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New publication in Polish and English: "Introducing Business and Human Rights to the general public in Poland"

In February 2018, the Polish newspapers Rzeczpospolita[1] and Parkiet[2] published a 32-page supplement on Business and Human Rights (BHR) under the title:  "Business and Human Rights. Responsibility, benefits, ethics". The publication is also available also online as a PDF. The publication, developed in close cooperation with the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business aims to raise awareness of business and human rights and provide an accessible introduction to this topic for the broader public.

Several of the articles have now been made available in English, along with a new article introducing the publication. These are avaible below.

[1] Rzeczpospolita is a nationwide economic and legal newspaper and the only conservative-liberal newspaper in Poland. It is the source of information for opinion leaders, managers, professionals, and key business decision-makers. For years, it has been considered the most opinion-making medium in Poland.

[2] Gazeta Giełdy i Inwestorów "Parkiet" (A newspaper of stock exchange and investors "Parkiet") is a nationwide specialist journal that aims at the stock exchange and the entire capital market. It is addressed to a broad spectrum of people interested in investments, economy and financial markets, as well as in the operation of companies and markets and the products and services they offer.

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26 March 2018

Introducing business & human rights to the general public in Poland

Author: Beata Faracik

The publication, developed in close cooperation with the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business aims to raise awareness of business and human rights and provide an accessible introduction to this topic for the broader public and not just the usual circle of CSR and BHR experts. Therefore, its content addresses issues that are important for any person whose rights could be affected adversely by a company, but also aims to provide basic advice to readers from business circles on what steps can be undertaken to improve their company’s respect for human rights...

The publication opens with a dedicated article by Prof. John Ruggie [...] followed by an article by Beata Faracik, which sets out the Polish perspective on the UNGPs implementation in Poland... [E]ach of [the 3 sections of the publication] is dedicated to a different UNGPs pillar...

The publication also provides information about the Polish National Action Plan implementing the UNGPs...

Read the full post here

27 February 2018

Human Rights reporting – a must for European business

Author: Mairead Keigher, Rzeczpospolita

Following the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in 2011, a 'perfect storm' of legislation, investor interest and civil society scrutiny has led to increased emphasis on companies' human rights disclosure...

The transposition of the EU non-financial reporting Directive into Polish legislation means that Polish and other European companies now need to address these disclosure gaps. This also presents an opportunity: good disclosure - disclosure aligned with the Guiding Principles - can be a catalyst for improved performance on human rights...

The UNGP Reporting Framework [...] was translated into Polish in 2016 with the support of the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business and company sponsors, and made available through the website of the Polish Ministry of Economic Development...

The UNGP Reporting Framework is proving to be a lever that powers the shift from reporting for reporting's sake to reporting that drives improved outcomes for people and helps companies future-proof their business... [N]ow is the time for companies - including in Poland - to know and show that they do business with respect for people.

Read the full post here

27 February 2018

John G. Ruggie: There is no longer a choice for businesses to act responsibly

Author: John Ruggie, Rzeczpospolita

It should come as no surprise to this newspaper's readers that we are living in a time of widespread backlash against globalization and in some places modernity itself...

This backlash, and the turbulence it creates, are hardly good for business. And yet if I may be blunt: business has been part of the problem... 

Today's business and government leaders have a critical choice before them. One choice is to continue with the practices that bear significant responsibility for the widespread upheaval we see today. The other choice is to seize upon the opportunity to reorient business practices toward creating long-term value both for the business and for society - business as part of society, rather than apart from it. In other words, a way of doing business that supports socially sustainable markets...

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights provide a roadmap that helps bridge the governance gaps and imbalances that must be addressed for businesses, global supply chains and globalization itself to become socially sustainable. My proposition to business is that respect for human rights -- respect for the dignity of every person -- is the key to ensuring a socially sustainable globalization, from which business stands to be a major beneficiary.

Read the full post here

27 February 2018

Poland: Interview on monitoring the supply chain by CSR Coordinator of LPP S.A.

Author: Anna Migdalska, Rzeczpospolita

Anna Miazga the CSR Coordinator at LPP SA, a polish retailing company, points out in this interview, respecting human rights by enterprises is an important topic not only from the point of view of one country or industry. It's a global problem. The key to success is, among other things, the systematic implementation by the manufacturers of standards for improving safety and working conditions.

In this interview she describes the experiences of LPP, as an example of a company that since the Rana Plaza tragedy has been consistently implementing actions for the sustainable improvement of working conditions in the supply chain. Cooperation under the ACCORD agreement, constant monitoring of suppliers, the system of reporting violations, and above all the code of conduct applicable to all suppliers, are some of the activities undertaken by the company in this respect.

Read the full post here

27 February 2018

Poland: Interview on responsible financing by Director of CSR Department, BNP Paribas

Author: Anna Migdalska, Rzeczpospolita

In this interview Malgorzata Zdzienicka-Grabarz, the director of CSR Department, explains how BGZ BNP Paribas Bank activities are associated with corporate social responsibility, why responsible financing is key for a bank and how it works in practice.

By examining potential and existing clients, BNP Paribas makes sure that it does not support financially non-responsible socially or environmentally projects. BNP Paribas implements its mission into practice, by monitoring the risks in seven sensitive sectors (e.g. mining, coal fired power plants, agriculture, defence). Customers that operate in one of these sectors have to go through appropriate procedures before securing the financing. In line with the BNP Paribas decision of October 2017, the bank started to exit from financing the tobacco sector, fur animal breeding and the coal sector.

CSR in practice stands not only for mitigation of risks but also strengthening of a positive impact of financing. Therefore, the bank develops the product offer for renewable energy sources to support clients in transitioning to low-carbon economy.

Read the full post here