New initiative to benchmark companies on human rights – online consultation open
UN Global Compact Network Australia | July 20, 2015
A new initiative – the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark – will rank the top 500 globally listed companies on their human rights policies, processes and performance with the aim of driving a “race to the top”. The initiative’s proposed methodology is open for online consultation until 31 August.
What will the Benchmark do?
– Make corporate human rights performance easier to see and simpler to understand for a wide range of audiences – inside and outside companies.
– Commend and reward companies doing well while pointing the way forward to better performance.
– Introduce a positive competitive environment encouraging companies to race to the top of the annual ranking.
– Enable investors, civil society and regulators to challenge companies where performance is poor and improvements are necessary, using an evidence-based approach to improving corporate accountability.
What impact will the Benchmark have?
– Investors will be better equipped with information to direct investments to companies actually performing against human rights standards and away from those who are not.
– Business will be incentivised to make information publicly available and when adverse events do occur they will be more likely to demonstrate learning, resulting in greater preventative measures as well as adequate remedies for victims.
– Civil society, communities and customers will be empowered to make well-informed choices about specific companies and products through greater transparency and better data on performance, and will have better information to encourage and pressure advances by companies.
– Policy-makers will have an objective means by which to focus on those companies and business sectors that have the greatest human rights impacts and in particular those which are underperforming against significant human rights risks, highlighting where regulation and incentives might be necessary.
– For more information and overview of the Benchmarking initiative, visit here. To review and provide feedback the Benchmark’s draft indicators to measure companies’ human rights performance, see here.