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Report assesses human rights performance of 22 largest Irish companies based on CHRB Core Indicators

On November 8th, the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) at the Trinity Business School launched a report assessing the human rights performance of the 22 largest companies in Ireland based on the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) methodology. Just five companies had a total score of greater than 20%, the highest score being 42%, with a further seven scoring between 10-20%, and ten companies less than 10%. 

Key findings suggest amongst others that:

  • There is a lack of awareness among Irish companies of the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights and/or a lack of explicit compliance with these as evidenced by the low scores in the CHRB index;

  • There is a particular weakness in the area of ‘embedding respect and human rights due diligence’ in their policies and public declarations – although companies are weak in all areas examined

The report concludes that Ireland needs to move beyond a ‘soft law’ approach to truly incentivise companies to embed respect for human rights into their policies and practices. The full report is available below.

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Report
8 November 2019

IRISH BUSINESS & HUMAN RIGHTS: Benchmarking compliance with the UN Guiding Principles Centre

Author: Centre for Social Innovation, Trinity Business School

...Breaking down the results by measurement theme, it is evident that performance is weak across the board. However, there are notably low scores identified in Theme B: Embedding Respect and HRDD.

It is also notable that a number of companies scored zero on one or several indicators, including 15 companies in relation to Theme B... On four indicators, no company achieved a score... Two of these related to remedy (A.1.5, commitment to remedy adverse impacts, and C.7, which deals with actually remedying adverse impacts). A further two were HRDD indicators (B.2.2 and B.2.4)...

Just five companies had a total score of greater than 20%, where all three measurement themes were combined. A further seven scored between 10-20%, while ten companies scored less than 10%...

The findings from the application of the CHRB Core Indicators Benchmark to the 22 Irish companies in the study suggest that:

• There is a lack of awareness among Irish companies of the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights and/or a lack of explicit compliance with these as evidenced by the low scores in the CHRB index; ...

As other States move towards mandatory human rights due diligence, Ireland should not be left behind.

Read the full post here

Article
8 November 2019

Irish Business & Human Rights: benchmarking compliance with UN Guiding Principles

Author: Trinity Business School

In the report, 22 of the largest companies in Ireland are assessed using the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) methodology. The benchmark looks at policies, due diligence and access to remedies found in publicly available documents produced by the companies assessed. Companies were contacted about the research and invited to provide further documentation if they so wished.

The overall findings suggest that Irish multinational companies are lagging behind other multinationals in their recognition of and compliance with the UNGPs – based on the benchmark used... 

The report highlights the need to take the UNGPs more seriously across Irish industry.  In the National Plan on Business and Human Rights 2017-2020, the government has committed to "promote responsible business practices at home and overseas by all Irish business enterprises in line with Ireland’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights globally and to being one of the best countries in the world in which to do business"The CSI report suggests that there is a long way to go if Irish business is to be convincing on their human rights policies and practices.  

Read the full post here