New Report: Failures in Governance and Lack of Appropriate Focus Still Common Amongst Largest Companies

Findings based on new indicators of maturity for corporate reporting developed by Shift

10 May 2017 — Today Shift has released Human Rights Reporting: Are Companies Telling Investors What They Need to Know, a new report authored by Shift and supported by the UK Department for International Development, EY and Hermes Investment Management. This report features a new methodology to assess the maturity of companies’ existing reporting on human rights. This methodology, based directly on the expectations set by the UN Guiding Principles and the UNGP Reporting Framework, establishes indicators of mature reporting, distinguishing laggards from leaders along a tiered maturity scale. Each tier of the maturity scale includes indicators of maturity that provide a roadmap to leading reporting.

The report applies this methodology to a study of 74 of the world’s largest companies from seven sectors. While the report is primarily targeted at investors, its findings and the maturity indicators can bring value for a range of readers. All of the primary source information for the report can be found in the UNGP Reporting Database.

Top findings from the sample group of companies’ disclosure include:

  • Lack of oversight: 45 percent of companies reviewed do not clearly identify who is responsible and accountable for managing human rights risks.
  • Lack of focus: 56 percent of companies do not provide any explanation whatsoever about which human rights are at greatest risk in connection to their operations and value chains.
  • Lack of clarity about internal controls: approximately 90 percent of companies do not have a coherent narrative about how risk or impact assessments inform mitigation actions taken, how decisions are made or if senior management is ever involved.
  • Lack of information about outcomes: 45 percent of companies provide no information about how they track their performance on human rights.

This study is not a benchmarking, a ranking or a rating. It does not reveal individual companies’ maturity levels. Instead, it focuses on trends in corporate reporting according to the maturity scale.

>> Go to the report