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Corporate Human Rights Benchmark releases 2018 ranking results on human rights performance of 101 companies

CHRB licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0

Today (12 November), the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark released the results of its 2018 ranking. The benchmark assesses the human rights policies, processes, and practices of 101 of the world's largest publicly traded companies in three at-risk sectors (apparel, agricultural products, and extractives).

The 2018 results show that the majority of companies are still not demonstrating sufficient respect for human rights, the overall average score being just 27%. Nevertheless, the benchmark also finds that there is a welcome group of leading companies. The report detailing the benchmark's key findings is available below.

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14 November 2018

Investors need data to to evaluate companies’ human rights performance [subscription only]

Author: Responsible Investor

Dutch civil service pension giant ABP has welcomed the launch of the new Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB), a new ranking backed by investors, saying it needs the data to be able to evaluate companies’ performance on the issue...

...“We really need the data,” said ABP Vice-Chair José Meijer at a launch event in London yesterday. “Then we can make better decisions.”...

...She said the CHRB data helps it to identify leaders and laggards amongst companies as an aid to engagement and to ensure firms’ deliver on their “beloften” (the Dutch word for ‘promises’)....


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14 November 2018

New human rights ranking shows most firms have barely left the starting line

Author: Phil Bloomer, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, in Ethical Corporation

The first full version of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark is published today, with key findings on companies in the apparel, agricultural products and extractives sectors. The results reveal that there is a race to the top in business and human rights performance, but only amongst a welcome cluster of leaders. The great majority have barely left the starting line, with 40 of the 101 companies surveyed failing to show any evidence of identifying or mitigating human rights issues in their supply chains....

There were alarmingly low scores in some areas of systemic challenge, which serves to highlight how far business has to go. The alignment of purchasing practices with human rights is not easy, but without this, in food and apparel, abuse in their complex global supply chains is inevitable. Very low average scores were also recorded for commitments to living wages, which are fundamental to achieving a decent life, especially for women workers; and policies to protect increasingly threatened human rights defenders in supply chains, whose work is vital to uncover abuse and dangers for both communities and workers....

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12 November 2018

Companies Fail to Meet Human-Rights Benchmark

Author: Wall Street Journal

Major companies in the resource extraction, agricultural and clothing industries are failing to demonstrate respect for human rights, according to a study based on principles from the United Nations... 

...It also uses publicly available information on issues such as forced labor, protecting human-rights activists and the living wage to score companies on a percentage scale. Two-thirds of companies scored less than 30% overall, the study found, with the average company at 27%. In the last edition of the index, released in 2017, the average score was 18%....

...Of the 101 companies surveyed, 40% of them failed to show any evidence of identifying or mitigating human-rights issues in their supply chains. Virtually none demonstrated strong commitments to paying living wages to workers along the supply chain or in their own operations, the study found.


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12 November 2018

Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Key Findings Report 2018

Author: Corporate Human Rights Benchmark

Since its inception, the CHRB has been aiming to answer a deceptively simple question; which companies perform best on human rights issues? [...] [T]his document [...] rank[s] 101 of the world’s largest companies in high human-rights-risk sectors and provides a snapshot of their human rights performance. The overall picture is deeply concerning; most companies score poorly on the Benchmark, indicating weak implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights... A quarter of companies score less than 10% [...] and an alarming amount of companies score no points for human rights due diligence. This should provide food for thought for governments considering the role of legislation in business and human rights... But there are positive signs as well. Better scoring companies are a minority, but they do exist. They demonstrate that integrating respect for human rights is neither impossible, nor detrimental, to the business model. They also show more willingness to discuss policies-in-action and the challenges they face... The CHRB recognises that implementing respect for human rights is a journey and we have been pleased to see significant score improvements from companies... This Key Findings Report [...] provide[s] [...] a high-level assessment of the maturity of corporate respect for human rights...

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12 November 2018

Prada, Starbucks and Kraft censured over human rights transparency

Author: Financial Times

Prada, Starbucks and Kraft Heinz are among companies criticised for a lack of transparency on human rights in their businesses and supply chains, despite pressure from governments and an investor-backed group.

Forty percent of companies fail to show any evidence of how they identify and address human rights issues, according to the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, a not-for-profit group based in London. The CHRB released its second annual ranking of 101 global companies today.

The body is backed by asset managers including Aviva Investors, APG and Nordea, as well as the Swiss, Dutch and British governments, and uses the UN guiding principles on business and human rights...

Those that performed well in the ranking included miner Rio Tinto, Marks and Spencer, the UK retailer, and consumer goods giant Unilever, with scores of at least 65 per cent. Adidas was top performer with 87 per cent...

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