Solar panels on a green field

2023 Renewable Energy and Human Rights Benchmark

The third edition of the Renewable Energy & Human Rights Benchmark sheds light on the human rights policies and practices of 28 companies in the renewable energy value chain – from equipment manufacturers to developers.

The 2023 Renewable Energy & Human Rights Benchmark assessed and scored the human rights policies and practices of 28 leading companies across the renewable energy supply chain, including wind and solar project developers, oil and gas companies entering into renewables, and wind turbine and solar panel manufacturers. 

Findings demonstrate some better examples, but also highlights notable gaps between policy and practice, and concerning shortcomings regarding Indigenous Peoples’ rights, land rights, and forced labour risk in particular. Strengthening human rights practices is critical to enable a fast and fair transition that builds public support and delivers shared benefit. 

Key findings from the 2023 Renewable Energy & Human Rights Benchmark included: 

  • All companies scored poorly (an average of 1%) in respect of their responses to all serious human rights allegations included in the Benchmark.  
  • Policies and practices on Indigenous Peoples’ rights and land rights remain poor, despite these rights being the subject of the highest number of serious allegations related to project development.  
  • No company currently publicly discloses its full solar panel supply chain, resulting in scores of 0% across the board for this indicator.  
  • Solar panel manufacturers lag significantly on human rights commitments and practices compared with wind energy equipment manufacturers.  
  • In examples of better practice, eight companies have policies in place specifically to respect the rights of human rights and environmental defenders, showing progress of the sector at policy level in a critical area. 

The Benchmark underscores the need for urgent government regulation and incentives, alongside investor engagement, to level the playing field and ensure the renewable energy sector secures public trust and avoids harms to communities and workers.   

The EIRIS Foundation were once again pleased to collaborate with the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre to produce this important piece of work. We conducted the research in collaboration with international research partners and contributed two “reflections”  to the key findings report, one on Human Rights Due Diligence and one on Stakeholder Participation.

Download the key findings report