Due to the destruction of a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site by Rio Tinto at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia on 24 May 2020, the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) and the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) have decided to append this statement to Rio Tinto’s latest CHRB results. It would be inappropriate for CHRB to continue to assess and rank Rio Tinto in one of the highest-scoring bands and as the top mining company without reference to this incident. The CHRB seeks to provide robust and credible information on companies’ actions to respect human rights across their business, and it would be misleading not to reference this severe impact as a complement to the latest results.
The statement appears in the homepage banding table, in the company's latest scorecard and in the latest overall dataset.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated measures around the world, the CHRB team decided to adapt its approach for the 2020 benchmark. The changes outlined below were made with two main considerations in mind: on the one hand, the recognition that the crisis is having a severe impact on most companies, with repercussions on disclosure patterns as some of the focus is shifted to managing the situation; on the other hand, the need to emphasise the ongoing responsibility of companies to respect the rights of workers in their operations and in their supply chains. It is essential that respect for human rights is not de-prioritised, at a time when risks are increased, especially for the most vulnerable workers and communities. Therefore, in addition to the adjusted 2020 assessment described below, the CHRB will also conduct a separate study into company responses to the Covid-19 crisis, focusing on human rights impacts.
Changes to the 2020 Benchmark
For the apparel, agricultural products, extractive and ICT manufacturing companies benchmarked this year, instead of the full list of indicators in the 2020 CHRB Methodology, the 2020 assessment will use the CHRB Core UN Guiding Principles Indicators. These are 13 non-industry specific indicators, that focus on three key areas of the UN Guiding Principles: high level commitments, human rights due diligence and access to remedy. The 13 indicators are taken from the full methodology and are listed here. More information on these indicators is available on the methodology page.
In the context of the CHRB assessment, companies have the option to participate in an engagement and feedback process, if they wish to do so. This process has also been adjusted to make it less time-consuming for the companies that chose to take part.
The CHRB is assessing 30 companies from the automotive manufacturing sector for the first time in 2020. For these companies, the full methodology will be applied. This will allow to assess existing disclosures for the first time for these companies, to test the methodology and present an initial picture of the situation for the sector. However, the engagement and feedback process is also being adjusted for automotive companies, in line with adjustments made for other companies.
Separate study into company responses to the Covid-19 crisis
The approach for evaluating each company’s response will draw as much as possible on the existing CHRB Methodology and will look at a list of relevant topics such as purchasing practices and health and safety. More information will be communicated about this separate study in due course.
For any questions, please contact the CHRB team at info [@] corporatebenchmark.org.
In 2020, CHRB is assessing 230 companies from the agricultural products, apparel, extractive, ICT manufacturing and automotive manufacturing industries.
The results will be published in November 2020 and the list of companies benchmarked in 2020 is downloadable here.
The 2019 Benchmark Results are now live on the CHRB website! The 2019 ranking and Key Findings Report are available on the home page and company scorecards and the full dataset are downloadable from the download the data page.
The 2019 results are supported by a technical annex which provides more detailed information about the 2019 assessment process. The Technical Annex to the 2019 CHRB is available here.
The CHRB is seeking proposals for services for the 2020 research cycle. Full details are available in this Request for Proposal document, which sets out a draft scope of work for research provider support required to deliver the Benchmark.
Proposals should be sent by 30th September 2019.
The CHRB is developing indicators to add a new sector to the benchmark: automotive manufacturing.
In the spirit of transparency and public consultations that the CHRB is built on, we are seeking feedback on these proposed indicators by consulting with a wide range of stakeholders through on-line and in-person consultations.
Consultation document: The consultation document, which contains the draft indicators, is available here.
What we are consulting on: We are consulting on the automotive-specific indicators for the Benchmark. The Indicators which are not being consulted on are shaded out in grey in the consultation document. These are the core set of indicators that CHRB uses for all sectors. We have had extensive global consultations over the course of several years on these core CHRB indicators so in principle, they are not covered by this consultation. We will be doing a full review and consultation on all indicators in 2020 when we will have had three years of benchmarking experience to draw on. We have provided the full set of indicators so that you can understand how the full methodology will be applied to the Automotive sector. Please see further details in the consultation document.
How to send written feedback: Please send any comments on the indicators to: info [at] corporatebenchmark.org. As we are committed to transparency, we would in principle like to publish on our website any comments we receive as part of the consultation. However, you can indicate that you would like to submit comments anonymously or confidentially. In both cases we will respect your wishes not to disclose your comments.
