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Facing Finance report investigates abuses by 20 companies & ties to financial institutions

Facing Finance’s report “Dirty Profits 4” focuses on 20 multinational companies regarding allegations of abuse of human rights and environmental standards, and investigates the links between these companies and 4 financial institutions. The report finds that these companies’ and banks’ voluntary social commitments are not sufficient to prevent abuse, exploitation, corruption, and environmental destruction. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the companies to respond - their responses and the full report can be found below.

credit: Facing Finance

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Item
5 April 2016

Anglo American response

Author: Anglo American

[Note: This response was sent directly to Facing Finance]

Thank you for informing us that we are to be included in the 2016 Dirty Profits report. Please find enclosed  Anglo American’s response to its inclusion.  The report contains considerable inaccuracies about Anglo American’s performance and activities...Anglo American hopes that the information below will serve as a factual correction to some of the inaccurate allegations outlined in the 2016 Dirty Profits report (pages 12-13). Anglo American invests a lot of time, effort and funds into adhering to the highest international environmental and social management standards. The picture outlined in this report is not a fair reflection of the reality on the ground...

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Company response
5 April 2016

Coca Cola response

Author: Coca-Cola

The Coca-Cola Company is committed to human rights as well as to sustainable and responsible growth. We demonstrate these commitments in many ways every day in the more than 200 countries and territories where we operate.

The Facing Finance report contains an extensive list of inaccurate and misleading statements.  Accurate information about our approach to human rights, to the environment and to sustainable development can be found on our Journey website.  There you also will find our most recent Sustainability Report, which provides an update on a variety of topics and is validated through an external third party.

Coca-Cola India also produces a Sustainability Report that is reviewed and validated by an independent third party.

Article
5 April 2016

Deutsche Bank response

Author: Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank is fully committed to its responsibilities to respect human rights. In line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we published a Human Rights Statement in November 2015.Deutsche Bank consistently pays attention to how its business activities may affect human rights. We aim to continually improve our approach to, and the internal guidance on human rights issues.In order to identify, prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts, we have integrated human rights considerations (e.g. land, labour, child rights, health and safety of workers and communities, the rights of indigenous people etc.) in our due diligence process on environmental and social (ES) risks...

Download the full document here

Company response
5 April 2016

HeidelbergCement response

Author: HeidelbergCement

Business & Human Rights has kindly invited HeidelbergCement to respond to the concerns raised by FACING FINANCE in their latest report “Dirty Profits 4”. We follow this invitation as we believe that the report partly includes wrong, ill-founded or outdated information and thus creates a one-sided negative impression. Our comments to the various concerns raised are as follows...[Refers to Hanson Israel, Indocement, cement dust, EU antitrust legislation, carbon emissions]

Download the full document here

Company response
5 April 2016

HSBC response

Author: HSBC

You will appreciate that we cannot comment on the companies named in the HSBC section – either to confirm or deny that they are customers – because of our contractual duty of client confidentiality....Our sector policies are regularly reviewed.  They are designed to offer measurable commitments, rather than aspirational statements.  They are designed to apply globally.  And they are designed to last for a number of years.  In that context, one would not expect to see annual changes...HSBC agrees that climate change is one of the most serious threats that the world faces today.  Banks have a role to play in combating climate change, and HSBC will certainly play its part.  We have reduced our own absolute carbon dioxide emissions by 22% over the last four years (2011-2015), and have a target to obtain 25% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020.In parallel, we have increased our support for low-carbon sectors such as renewable energy.  We have also restricted finance for the two sectors with the highest emissions – deforestation and coal-fired power stations...

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Company response
5 April 2016

Inditex response

Author: Inditex

Thank you for…giving us the opportunity to comment on the story by Facing Finance. We want to first iterate Inditex’ position on human rights and living conditions of workers within the supply chain that it has zero tolerance of any related infringement of its Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers. This Code sets out the principles of the OECD, the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code, the principles of the UN Global Compact and, among others, a number of conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Inditex’ Code of Conduct is a practical tool used to monitor its whole supply chain to continue improving textile industry standards globally. We have a 'hands on' approach to sustainability and the joint work that Inditex maintains with the international trade union IndustriALL, by means of the Global Framework Agreement signed in 2007, is a crucial part of this. This agreement protects the interests of all workers…establishing better standards in matters of trade union rights, health, safety and environmental practices, among others…

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Company response
5 April 2016

Motorola Solutions response

Author: Motorola Solutions

Thank you for flagging this Facing Finance report and allowing us to respond.

Motorola Solutions provides communications systems to customers in more than 100 countries around the world. Our customers include governments, enterprises and non-governmental organizations. As a well-respected and responsible corporate citizen, our global activities are conducted in accordance with U.S., local, country and other applicable laws, as well as our own code of business conduct. Our company has a long record of working with customers in countries throughout the Middle East and supports all efforts in the region to find a peaceful resolution to their differences.

Motorola Solutions has a comprehensive set of policies and procedures that addresses human rights, which is designed to ensure that our operations worldwide are conducted using the highest standards of integrity and ethical business conduct applied uniformly and consistently.

Download the full document here

Company response
5 April 2016

Nestlé response

Author: Nestlé

We have a fully-fledged human rights due diligence programme in place that is aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This programme helps us assess and address labour and human rights issues – including those raised in the latest report of Facing Finance – across our value chain in an ongoing manner. Other issues raised in this report are addressed through our policies, procedures and commitments to product safety and quality, water stewardship and environmental sustainability. [Response addresses specific issues including: action plans to tackle forced labour in Thailand & improve lives of cocoa farming communities in Cote d'Ivoire, transparency of palm oil supply chain in Malaysia, consumer health & safety in India, access to water, and climate change]

Download the full document here

Company response
5 April 2016

Pfizer response

Author: Pfizer

Pfizer strives to uphold human rights in all our business activities and are fully supportive of the principles in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We are a member and signatory of the United Nations Global Compact and have committed to support the ten principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. We communicate our activities with respect to these principles annually (www.pfizer.com/annual).

Pfizer also advances human rights by improving the health of people around the world through our products and services. As part of our commitment we audit and monitor our suppliers’ performance against our company’s environment, health, safety and quality expectations and applicable regulatory requirements.

To learn more about our programs that improve global health please see www.pfizer.com/responsibility.

Company response
5 April 2016

Sanofi response

Author: Sanofi

Sanofi believes that the methodology used in this report is highly questionable. Most of the accusations come from extracts from press clippings or are partial and biased statements.

Sanofi is committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations governing our activities, including in our relationships with healthcare professionals (HCP) and government officials. To ensure we fulfill this commitment, Sanofi maintains a robust compliance program and has issued detailed policies and procedures globally to govern the interaction of its staff with health care professionals and government officials. All our employees are supported by appropriate information and training.

Sanofi complies with its disclosure obligations and any information previously disclosed can be found in our Form 20-F/Document de référence and any material updates will be disclosed in accordance with applicable regulations.

…Sanofi has been included, for the 10th consecutive year, in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) - WORLD 2015…

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