The first-ever ranking of the human rights performance of global listed companies is now underway.
The ranking follows a recent survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit that found the top choice by 853 senior corporate executives of what could best enable them to meet their human rights responsibilities was a public benchmark on corporate human rights performance. The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark is an answer to this call.
The CHRB ranking will be developed by an evaluation of the top 100 companies from the apparel, agricultural, and extractive industries. Its methodology is the result of two years of development by the CHRB Steering Committee in consultation with over 400 companies, industry associations, investors, governments, civil society representatives, academics, and lawyers.
Starting March 21, the CHRB will send its final methodology to the companies selected for the pilot benchmark. It will also open its disclosure platform, allowing those companies to submit and make public information to be considered in the CHRB. This information will be considered along with existing public documents like annual reports and policies.
The results of this free and public business and human rights benchmark will be published in November 2016. The CHRB will be produced annually and expanded each year to cover additional industries until the top 500 globally listed companies are included.
Steve Waygood, Chair of the CHRB Steering Committee and Chief Responsible Investment Officer at Aviva Investors, said: "Respecting rights should ultimately be a competitive advantage. At the moment, companies that are less accountable for their impacts on people are still able to raise capital at rates that don't properly take these issues into account. We are seeking to change that."
The CHRB Steering Committee members are: Aviva Investors, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), Calvert Investments, The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), VBDO and Vigeo Eiris.