UNGP Reporting Framework Update:
Catalyzing and Accelerating Conversations
On February 24, the launch of the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework in London drew a standing-room only crowd and featured strong affirmations of the Reporting Framework from the evening’s speakers, including UN Guiding Principles author John Ruggie, UK Minister Jo Swinson, Unilever Global Vice President Marcela Manubens and European Parliament Rapporteur on Corporate Responsibility Richard Howitt.
A short two months after the launch of the Reporting Framework, we’re thrilled to see it catalyzing and accelerating conversations across companies, governments, investor groups and civil society organizations about how companies can demonstrate respect for human rights in practice. This update is to share with you the latest news on how various stakeholders are using the Reporting Framework to drive implementation of the Guiding Principles.
Who is using the Reporting Framework?
- In the first eight weeks after the launch, over 12,000 visitors viewed the Reporting Framework, with visitor rates remaining consistently high over the period since the initial rush.
- Unilever’s first human rights report – the result of a pilot collaboration that began in 2014 – is due to be published this summer.
- On April 14, Ericsson issued the first report from an ICT company to use the Reporting Framework. The human rights information is contained it its Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report 2014 and addresses the eight overarching question of the Reporting Framework.
- Three other early adopter companies – H&M, Nestlé and Newmont – are working directly with Shift to apply the Reporting Framework to their 2015 reporting and share their learning.
“As a company, there is so much information that can be presented to the reader when you want to present a credible report. The UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework helps you focus on the critical issues that are relevant to rights holders.”
-Marcela Manubens, Global Vice President for Social Impact, Unilever
“I’m the first to say the European Union [non-financial reporting] Directive is very important. Six-thousand companies across Europe, all the leading companies, are being required in their annual financial reports to report explicitly on human rights. Not just their policies, but the risks and the results... This most authoritative framework that has been brought forward is, for me, the answer. I want companies, not just in Europe but throughout the world, to use it."
- Over 30 other companies have already told Shift they are actively using the Reporting Framework, whether for their external reporting process, or first to improve their internal human rights management systems and reporting.
- In a number of countries, government ministries are examining how the Reporting Framework could inform their policies to drive greater corporate accountability on social and environmental issues, including through National Action Plans, adoption of the European Union non-financial reporting Directive and national legislation like the UK’s Modern Slavery Act.
-Richard Howitt MEP, European Parliament Rapporteur on Corporate Social Responsibility
Who is supporting the Reporting Framework?
“There is an urgent need for the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework. Reporting and assurance have long been lagging, and this is the perfect way to implement the human rights chapter of the OECD Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct"
-Roel Nieuwenkamp, Chair, OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct
“The practicality of this Reporting Framework is the fact that it really helps with key, simple questions for companies to operationalize the Guiding Principles. In the UN Global Compact, the first principle is that companies should respect as well as support human rights. This Reporting Framework will really help them with that respect component of the Global Compact as well.”
-Ursula Wynhoven, General Counsel and Chief, Governance and Social Sustainability, United Nations Global Compact
So it’s been a busy few weeks for the UNGP Reporting Framework since it’s February launch! A very warm thank you to everybody who continues to engage with us to drive uptake of the Reporting Framework.
- The International Integrated Reporting Council has welcomed the Reporting Framework as a “means to give clarity to companies wanting to improve their reporting on human rights, and enable more meaningful information to be embedded within an integrated report.”
- The Global Reporting Initiative sees the UNGP Reporting Framework as a step forward for human rights reporting and an example of the kind of issue-specific reporting that complements GRI reporting and can enhance organizations’ commitments to understand, manage and communicate their commitments to human rights. We continue our collaboration with GRI to advance our shared recognition of the need for human rights reporting that is aligned with the Guiding Principles.
Your engagement is critical to achieving the intended aim of the Reporting Framework: incentivizing companies not only to communicate more about how they manage risks to human rights, but also to create or strengthen the policies, processes and practices they need to prevent harm to people. That positive impact on lives must remain the ultimate goal.