Human Rights Report

ACCR seeks to promote responsible investment through undertaking and publishing research to evaluate and improve the performance of Australian listed companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Such issues include corporate governance and executive pay, environmental damage caused by corporate activity, health issues associated with products, use of corporate funds for lobbying or political purposes, disclosure of environmental and social impact.

In 2017 ACCR identified human rights as a key issue for research. Together with the Centre for Australian Ethical Research (CAER), ACCR has produced a detailed benchmark report examining the performance of Australian listed companies with regards to how they manage human rights risks.

The intersection between business and human rights as a field has undergone recent and rapid development globally. The publication of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Human Rights Chapter of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, both in 2011, has paved the way for the consideration of human rights issues in a corporate context to become the norm.

In order to evaluate a selection of Australian listed companies, ACCR and CAER made use of a research methodology developed by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB). This enabled Australian companies to be evaluated against internationally accepted human rights indicators as well as compared to their international counterparts.

It was found, on average that the Australian companies evaluated performed in line with or better than their global peers. Whilst many companies are making headway with how they assess and disclose human rights risks (as shown in the table below), there are significant number of Australian companies who should and could readily improve their performance.

 

Read the Executive Summary 

 

 Overall Scores Summary Table

BHP Billiton 70-79%
Newcrest 60-69%
Rio Tinto
Oil Search
South32  

50 -59%

Fortescue Metals
Origin Energy 40 – 49%
Ansell 30-39%
Woodside
Iluka Resources
AUSTRALIAN AVERAGE* 20-29%
AGL Energy
Coca-Cola Amatil
CSL
Wesfarmers 10-19%
Treasury Wine Estate
BlueScope steel
Santos
Woolworths
Alumina Limited
Caltex
Resmed
Graincorp 0-9%
Cochlear

*The Australian Average excluding BHP and Rio Tinto is 28.12%. The Australian average including BHP and Rio Tinto is 31.91%.

 

Read the Full Report