Benchmarking for impact

We work with different partners to create public, transparent benchmarks that assess and rank corporate performance on human rights and related and intersecting topics. Benchmarking is a tool that can be used to tap into the competitive nature of the business and investment market to highlight good practices as well as shortcomings and inspire much needed change in the way businesses act.  

Why benchmarking for impact?

Benchmarking is first of all a way of providing investors with necessary information to raise issues directly with their portfolio companies. However, impactful benchmarking is creating a framework that goes beyond the individual assessments of companies. It provides matrix of frontrunners and laggards that allows stakeholders to place individual companies into context. Thereby, with the help of pressures from civil society, investors, and other drivers it can create a race to the top with companies continuously improving their performance.

The ranking as well as the surrounding engagement with the individual companies also kick-start and motivate action within the companies, indicating best practice and next steps to encourage improvement. Choosing the right companies to assess, benchmarking can demonstrate the state of play and highlight the potential need for regulators to step up and take action. In summary, benchmarking can be used to shape the conversation both about “what good looks like” but also on what is necessary to get there.

How we approach benchmarking and why you should consider working with us

We are heavily involved in the benchmarking projects with responsibility for the operational side of the research: coordinating and training international teams of researchers, allocating resources, ensuring that methodologies are consistently applied across all companies and just generally ensuring the project runs smoothly and within the time allocated. We put a strong focus on training researchers in the challenging field of qualitative research of corporate disclosure. Most notable examples of our work are the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, a project we have been deeply committed to since it’s conception in 2016 as the research partner, and most recently we partnered with the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre for the second time to create the Renewable Energy and Human Rights Benchmark, which provides a much needed analysis of the renewable energy sector and its place in the just transition.

Our expertise in the field of benchmarking is not limited to conducting the research and assessment but also covers questions around building methodologies and insights into conducive engagement processes with companies. All three aspects are necessary to ensure that a benchmarking process has the best possible impact on human rights.

Use the latest data

The 2023 CHRB Results have been published on the 20th November 2023. The research covers 110 of the biggest companies from the Apparel and Extractive sectors. The assessment of the Food and Agriculture, ICT manufacturing, and Automotive manufacturing sectors (covering 127 companies) was conducted in 2022 and can be found here.

The 2023 Renewable Energy and Human Rights Benchmark Results are the third iteration of this benchmark with the largest set of companies covered so far (29) and a revised methodology that draws from other benchmarks while bringing in important questions for the renewable energy sector. The research differentiates between project developer companies and equipment manufacturers where relevant to take into account the different business models and human rights challenges they face.

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