 de 98 empresas analizadas, tiene un puntaje inferior al 30%. 

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Article
14 March 2017

Benchmark reveals majority of big businesses are falling behind on human rights performance

Author: George Ogleby, Edie.net (UK)

"Report: Big businesses falling 'overwhelmingly behind' on human rights", 14 Mar 2017

A large majority of businesses are in danger of falling "overwhelmingly behind" on human rights issues, according to a new report which benchmarks the ethical performance of some of the world's biggest businesses...The inaugural Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) report...highlights a number of leading companies in each industry...However, these leaders are few in number, with just under half of companies (48) scoring an overall mark in the 20-29% bracket.  McDonalds, Walmart, and Yum! Brands are among the firms that are ranked below the 20% band range.  These companies are being urged by CHRB to “act decisively, learn from leading practices, and emulate rapidly their existing standards”...company scores are significantly skewed toward the lower percentage bands, reflecting the early stage that many companies are at when implementing the UN Guiding Principles...CHRB suggests that low-performing companies must follow the example of current industry leaders and recognise the moral imperative, business case and commercial viability of taking action on human rights.  [Also refers to Marks and Spencer (M&S), BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Nestlé, Unilever and Adidas].

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Article
14 March 2017

Ranking reveals best and worst company performance on living wage, working hours & women's rights

Author: Saxon Norgard, RightsInfo (UK)

"Top Companies Ranked by Respect for Human Rights", 14 Mar 2017

After two years of consultation, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has released its Corporate Human Rights Benchmark ranking the top 98 companies in agriculture, clothing and mining on their human rights performance.  There were some shocking findings.  Out of 60 companies assessed on setting targets for paying the living wage, 59 companies scored...zero.  Unilever is the one company publicly setting timeframes for determining what the living wage is where they operate, and demonstrating progress against these.  Out of 11 clothing companies assessed on working hours, all 11 failed to demonstrate good practices in their own operations.  And out of the 19 clothing and agriculture companies assessed on women’s rights, only five companies (Unilever, Christian Dior, Prada, Fast Retailing, VF) earned any points...The Benchmark shows a cluster of companies taking leadership and driving forward with corporate human rights...Others have fallen significantly behind. [Also refers to BHP Billiton, Marks & Spencer, Rio Tinto, Nestle, Adidas, Total, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), Kellogg, Anglo American, Costco Wholesale, Macy's, Grupo Mexico, Yum! Brands, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, Kohl's, Ross Stores, China Petroleum & Chemical, Coal India and McDonald's]

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Article
13 March 2017

Canadian companies featured in new human rights benchmark question its findings

Author: Barbara Shecter, Financial Post (Canada)

"Four Canadian companies on new global ranking for human rights but firms question its findings", 13 Mar 2017

Four Canadian companies are among 100 global corporations...included in a new study that attempts to rank firms based on their human rights policies, practices and transparency...Three of the Canadian firms - Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Calgary-based Canadian Nautral Resources Ltd., and Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc. - landed lower on the list...obtaining a score below 30 per cent...The fourth Canadian firm measured, Calgary-based Suncor Energy Inc., received a slightly higher score of between 30 and 39 per cent...Some of the firms named disputed the results, while others declined to participate at all...[A] public affairs advisor at Canadian Natural Resources...[said] the firm is "committed to maintaining the highest level of business ethics and principles throughout its operations...A spokesperson for Goldcorp defended the firm's human rights record...[Also refers to Yum! Brands, Costco Wholesale, Macy's and China Petroleum and Chemical]. 

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Article
13 March 2017

Human rights benchmark backed by Aviva identifies clear leaders & laggards

Author: Samuel Agini, Financial News (UK)

"Aviva-backed benchmark ranks companies on human rights", 13 Mar 2017

Costco, the US retail group, and the copper miner Grupo Mexico have been named the worst laggards on human rights standards in a new ranking from Aviva Investors of firms on their respect for humanitarian ideals.  The 2017 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 98 publicly-traded companies in the "high-risk" agricultural products, apparel and extractives industries. Aviva is one of the leaders of the project, and says it has support from investors with $5.3 trillion under management.  It assessed the firms on their policies, governance, processes, practices, and transparency, as well as how the firms respond to serious allegations of human rights abuse - and compiled this into a score out of 100%...The human rights report found most companies in these three "high-risk" industries scored poorly on human rights, with only a small cluster near the top - led by miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, and the UK retailer Marks & Spencer.