How to participate in a consultation session or webinar: Please send us an email to info [at] corporatebenchmark.org if you wish to take part in one of the following sessions, or to schedule a call or meeting with the CHRB team to discuss the indicators:
- Focus group - London, UK - 24th June
- In-person consultation - Tokyo, Japan - 29th July
- Webinar 1 - Tuesday 10th September, 8am BST
- Webinar 2 - Tuesday 10th September, 12pm BST
- Webinar 3 - Tuesday 10th September, 4pm BST
- Webinar 4 - Friday 13th September, 4pm BST
- In-person consultation - Stuttgart, Germany - 17th September
- In-person consultation - USA - tbc
Time period for the consultation: The consultation runs until 30th September 2019.
In 2019, CHRB is assessing 200 companies from the Agricultural Products, Apparel, Extractive and ICT Manufacturing industries.
The results will be published in November 2019 and the list of companies benchmarked in 2019 is downloadable here (edited July 2019).
The CHRB Peer Learning Report: Case Studies from Companies in the 2018 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark was published to support companies to review and improve their human rights practices.
The report can be downloaded here.
In November 2018, the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) launched the second Corporate Human Rights Benchmark for 101 companies in the Agricultural Products, Apparel and Extractives sectors. CHRB has had an “appeals process” from the very first benchmarking exercise, but this was the first year that the process was used.
CHRB is taking the opportunity of this first exercise to publish a Report on the 2018 Appeals Process, setting out CHRB’s approach to the appeals process, the outcomes and implications for scoring, our key learnings and also some key points for benchmarked companies to learn for the 2019 round of benchmarking.
Due to the devastating dam collapse at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão mine in Brumadinho, Brazil, CHRB has decided to remove Vale’s scores from the 2018 benchmark rankings and exclude their scores from the CHRB downloadable dataset. It would not be correct for CHRB to continue to rank Vale in the higher performance bands in the wake of such a tragedy. Vale’s inclusion in the 2019 benchmark, as well as any needed adjustments to the CHRB Methodology to deal with such emergent, large scale, human rights impacts, will be reviewed as more information is available. For a more detailed explanation see here.
The CHRB has used the learnings from its pilot and subsequent year of benchmarking as a foundation for adding the new sector to the CHRB: the manufacturing of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) equipment.
The CHRB has been built on a robust consultation process to date, so we are continuing that process by consulting with a wide range of stakeholders involving companies, civil society, trade unions and governments, through on-line and in-person consultations and webinars on our proposed ICT indicators.
What We Are Consulting On: We are consulting on the ICT specific indicators for the Benchmark. These are 11 indicators (with sub-indicators) shaded in grey in the consultation document. The other indicators that are not shaded are the core set of indicators that CHRB uses for all sectors. We have had extensive global consultations over the course of several years on these core CHRB indicators so in principle, they are not covered by this consultation. We will be doing a full review and consultation on all indicators in 2020 when we will have had three years of benchmarking experience to draw on. We have provided the full set of indicators so that you can understand how the full methodology will be applied to the ICT sector. Please see further details in the consultation document.
How to participate: Please send any comments on the indicators to: info [at] corporatebenchmark.org. You can send comments in track changes or in an email or letter. As we are committed to transparency, we would in principle like to publish on our website any comments we receive as part of the consultation. However, you can indicate that you would like to submit comments anonymously or confidentially. In both cases we will respect your wishes not to disclose your comments.
Ask us for a meeting or webinar or phone call to discuss: Please send us an email to info [at] corporatebenchmark.org
Time period for the consultation: The consultation runs from 1 November to 15 December 2018.
This Japanese version of the CHRB 2018 Self-Assessment and Guidance document condenses the key elements of a 145 page Methodology on business and human rights performance. The scope and intent of the assessment can only be fully understood by reference to the full methodology document, but we hope companies will find it useful.
We thank the Caux Roundtable Japan who provided this Japanese version for free and we would be delighted to hear from any Japanese companies who are interested in business and human rights benchmarking.
Some notes on this document:
The spreadsheet looks at 70% of the full assessment and omits Theme E (Response to Serious Allegations) and Theme F (Transparency). The methodology is set up for specific industries and while Themes A-C are mostly applicable to all companies, Theme D (Practices) is very industry specific and companies should be aware of this.
Our Methodology is held under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial No-Derivative licence. As such, commercial consultancies are not allowed to employ/use the methodology or publish results of assessment when they are doing so for commercial reasons without permission from CHRB. This enables us to maintain some control over the quality of research as well as to ensure our intellectual property is protected.
A year on from the launch of the first Benchmark, this report focuses on the progress CHRB has made towards achieving its objectives, highlights where improvements can be made and also looks ahead to the next iteration of the benchmark. It serves to demonstrate the validity of the CHRB approach and also acts as a call for action to governments, investors and civil society to continue their support of the CHRB.
Nb: In the first version published, we noticed an error in the table in Appendix 1 for 8 companies' total scores. Kering, Archer Daniels Midland, BRF, Goldcorp, Associated British Foods and AB Inbev should be 28 and Sysco and TJX Companies should be 27. We are sorry for the typo.
