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Article

16 Nov 2020

Author:
edie

Half of corporates unable to prove they are protecting human rights, report reveals

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark from the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) was published today (16 November), ranking 30 major automakers and a further 199 companies across the agriculture, fashion, ICT manufacturing and extractive sectors...

Across the benchmarks, more than half of respondents either provided information proving that they are not complying with the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, or failed to provide proof at all...

Progress in the automotive industry was found to be the slowest of any sectors. Companies scored an average of 12% across all indicators and no firm scored more than 50%...

The WBA called this trend “deeply concerning” and noted that little to no improvement has been made in the past year, despite mounting pressure from investors against the backdrop of Covid-19, which has highlighted and intensified dimensions of social risk.

“We’re sensing a real reluctance from the laggards to improve,” the WBA’s lead for the benchmark, Camille Le Pors, said. “And, while a small group of companies are demonstrating strong commitment and processes, it’s not always clear that these deliver their intended effects. Clearly, businesses alone won’t raise the bar and with Covid-19’s compounding impact, there is a real need for regulatory action, as planned by the European Union, as well as increased investor pressure to force change.”

Since the World Health Organisation first declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, many businesses have faced accusations of failures to protect workers within their supply chains or operations...

[T]he WBA’s executive director Gerbrand Haverkamp [...] earlier this year [...] spoke about how the next generation of sustainable business leadership will be centred around embedded purpose and recognising interconnected dimensions of risk and opportunity...

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