Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Releases 2018 Methodology

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (“CHRB”) has released its 2018 research methodology, reflecting revisions to the 2016 methodology used to produce CHRB’s 2017 inaugural benchmarking report.

The 2017 benchmarking report ranked 98 of the world’s largest publicly traded companies on their human rights performance using 100 specific performance indicators. The CHRB has focused on companies in the following three industry sectors: agriculture; apparel; and extractive. Companies are assessed in the following areas: governance and policy; systems and processes; performance; responses to allegations; and transparency.

Notably, only three companies scored over 60% in the 2017 benchmark, with most companies scoring significantly lower. At the time, the CHRB observed that the scoring “reflects the relatively early stage that many companies are still at when implementing the UN Guiding Principles and other internationally recognised human rights and industry standards. Nearly six years on from the UN Guiding Principles’ endorsement, this is an important if uncomfortable finding.”

The 2018 methodology reflects the input received during an extensive set of consultations following the March 2017 release of the inaugural results. The objectives of the methodological changes include:

  • Clarifying CHRB’s requirement;
  • Ensuring closer alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights;
  • Ensuring closer alignment with the methodology used by KnowTheChain in its benchmarking efforts;
  • Removing repetition across indicators;
  • Addressing concerns with regard to scoring related to “Serious Allegations”; and
  • Simplifying scoring around issues related to transparency.

As with the 2017 inaugural report, the CHRB will produce its 2018 report based on an assessment of 100 companies. Going forward, the CHRB intends to produce an annual benchmarking report.

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