CHRB is honoured and grateful to have been awarded the CFA Society Sweden ESG Award for 2017.
The Award is attributed to persons and organisations that contribute to "raising awareness of the importance of ESG issues in the investment process."
The award was accepted by Magdalena Kettis Phd, Head of Thematic Engagement, Group Sustainable Finance, Nordea and CHRB Advisory Council Member, on behalf of CHRB at an award ceremony in Stockholm on 13 March 2018.
The 2018 Methodology is available here. This document contains the revised indicator requirements and scoring details, in spreadsheet format. It will be supplemented with a full Methodology document in early 2018.
To support the 2018 Methodology document, a separate Explanatory Note is available here. It has been created to summarise the Methodology review and amendments. This aims to show what CHRB asked, what the feedback said and then what CHRB decided, based on that feedback. This includes explaining why in some instances the CHRB Methodology Committee decided not to implement the changes suggested by external stakeholders.
We are extremely grateful to the 300 plus individuals and organisations who, via webinars, calls, surveys and 13 in-person events in 10 different countries, provided crucial feedback on not just the CHRB Methodology, but on how we approach our research and engagement and where we go next.
For information relating to the CHRB Methodology, see the Methodology page.
Before moving on to the next iteration of the Benchmark, we took some time to gather feedback, reflect, and make some changes to the CHRB Methodology and processes, with a view to strengthening the CHRB going forward.
During the consultations, we collected feedback on four main topics:
- The methodology*
- The process
- The presentation of the results
- The addition of new sectors
* A number of points regarding the CHRB Pilot Methodology have been identified by external stakeholders and by CHRB’s research team during the first iteration of the benchmark. Based on this feedback, the CHRB Methodology Committee compiled a list of suggested changes to the Methodology. These proposed changes can be viewed in an excel template here. The document shows a side-by-side comparison of the 2017 and (proposed) 2018 methodology. A word-version summary of these proposed changes is available here. These suggested changes were consulted on during the 2017 Consultations.
We conducted consultations in different formats so as to give different stakeholders an opportunity to express their feedback in the way that suited them best. These were:
I. Bilateral calls and meetings
II. An online questionnaire (now closed)
III. A number of multi-stakeholder meetings in various parts of the world.
Multi-stakeholder sessions were held in the following locations:
- Buenos Aires: 6 September 2017
- Washington: 8 September 2017
- Tokyo: 11 September 2017
- Bogotá: 13 September 2017
- New York: 19 September 2017
- Berlin: 27 September 2017
- London: 28 September 2017
- Copenhagen: 2 October 2017
- The Hague: 12 October 2017
- Hong Kong: 13 October 2017
- Huntington Beach: 23 October 2017
- Sydney: 26 October 2017
- Melbourne: 30 October 2017
- Africa & Middle East webinar: 31 October 2017
The 2017 Consultations are now closed.
The event included the presentation of the results, key note speeches and two discussion panels.
The different speakers represented a variety of organisations, including investors, governments, non-governmental organisations, international organisations, trade unions and business organisations, in line with the multi-stakeholder nature, relevance and impact of CHRB (see the detailed agenda of the event below).
Some quotes from the event:
“As we work towards global business and human rights goals, business as usual is no longer good enough,” the Rt Hon. the Lord Bates, Minister of State, Department for International Development, UK.
“We are in the grip of a classic market failure. A lack of transparency and imperfect information means that the true cost of a business’ behaviour – good and bad – is not accounted for. And this is where […] the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark comes in. […] It’s about making this data public and, importantly, free,” Mark Wilson, CEO, Aviva.
“The CHRB strengthens the business case for respecting human rights,” Peggy Hicks, Director, Thematic Engagement, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
"The magic ingredient [to get the attention of company boards] is to combine investor & consumer voices at the same time," Erich Sahan, Private Sector Policy Adviser, Oxfam.
"It's important we don't start naming, blaming, shaming companies not performing. It's about engagement with companies," Morten Jespersen, Under-Secretary for Global Development and Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark.
“[In] the spirit of creating a race to the top, some investors and non-profit organizations just launched a benchmark to help shape corporate policies and responses in this area,” Mara Lemos Stein, The Wall Street Journal.
“The CHRB, like the Modern Slavery Act, is causing business to relook at their governance practices within their own operations and not just their product supply chains. It is also making business look at how they can be much more transparent in disclosing their activity,” Louise Nicholls, Corporate Head of Human Rights, Food sustainability (Plan A) and Food packaging, Marks & Spencer Group.
“The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark will start to bring accountability to companies around Human Rights. [It is] a big step for corporate Human Rights,” Liam Dowd, Managing Director, Ethical Corporation.
Detailed agenda of the event: