About the Benchmark

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark will rank the top 500 globally listed companies on their human rights policy, process and performance, harnessing the competitive nature of the markets to drive better human rights performance.

 

Why the need for a benchmark?

There is already considerable evidence that public transparency combined with public rankings of companies’ performance can help to drive a race to the top.  A survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit on business and human rights found that CEOs thought a public benchmark would be the most useful initiative to support them to better fulfil their corporate responsibility to respect human rights. 

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.

 

Jeff Furman
The initiative by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark to rank 500 companies on their human rights performance should drive a change in corporate behavior. This performance ranking is built on what the companies do rather than their rhetoric. Those who truly support and deliver on high labor, environmental and human rights standards will be recognized and those that do not will have their records exposed to investors, customers, civil society, and home governments. The expectation is that this ranking system will drive a race to the top and a competition to benefit people, the planet, and the bottom line.

Jeff Furman, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ben & Jerry's

Who are we?

  • Aviva Investors is a global asset management business dedicated to building and providing client focused solution and part of Aviva plc, one of the UK's largest insurance services providers.

  • Business and Human Rights Resource Centre is an international NGO that tracks the human rights impacts (positive & negative) of over 6000 companies in over 180 countries making information available on its eight language website.

  • Calvert Investments is an investment management firm and leader in sustainable and responsible investment strategies.

  • The EIRIS Foundation is a leading UK-based charity operating in the field of responsible investment. The foundation is committed to helping organisations and individuals maximise their contribution to the responsible business and investment agenda. Its mission is to use research, analysis and influence to identify gaps, barriers, opportunities and enablers so that it can help organisations and individuals maximise their contribution.

  • The Institute for Human Rights and Business is a global "think and do" tank that provides a trusted, impartial space for dialogue and independent analysis to deepen understanding of human rights challenges and the appropriate role of business.

  • Nordea Wealth Management is the largest Nordic private bank, life & pensions provider and asset manager.
  • VBDO is the Dutch association of investors for sustainable development that aims at a sustainable capital market, considering financial as well as non-financial ESG criteria.

  • Vigeo Eiris, formed from the merger of EIRIS and Vigeo, is a global provider of environmental, social, governance (ESG) research for responsible investors, and provides research support to the Benchmark.