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Wednesday, November 28 • 10:00am - 11:20am
How can benchmarks, rating agencies and ESG researchers drive more and better human rights due diligence

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Organized by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB)

Description:
This round-table session is part of a human rights due diligence (HRDD) track, which focuses on the roles of benchmarks, rating agencies and ESG researchers can, or are, having in driving improvements in human rights due diligence conducted by companies. Drawing on a round-table of speakers, the session will set out how different approaches are able to create impact and where further efforts need to be made. The second half of the session will focus on interaction with the audience, who will be invited to dig into the detail and challenge the speakers on their assertions.

Objectives:
  • To explain how benchmarks (e.g. the CHRB), ESG Researchers and Ratings (e.g. the Modern Slavery Registry and Vigeo-Eiris) and stock markets can interact and put pressure on companies to implement the UNGPs, specifically their responsibility to implement human rights due diligence and what they are seeing.
  • To understand where there are blockers to progress and where more effort should be directed, in order to maximise the impact of the current levers of power.

Key Discussion Questions:
The discussion questions are planned to be asked to some (if not all) the participants each time, to elicit a short response. The questions will also be tailored / linked to a similar question which will be posed to the audience who will be asked to vote and respond with questions of their own that will be fed to a relevant participant.
  • What is your organisation’s role in pushing HRDD and what trends are you seeing? 2-minute answers only. This will be supported by audience interaction, asking the audience to vote Yes/No on whether they think companies have improved their HRDD, whether the levers of change can generate sufficient progress etc.
  • Do you think more pressure should be applied to investors, or the companies they invest in, in order to drive better HRDD and outcomes for people? 2-minute answers. Again, the audience can vote for one side or the other.
  • Is the current focus on the SDGs, including ranking companies by their contributions to the SDGs, likely to result in better HRDD within companies, or to distract from it? 2 minute answers. 

Format:
  • Introduction, scene setting and ground rules (5 mins, including potential late start)
  • Responses of Round-table Participants to key question 1 (15 mins)
  • Audience interaction and 2 questions max (8 mins)
  • Responses of Round-table Participants to key question 2 (10 mins)
  • Audience interaction and 2 questions max (8 mins)
  • Responses of Round-table Participants to key question 3 (10 mins)
  • Audience interaction and 2 questions max (8 mins)
  • Free questions and audience interaction (11 mins)
  • Closeout (5 mins)

Background to the Discussion
Companies have a responsibility to implement the UNGPs and to conduct adequate human rights due diligence (HRDD). But in often weak legislative environments, the pressures on companies to conduct and report on their HRDD may be insufficient to ensure this actually happens. In these cases, there are multiple levers of change that can be used to create an environment where HRDD happens alongside, or in-spite of (rather than because of), regulation.
ESG research data and ratings, public benchmarks and stock exchanges all form part of the information ecosystem that is a critical component of these levers of change and without which, people can not make informed choices. They are also interconnected and are part of the wider feedback loops that connect businesses with investors, data providers, governments, civil society and humanity at large.
This session will look into the current state of play, to see what companies are doing, whether they are improving and what ways can they be pushed to improve their human rights due diligence, by looking at the roles of benchmarking, ratings, ESG research and stock exchanges.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
JM

John Morrison

Chief Executive, Institute for human rights and business

Speakers
avatar for Fouad Benseddik

Fouad Benseddik

Head of Methods and Institutional Affairs, Vigeo-Eiris
avatar for Patricia Carrier

Patricia Carrier

Project Manager, Modern Slavery Registry, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
avatar for Edoardo Gai

Edoardo Gai

Head of Sustainability Services, RobecoSAM
AM

Anthony Miller

Coordinator, Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
avatar for Daniel Neale

Daniel Neale

Programme Director, Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB)
I run the CHRB. Ask me about ranking corporations on their human rights performance.
avatar for Dante Pesce

Dante Pesce

Chairperson, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Dante Pesce holds a Masters in Political Science from the Catholic University of Chile and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Rietbergen-McCracken

Jennifer Rietbergen-McCracken

Head of Research, Responsible Mining Foundation
Heading the research team at the Responsible Mining Foundation, we conduct assessments of mining companies on a range of economic, environmental, social and governance issues, with human rights a transversal issue for all our research. Our assessments are based on what society can... Read More →


Wednesday November 28, 2018 10:00am - 11:20am
Room XX