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Report

16 Nov 2020

Author:
Corporate Human Rights Benchmark

Corporate Human Rights Benchmark: 2020 Key findings

Automotive

The automotive sector was included for the first time this year, with 30 companies in scope. These companies were assessed on the full CHRB methodology.

KEY FINDING 1: The automotive sector is the worst performing ever in the CHRB ...

KEY FINDING 2: Supply chain management is a major area of weakness ...

A majority of automotive companies failed to demonstrate that they work with suppliers or set core expectations through contractual arrangements...

KEY FINDING 3: A just transition is undermined by a disconnect between human rights and climate issues ...

The automotive companies included in the 2020 CHRB were also assessed by the Climate and Energy Benchmark. When comparing both assessments, almost no correlation could be found between a company’s relative performance on either benchmark... This lack of a correlation suggests that many automotive companies still consider climate and human rights issues separately... In the coming decades, emissions-intensive sectors, such as automotive, face the major challenge of shifting to a net zero-carbon economy while upholding the central promise of the SDGs to leave no one behind...

CHRB core UNGP assessment

KEY FINDING 4: Too many companies are failing to meet investor expectations on human rights due diligence ...

In March 2020, a group of 176 international investors representing over USD 4.5 trillion in assets under management sent a letter to the 95 companies that failed to score any points on the human rights due diligence indicators in the 2019 CHRB assessment, calling for urgent improvement. Of those 95 companies, only 16 have improved on human rights due diligence this year, with 79 still failing to score any points on the related indicators. Of companies assessed for the first time in 2020, 70% also failed to score any points in this area of the assessment.

This inconsistent performance highlights the need for regulatory action to raise the bar and ensure that companies respect the rights of all potentially affected stakeholders. This is all the more imperative in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic...

KEY FINDING 5: A growing number of companies are getting better at the fundamentals, but many still lag behind ...

KEY FINDING 6: Companies need to move from commitments and processes to impacts on the ground ...

[T]here seems to be a concerning disconnect between these commitments and processes and impacts on the ground...

KEY FINDING 7: ICT manufacturing companies are catching up, but other sectors aren’t standing still ...

KEY FINDING 8: Negative human rights impacts are overwhelmingly felt in developing countries ...

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