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Addressing Human Rights Due Diligence with data reporting

We sat down with Prosha Aziz, Sustainability Platform Manager at Position Green, who talks us through how adapting to relevant data reporting may help your company approach the current topic of Human Rights Due Diligence.

Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) is becoming a more and more prominent topic, with new laws and regulations in force and on the horizon, mandating that companies carry it out. This means that companies now have to start taking their management of human rights seriously, or risk not being compliant with these laws. To help companies to do this, Prosha Aziz, together with her colleague Klara Oké and Tariq Desai and Amanda Sørum from Position Green’s Human Rights advisory team, have created a solution on Position Green’s Platform, that helps companies to conduct HRDD.

Prosha highlights how some companies have avoided managing human rights due to its ambiguity, as “a lot of the information required is qualitative rather than quantitative,” which creates issues in collecting, analysing and reporting on data. However, it is possible to approach human rights with clarity and structure, through understanding and implementing HRDD properly. If companies aren’t able to do this, they risk not identifying adverse human rights impacts, which can mean harming people, reputational damage and penalties with regards to mandatory HRDD legislation. Prosha explains that “HRDD ensures that companies respect everyone’s fundamental rights and preserves the inherent dignity of the people companies come into contact with. A good HRDD process will mean companies assess their own operations, as well as their supply chains, to ensure that they meet the requirements of human rights frameworks in managing human rights.”

Data reporting is a great tool to help companies conduct HRDD, with Prosha highlighting that this was a key driver in developing Position Green’s Solution. She explains that it is “a simple but powerful solution, which does the heavy lifting for you and removes the need for manual work – it is easy to implement and adjust to your needs which makes it universally applicable”. The Solution allows companies to assess their own and their suppliers’ performance against the criteria of the OECD Guidelines on Due Diligence and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well providing an inherent risk score for suppliers. Prosha continues:

“The biggest customer value is that it can make something very daunting easily digestible by presenting clear scoring on human rights risk and management. This allows customers to turn something vague into something concrete and identify where they need to focus their resources. The solution takes quite a cumbersome framework and simplifies it, meaning companies can collect clear data on theirs and their suppliers’ human rights performance, as well as action that data, in an effortless way. In addition, we have in-house human rights experts who can advise customers who need additional assistance, ensuring customers have full-service support should they require it.”

Our HRDD solution: a tool for success

The Solution doesn’t just provide an overall score but ensures that minimum standards are met. “You don’t have a human rights policy?” Prosha asks, “That’s a minimum requirement – so even if you get a high score overall, the lack of a human rights policy will be a red flag, as it is a health criteria that is not being met”. Prosha Aziz outlines that the Solution utilizes  simple yes-and-no questions to walk companies through the criteria, while allowing for possibilities to elaborate on answers when necessary. By having your company and suppliers answer these, Position Green’s Solution creates a score and highlights red flags, helping to identify risks and opportunities within the company’s own operations and supply chain.

Test your performance! Can you answer these 3 questions about human rights?

  1. Does your company aim for excellent results in health and safety throughout its operations? 
  2. Does your company have measures in place to stop child labour in its operations? 
  3. Does your company share information transparently and constructively with its employees?

These questions (and many more –  between 130-150), are some of the points you and your suppliers will have to answer when working with the Solution. If you fail to answer a question that our experts consider to be a minimum standard you will receive a flag to highlight where you need to prioritise your actions: as Prosha says “there’s only one type of flag, and that’s a red flag”. Prosha encourages you to put yourself and your suppliers into the spotlight of the platform and test your performance. If the results from your suppliers do not meet your expectations, the Solution allows you to follow-up with additional surveys that focus on improving the suppliers’ performance. This allows you to monitor and track the performance of your suppliers.

“Conducting HRDD is not a one-off exercise but an ongoing process which companies should constantly aim to improve.”

Prosha Aziz – Community Manager at Position Green

Prosha points out that “conducting HRDD is not a one-off exercise but an ongoing process which companies should constantly aim to improve”.  With it being increasingly expected of companies to conduct HRDD, utilising data reporting as a tool is a clear-cut action that companies can take to help them get to grips with managing human rights.

With the help of Position Green, abstract and qualitative information can turn into tangible and measurable data, which will allow companies to confidently manage their human rights impacts and comply with current and upcoming Human Rights Due Diligence regulations.

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