Methodology

When reviewing companies’ reporting, we use the following approach:

  • Please note we are currently able to review disclosure only in English and French.
  • Each question in the UNGP Reporting Framework is divided into key phrases (‘tag words’) that reflect distinct types of information a company could disclose that would be relevant to answering that question. These tag words reflect the ‘relevant information’ section under each question in the UNGP Reporting Framework.
  • We then compare information reported via the company’s website to those tag words. This includes information in any annual, sustainability or other report, policies or procedures, or other relevant information that is accessible via the company’s website.
  • We provide excerpts from the company materials that are relevant to any tag words, making clear the particular source from which the excerpt is drawn and the location in that source.
  • Where no reported information is available in relation to particular tag words, the corresponding fields in the Database are left blank. This does not necessarily imply a gap in reporting, as not all types of information are equally relevant to all companies. That said, an absence of information for most or all tag words under a single Reporting Framework question, or an absence of information for all questions in a entire section of the Reporting Framework, are likely to reflect a weakness in disclosure.
  • We evaluate companies’ reporting on an annual basis. Each year’s review is entered in the database under a different year. Users may select which year(s) of a company’s reporting they want to see. From year to year, companies’ previous disclosure is not repeated, unless the disclosure is relevant to ongoing activities (e.g., human rights policy, a guide for suppliers on human rights, ongoing training programmes, ongoing approaches to stakeholder engagement). To have a complete picture of a company’s activities on human rights, it may be helpful to select to view all years of its disclosure. This also helps users see if a company improves over time.
  • The UNGP Reporting Framework asks companies to focus their human rights reporting on their salient human rights issues: those human rights at risk of the most severe negative impact through the company’s activities and business relationships. Where a company has focused its reporting on certain human rights issues, but has not indicated that these were identified based on their salience, we have accepted this focus but included an editor’s note that it is unclear whether they are salient issues.
  • All excerpts related to questions in Part C of the Reporting Framework are tagged to the focal human rights issues (salient or otherwise) identified by the company. The full list of issues appears in the column to the right of each excerpt. The issue(s) that are relevant to each excerpt appear in black text, while the others are in grey text.
  • Companies use different terms for human rights and related issues. We retain the company’s term in its list of focal/salient issues. For the purpose of searching the Database, we group these under more standard human rights terms. See the list of standard terms and their alternative names below.
  • Where ambiguous situations arise we apply a standard set of rules, developed on the basis of our experience implementing this methodology, to determine what information should be included in the Database and where.
  • Philanthropic initiatives or other initiatives that may promote or support human rights are not included unless the company explains how they are part of a strategy to address risks to human rights associated with its core business.
  • Editor’s notes are included only where essential to provide context or clarity and are indicated with brackets [ ].

Salient / Focal Issues of Companies in the Reporting Database

One option for users of the Reporting Database is to filter company disclosures by salient / focal human rights issue. Users can see those filtering options on the Explore Disclosures page.

To provide users with a complete picture of all the salient / focal issues companies in this database report on — including the various alternative names used by companies to refer to similar issues — we also provide a listing of all salient / focal issues in this database in a simple spreadsheet format. Click here to download the spreadsheet.

Updating Company Data

We evaluate companies’ reporting on an annual basis. Each year’s review is entered in the database under a different year. Users may select which year(s) of a company’s reporting they want to see. From year to year, companies’ previous disclosure is not repeated, unless the disclosure is relevant to ongoing activities (e.g., human rights policy, a guide for suppliers on human rights, ongoing training programmes, ongoing approaches to stakeholder engagement). To have a complete picture of a company’s activities on human rights, it may be helpful to select to view all years of its disclosure. This also helps users see if a company improves over time.

Companies that have recently released significant new disclosure related to human rights (e.g., a new annual report) are welcome to alert the project team by writing to us at info[at]ungpreporting.org.

The month and year of the last review of a company’s disclosure is listed on each company’s page. 

Consultations With Companies

We consult with all companies that appear in the Reporting Database prior to publication of their disclosure in this database. These companies are given four weeks to review our findings and we welcome conversations with companies to clarify if we have missed any important disclosure. These conversations are also an opportunity to talk about what meaningful reporting on human rights looks like as expected by the UN Guiding Principles.

For additional questions about corporate disclosure related to human rights and how the UNGP Reporting Framework works, please visit our FAQ page on the UNGP Reporting Framework.