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Article
13 March 2017

Investors need meaningful & comparable data about company performance on human rights

Author: Casey O'Connor & Sarah Labowitz, MarketWatch (USA)

"Investors need better ways to find companies making a difference", 10 Mar 2017

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) business challenges increasingly are on the agenda for mainstream investors...In a newly released study, we find that while social measurement initiatives abound, none sufficiently evaluate what matters most: outcomes and performance.  Instead the majority assess whether companies have social policies and governance structures in place...with little or no examination of whether these efforts have the intended effect.  This...has resulted in a costly and complex landscape of measurements that fails to deliver meaningful, comparable data about company performance on human rights.  Greater progress has been made on the governance and environmental aspects of company performance...[but] the impact of weak supply chain labor practices or other human rights concerns...are more difficult to measure and harder to solve...Companies and investors should be working to create a more sustainable global economy...The good news is efforts to date provide many of the building blocks that will be needed to accomplish these goals...the many human rights-specific ratings — such as Oxfam’s Behind the Brands or the newer Corporate Human Rights Benchmark — usefully highlight the range of social challenges companies face and which now must be measured routinely and comprehensively to truly assess social impact. 

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Article
13 March 2017

Launch of Corporate Human Rights Benchmark is welcomed by investment community as a valuable engagement tool

Author: Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)

 Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility engaging companies on their human rights impacts welcome today’s launch of a new tool they are hoping will help foster a race to the top in corporate human rights performance.  The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, the first ever benchmarking of companies on human rights indicators, analyzes an initial 98 companies in the high risk agriculture, apparel and extractives sectors and ranks them across 100 performance indicators and six measurement themes…The CHRB is supported by 85 institutional investors representing $5.3 trillion in assets under management…. « The detailed scoring from the CHRB on each indicator will enable us as shareholder advocates to analyze and compare company information and identify exactly where challenges lie in respect and protection of human rights and where additional investor engagement is needed »…said Mary Beth Gallagher, Executive Director, Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment.. Investors are encouraged to use the CHRB report in engagements with corporations on human rights risks. The list of companies assessed will grow year-on-year to ultimately cover the world’s 500 listed enterprises. 

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Article
13 March 2017

Marks & Spencer leads new benchmark on human rights performance

Author: Michelle Russell, Just Style (UK)

“Marks & Spencer tops human rights benchmark”, 13 Mar 2017

UK retailer Marks & Spencer has topped a new benchmark ranking that aims to incentivise companies in a race to the top for the moral and commercial advantages of a strong human rights record…Mark Wilson, group CEO of Aviva says...“For the first time we have a public measure of companies’ human rights performance which will focus attention in the boardroom on their performance versus other companies and allow investors to ask the right questions.  More transparency and a desire to improve in the ranking will spark a race to the top in corporate human rights.”  Vicky Dodman, chief executive of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark says...“[It] is a baseline...we want to see companies move up as they respond to public scrutiny and engagement from investors…inaction runs a high reputational risk and low scoring companies should act decisively, learn from leading practices, and rapidly improve.” [Also refers to Adidas, Hennes & Mauritz, Gap Inc., Nike, VF Corp, Hanesbrands, Target, Nordstrom, Coach, Next, Prada, Hermes, Under Armour, Fast Retailing, Walmart, Kohl's and Macy's].

 

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Article
13 March 2017

New human rights benchmark provides tool for companies, investors & govt.

Author: Sustainable Brands (USA)

"New Benchmark Finds M&S, Nestlé, Unilever Leading on Human Rights", 13 Mar 17

The result of a two-year consultation with over 400 companies and organizations, the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark...examines companies’ policies, governance, processes, practices and transparency, as well as how they respond to serious allegations of human rights abuse…BHP Billiton, Marks & Spencer, Rio Tinto, Nestlé, Adidas and Unilever were identified as some of the top performers, while Costco Wholesale, Macy’s, Grupo Mexico and Yum! Brands were among the brands with the lowest scores...Investors are encouraged to use the CHRB’s results in their analysis of companies and investment decision making…Successful companies will have lowered their exposure to potential legal, reputational and financial risks that could arise from human rights abuses.  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 behavior to make the business case for the respect of human rights.  Companies in the middle and lower bands of the Benchmark should demonstrate their respect for human rights and seek to emulate the best practice of industry leaders. 

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Article
13 March 2017

New human rights ranking reveals leading companies with some surprising results

Author: Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit (USA)

"The World's Leading Companies on Human Rights", 13 Mar 2017

It is difficult to gauge which multinational companies are leaders and laggards when it comes to human rights. But a report issued today...looks at some of the world’s best-known and largest companies in an attempt to give a snapshot of their human rights performance...The report has some surprises, especially to some companies that landed on “best places to work” rankings over the years. The average score was 28.7 percent.  Only three companies scored higher than 60 percent...Marks and Spencer (M&S)...[t]he U.K. retail giant...stands out among its peers within both the apparel and food industries...The American retail chains Macy’s and Kohl’s rounded out the list of apparel companies with weak or non-existent human rights guidelines.  When evaluating global food companies, Unilever and Nestlé are just a few steps behind M&S...The CHRB report did not look kindly on fast-food companies...[including] McDonald’s and Yum! Brands...the [report] indicate[s] that [the extractives] sector is in the midst of a turnaround.  BHP Billilton...won high points across the board...Rio Tinto and Total were also noted as exemplar companies overall on human rights issues. [Also refers to H&M, Adidas, Costco, China Petroleum and Chemical, and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation].

 

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