Respect for Human Rights: Company Comments
More company comments relating to our snapshot of the largest German companies will be added as they are received.
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With BASF’s new Corporate Strategy, which is being implemented since January 2019, BASF has confirmed and strengthened its commitment towards sustainability and respect for human rights. For years, BASF has acknowledged publicly its responsibility to respect human rights. This has been embedded in BASF’s global Code of Conduct and documented in its Human Rights Position, revised and approved by the BASF Board in 2019. This revised Position reflects the rationale of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN GP).
As data collection of the “Snapshot Benchmark” was finalized by May 2019, the new Human Rights Position has not been taken into account. The position and an updated, comprehensive website will be published shortly here (https://www.basf.com/global/en/who-we-are/sustainability/we-value-people-and-treat-them-with-respect/human-rights.html).
When the updated information will be taken into account, we expect a revised scoring in the benchmark assessment, a.o.
- with regards to Responsibility and resources for day-to-day human rights functions, as we make our organizational structure and responsibilities transparent;
- with regards to Human Rights Due Diligence, as we continuously integrate Human Rights into our due diligence processes. We identify potential and actual adverse human rights impacts as well as track and report our findings. Wherever possible we employ our levers to prevent them or ward them off, and provide grievance mechanisms accessible for all partners along the value chain. We understand that human rights due diligence needs to be an ongoing process due to operational, political or legal changes over time.
The Volkswagen Group welcomes the increased interest in the dynamic field of business and human rights and the new depth of benchmarks and ratings. We thus appreciate the snapshot benchmark by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, and support the upcoming Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB).
We highly welcome an intensive dialogue with our stakeholders: Our own employees, customers, suppliers, business partners and our local neighbours are essential for this dialogue. This also includes a constructive exchange with organizations representing social interests. This is underlined by an ambition not only to be a responsible corporate citizen but also to achieve insights into external perceptions of Volkswagen's own activities.
The Volkswagen Group is currently formally integrating its group-wide human rights due diligence approach into its compliance management system. We acknowledge our corporate human rights responsibility especially in line with the UN Guiding Principles for Business & Human Rights. Here, we also build upon a long tradition for example in the area of good working conditions together with our social partners. The so-called “international bill of human rights” and the ILO core conventions form the material basis for our human rights due diligence. At the same time, we pay close attention to the new legislative trends in the area of business & human rights. For example, you can access our most recent statement under the UK Modern Slavery Act (https://www.volkswagenag.com/presence/nachhaltigkeit/documents/policy-intern/SHTS_2019_englisch_unterschrieben.pdf).
Author: ZF Friedrichshafen
ZF Friedrichshafen AG currently is revising its Business Partner Principles aiming at adapting it to the growing demands of a globalized economy. In this context, the statements and the requirements regarding the human rights diligence will be specified further. Together with other suppliers and OEM in the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), our company is working on an assessment standard that examines different criteria of Corporate Social Responsibility including human rights issues. Thus, we are seeking to improve risk analysis in our supply chain and to facilitate a reasonable implementation of the human rights due diligence as stipulated in the NAP.
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