“The UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework is the indispensible tool companies have been waiting for.”
– Professor John Ruggie, Former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights
Examples of users and supporters on this page: Companies | Governments | $4.8 trillion investor coalition backing the Framework | Others: Investors, Stock Exchanges, Law Firms | Other Reporting Initiatives
Companies Reporting Using the Framework
Our Q&A’s with early adopter companies offer insight about what these companies learned in the process of using the Framework.
As Nestlé’s Yann Wyss noted, “The Reporting Framework was a good opportunity to check how well or poorly we were implementing the Guiding Principles — what we had achieved, and where the gaps are. So we used the Reporting Framework not only as a reporting tool, but also as a management tool, to help us identify and close gaps.” At H&M, Sofie Nyström reflected, “The UNGPs tell us we should ‘know and show’ that we respect human rights in practice. To be able to show, you have to know. To be able to know, you have to do. The Reporting Framework uncovers the places where you need to focus and improve, so that it becomes very clear what you need to do.”
In addition to early adopters, other companies are issuing public reports using the Reporting Framework, including BNP Paribas, Electrolux, Gaz Naturel Fenosa, John Lewis Partnership, Marks & Spencer, Microsoft, Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA) and Total.
–> Looking for the UNGP Reporting Framework in another language? Several translations are in progress or already published — see our news page on translations here.
Companies Using the Framework for Internal Management
“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. — Richard Howitt former MEP, European Parliament Rapporteur on Corporate Social Responsibility, current CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council |
See video of Richard Howitt from the launch
Dozens of companies are also using the Reporting Framework for internal work on human rights management. As those companies have told our team, some of those activities include:
- A food, beverage and agriculture company is using the Reporting Framework to support training for suppliers, in order to build suppliers’ understanding of what the company expects when it asks suppliers to implement processes to identify and act upon human rights-related risks;
- A bank is using it to structure engagement with clients and to support investment decisions;
- An automobile company is using the Reporting Framework to structure its human rights programme, including in relation to managing human rights in the supply chain;
- An oil and gas company is using the Reporting Framework to conduct an internal gap analysis, to better understand what processes it already has in place aligned with the UN Guiding Principles, and where the gaps may be;
- An apparel company had provided training to those responsible for sustainability and its Code of Conduct, and tailored the Reporting Framework questions to the company’s specific salient human rights issues;
- A mining company is using the Reporting Framework to build awareness among senior leadership about what is meant by human rights and how human rights connect to the business;
- An oil and gas company is using the Reporting Framework to inform the development of its human rights policy, including in regards to explicit identification of salient human rights issues in the policy;
- An apparel company is using the Reporting Framework to identify what they it disclose on modern slavery, in response to the UK’s Modern Slavery Act request for further transparency on relevant policies and due diligence;
- A food, beverage and agriculture company is using the Reporting Framework to determine how to add human rights to its existing risk management system.
Novo Nordisk shares more details about how they are using the Reporting Framework for internal management in this Q&A.
Interested in receiving training about using the Reporting Framework? Please contact us.
Reporting Framework References: Governments
“States should encourage and give incentives to improved human rights reporting and consider where mandatory reporting could help to advance corporate practices. The UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework offers an opportunity for convergence around a tool that is based directly on the Guiding Principles. — UN Working Group on business and human rights
Multiple governments have referenced or called for the use of the Reporting Framework in policies and regulation. Examples include:
- In Denmark, the Reporting Framework is referenced in guidelines for businesses issued by the Danish Business Authority on the basis of the provisions on the EU non-financial reporting Directive;
- In the United Kingdom, the Reporting Framework is referenced in guidance for companies on compliance with the Modern Slavery Act;
- In the United States, the US General Services Administration references the Reporting Framework in its Social Sustainability Module of its SFTool, which is relevant for companies who want to sell products or services to the US government;
- In Poland, the Polish edition of the UNGP Reporting Framework, which was created by the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business, has been published on the website of the Polish Ministry of Economic Development and is referenced in guidance on reporting standards by the Ministry;
- The New Zealand Human Rights Commission has recommended to all companies that they use the Reporting Framework for both internal management and disclosure about how they are preventing and addressing human rights risks;
- The governments of France, Italy, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom have referenced the Reporting Framework in their National Action Plans on business and human rights.
Reporting Framework References: Investors, Stock Exchanges, Law Firms
- Over 80 investors representing more than $4.8 trillion assets under management have signed a statement of support for the Reporting Framework, stating the Reporting Framework is, “an essential tool that enables investors to review companies’ understanding and management of human rights risks. It will also guide us in our engagement with companies going forward.” | See the complete investor statement
- UN Principles for Responsible Investment has referenced the Framework in guidance publications for investors on engagement with companies in their portfolios;
- The Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative has referenced the Framework times in guidance for exchanges and investors;
- Bursa Malaysia, the Malaysian stock exchange, references the Framework in sustainability reporting guidance for listed companies;
- The International Corporate Governance Network, an investor network representing US$26 trillion assets under management, has issued a note on human rights for its members that highlights the Reporting Framework;
- Multiple law firms have written about the value of the Reporting Framework, including Eversheds, Littler, Herbert Smith Freehills and Norton Rose Fulbright.
“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 – guidelines that multinational enterprises are expected to follow and that have a unique complaints mechanism.” — Roel Nieuwenkamp, Chair, OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct |
See Roel Nieuwenkamp’s blog on the UNGP Reporting Framework
Support From Other Reporting Initiatives
The UNGP Reporting Framework was developed in consultation with several other leading non-financial reporting initiatives including the International Integrated Reporting Council and the Global Reporting Initiative. Each question of the Reporting Framework is also cross-referenced to other reporting initiatives, to help companies be efficient in their disclosure. These cross-references can be viewed per Framework question in the implementation guidance, or in our online cross-reference tool.
In support of the Framework at its launch, Paul Druckman, (former) CEO, International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), said, “The International Integrated Reporting Council welcomes the launch of the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, which we believe will help give clarity to companies wanting to improve their reporting on human rights, and provide guidance on identifying human rights content for inclusion in an integrated report.” | The relationship between the UNGP Reporting Framework and Integrated Reporting
The UN Global Compact has also welcomed the Framework. Ursula Wynhoven, General Counsel and Chief, Governance and Social Sustainability, United Nations Global Compact, said, “The practicality of this Reporting Framework is the fact that it really helps with key, simple questions for companies to operationalize the Guiding Principles.”