Additional Severe Impacts

To enable companies to report on how they have addressed any severe impacts that are unrelated to their salient human rights issues, and which are therefore distinct from any severe impacts related to the salient human right issues on which it will be reporting under Section C of this Framework.

This provision enables the reporting company to explain how it is addressing any severe impacts with which the company has been involved:

• that occurred during the reporting period but are unrelated to the salient human rights issues on which the company is reporting under Section C;

• that occurred prior to the reporting period and are still being addressed, but are unrelated to the salient human rights issues on which the company is reporting under Section C.

If neither of these is the case, the reporting company need not address this section of the Framework. Questions C3.2, C4.3 and C6.5 enable the company to report on severe impacts that are related to its salient human rights issues.

In exceptional circumstances, it may not be possible for a company to disclose certain information necessary to respond accurately to this provision of the Framework. In such cases, the company should indicate the nature of the information it has omitted and explain its reasons for the omission: for example, risk to the human rights of stakeholders, specific and legitimate legal prohibitions or confidentiality constraints, or the unavailability of reliable information. Where the company is prevented from disclosing information in specific or explicit form, it should, wherever possible, provide it in aggregated or anonymized form in order to avoid significant gaps in its disclosure.

For a company that identifies additional severe impacts under this provision, it may choose to use relevant questions under Part C to explain the impact and how it was addressed, or it may choose to provide a separate explanation. If a separate explanation is provided, relevant information to include would be:

  • How the company was involved with the impact;
  • The immediate response to the impact, once identified;
  • Steps to provide or support the provision of remedy to those impacted (if the impact was caused or contributed to by the reporting company);
  • Efforts to ensure that the impact could not continue or recur.

If the company has already issued an explanation of its response to the impact in a separate and earlier public document, it might provide a short summary and a link or reference to that document, provided it is readily accessible.

UN Guiding Principle 21 states that:

“[…] Business enterprises whose operations or operating contexts pose risks of severe human rights impacts should report formally on how they address them. In all instances, communications should:

(a) Be of a form and frequency that reflect an enterprise’s human rights impacts and that are accessible to its intended audiences;

(b) Provide information that is sufficient to evaluate the adequacy of an enterprise’s response to the particular human rights impact involved;

(c) In turn not pose risks to affected stakeholders, personnel or to legitimate requirements of commercial confidentiality.”

These references are intended to help users identify which provisions from other initiatives would be relevant as part of the answer to this question. They are not a substitute for the guidance above.
See the cross-references to other initiatives page for a key to the initiatives referenced.
Initiative Reference point







Content Element 4H: Basis of preparation and presentation
Guiding Principle 3D: Materiality
Content Element 4C: Business model – outcomes
Content Element 4F: Performance – outcomes (see here for relationship between <IR> materiality and salient human rights issues)




Please note:

  1. Assurance provided at the higher tiers should include indicators from lower tiers.
  2. These indicators are supported by further notes in the Microsoft Excel version of the indicators. For all support materials on assurance of human rights performance and reporting, please see our website section on assurance.


The practitioner should seek to identify any severe impacts that have occurred during the period under assessment, which are known to the company or its key stakeholders or are otherwise in the public domain, and should assess how they are being addressed in line with indicators under sections C4, C5 and C6 below.

Cross reference  

C3.2 also addresses actual impacts, with a focus on any severe impacts associated with one or more of the company’s salient human rights issues. This section looks at impacts that occurred outside of the company’s salient human rights issues.


[Relevant for the assurance of human rights reporting]

  • Any known severe human rights impacts with which the company has been involved, but which are unrelated to its salient human rights issues, have been clearly disclosed, or, where this is not the case, the company has provided a credible explanation for their omission.
  • The company has provided information on:
    • the nature and extent of the impact(s)
    • how it was involved with the impact(s), including whether it caused, contributed to or was simply linked to the impact(s)
    • its immediate response to the impact(s), once identified
    • steps the company took to provide or support the provision of remedy to those impacted (if it caused or contributed to the impact)
    • efforts the company made to ensure that the impact(s) could not continue or recur
  • To the extent the company reports on its response to the impact(s), this information reflects the relevant effectiveness indicators under sections:
    • 2 (identification of the impact)
    • 3 (response to the impact)
    • C5 (effectiveness of the response), and
    • 5 (remedy provided to those harmed) of this guidance
    • Levels 1, 2 and 3 assurance are indicated in the relevant sections.


  • In the event that severe impacts on human rights occurred in the period under assessment, which were not related to the company’s salient human rights issues, there is evidence that the company has considered whether it should revise its list of salient issues accordingly.
  • In the event that any severe impacts occurred in the period under assessment that indicate additional human rights issues should be identified as salient, the company has updated its risk assessments accordingly.


no additional indicators