The CHRB Methodology is the result of extensive multi-stakeholder consultation around the world over two years, involving representatives from over 400 companies, governments, civil society organisations, investors, academics and legal experts. Below are some key points of information you will need to understand the CHRB results.
As the CHRB we want to emphasise that the results, based on publicly available information, are a proxy for corporate human rights performance and not an absolute measure of performance. This is because, while there is extensive work being undertaken to understand and value respect for human rights, there are no agreed fundamental units of measurement for human rights. As such, the CHRB results provide a subjective assessment at a certain point in time.
Since the pilot was launched in March 2017, we have refined the methodology and are confident in the quality of the results. However, due to the subjective nature of the assessments, which spreads across several thousand data points, there will always be an interpretive margin. We therefore encourage a greater analytical focus on general performance and how scores improve over time rather than upon marginal differences in scoring (either up or down).
Publicly Available Information
In an effort to drive greater transparency, the CHRB is based on only publicly available information from company websites, documents, and additional company input to the CHRB Disclosure Platform. As such, some companies may have non-public information which would not be taken into account in the 2019 results.
This information was reviewed during a set research cycle. As such, certain company information may be updated following the close of a research cycle, or shortly after a benchmark is published.
Therefore, a score of 0 on an individual indicator does not necessarily mean that bad practices are present or that there is no company action on the issue. Rather, it means that we have been unable to identify the required information in public documentation within the research timeframe.
The four industries in focus – Agricultural Products, Apparel, Extractives and ICT Manufacturing – were selected following multistakeholder consultations, taking into account their high human rights risks, the extent of previous work on the issue, and global economic significance. The CHRB follows a specific approach in relation to the scope of each industry covered, the scope of company activities within the value chain, as well as the scope of business relationships considered. See the CHRB Methodology for further information.
The selected 200 publicly traded companies were chosen on the basis of their size (market capitalisation) and revenues, as well as geographic and industry balance. For the full list of companies see the 2019 Key Findings Report and the master data sheet available on the Download Data page of the website.
International and Industry - Specific Standards
The Benchmark is grounded in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as additional standards and guidance focused on specific industries and specific issues. This is reflected in the focus of the CHRB Measurement Themes, which look at companies’ policies, governance, processes, practices and transparency, as well as how they respond to serious allegations.
The CHRB Methodology is composed of indicators spread across six Measurement Themes with different weightings. These levels have been carefully developed through numerous consultations with stakeholders to seek to achieve a balance between measuring actual human rights impacts on the ground as well as the effectiveness of policies and processes implemented across large and complex companies to systematically address their human rights risks and impacts.
Indicators follow a set structure, awarding either 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5 or 2 points depending on whether the requirements are fulfilled through a review of publicly available information. Half points are awarded when a company meets one of several requirements for indicators where a score 1 or a score 2 contain several criteria. See the 2019 Methodology for more information on this.
A company’s score on a Measurement Theme is calculated by adding the number of points awarded in the respective Theme and dividing it by the maximum number of points available. The scores on all Measurement Themes are then weighted to produce a company’s total CHRB score.
Companies in More than One Industry
Companies may be assessed against more than one CHRB industry, where they derive at least 15% of their revenues or over GBP £1 billion from the relevant CHRB industry. Eight companies fell into both the Agricultural Products and Apparel industries, one company fell into both the Agricultural Products and Extractives industries and one company fell into the Agricultural Products, Apparel and ICT Manufacturing industries In these cases the companies were assessed in terms of how they manage the different aspects of their business that are in scope. As such, these particular companies are presented in both industry results where relevant.
Out of Scope
There are some aspects that contribute to the human rights performance of companies, but which are not covered in the Benchmark in order to focus on key issues, maintain a manageable scope and to learn lessons from the inaugural results.
- Consumption of Products and Services (such as digital rights)
- Positive Impacts
- Collective Impacts (such as climate change)
See the CHRB Methodology for further details.
Long term perspective
We also want to encourage a greater analytical focus on how scores improve over time rather than upon how a company compares to other companies in the same industry today. Benchmark findings are important snapshots to consider as part of a larger picture of corporate human rights performance, and these snapshots will become more telling over time through several iterations of benchmark results so that comparisons can be made. The spirit of the exercise is to promote continual improvement via an open assessment process and a common understanding of the importance of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
2019 Benchmarking Process
Detail about the 2019 research process and timeline is available in the Technical Annex to the 2019 CHRB, which is available here.
For the full list of companies that engaged in the benchmarking process see the Annex in the 2019 Key Findings Report.