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Human rights due diligence [clear filter]
Monday, November 26

1:30pm CET

Driving human rights performance from the top in the mining sector – the role of the board and investors

Background to the discussion:
In January this year, Blackrock’s Chairman and CEO, Lawrence Fink, wrote an open letter to business leaders noting that, “to sustain… performance, you must understand the societal impact of your business”. Businesses have the potential to impact society in a range of ways, negatively and positively. Implementing the UN Guiding Principles allows companies to understand and address some of these potential impacts as they relate to human rights.  
Good governance and a strong board are critical to making respect for human rights part of how business gets done, thereby advancing a range of human rights in society, while protecting and creating value for the business. As Fink noted, “a company’s ability to manage environmental, social and governance matters demonstrates the leadership and good governance that is so essential to sustainable growth.” Board engagement is essential to improved performance over the long term, in providing rigorous oversight and accountability, in developing strategy and articulating purpose and responding to questions that are increasingly important to its investors, its consumers, and the communities in which it operates.

Key questions:
  • What does the board see from a governance perspective and what expertise do they bring to the table?
  • What do they discuss and how do they work with their CEO and management team in and out of the boardroom to manage risks to business and risks to people, reputation and long-term value to shareholders?
  • What challenges and opportunities do they see for improving performance in their sector? 
Jane Nelson, Board member of  Newmont, will offer her perspective on why this agenda matters to Newmont and how she is working with Newmont’s leadership to drive it forward, including highlighting some of the challenges they face in practice. 
Human rights have long been a concern of socially responsible investors, but there are indications that human rights are moving onto the agenda of mainstream investors. Why does this matter to investors and what do they expect to see in terms of board oversight and governance?
Tom Butler, CEO of ICMM, a CEO -led association of 27 global mining companies, will talk to the commitments ICMM member companies make on board oversight and governance and share reflections from the industry on investor engagement on social issues and human rights.

This session will provide an opportunity for an interactive and constructive discussion where participants are able to engage directly with senior leaders on key human rights topics, with a focus on driving performance through knowing, showing and acting. It will complement the opening plenary session on the role of CEOs/ Senior management on leading from the top (see below).
The format and structure will be guided by input from the speakers and the moderator. One suggestion is that each panel member has 5 minutes for an opening pitch to the floor and then the moderator leads a discussion across the panel on 2-3 substantive issues before opening to the floor. We can gather Q&A from the floor during the session and pull them together for the moderator to select and ask.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Caroline Rees

Caroline Rees

President, Shift
Caroline Rees is President and Co-Founder of Shift. Shift is a non-profit mission-driven organization that works across all continents and sectors to challenge assumptions, push boundaries, and redefine corporate practice, in order to build a world where business gets done with respect... Read More →

avatar for Tom Butler

Tom Butler

CEO, International Council on Mining and Metals
avatar for John Howchin

John Howchin

Secretary General, Swedish Council on Ethics for the AP Funds
I have worked with socially responsible investments and corporate social responsibility for over 20 years, cross all sectors and all around the world. Happy to talk about everything relevant.

Andy Jones

Head of Mining, Hermes Asset Management

Jane Nelson

Director of Corporate Responsibility Initiative and Newmont Board member, Harvard Kennedy School
Jane Nelson has worked in the field of corporate responsibility and public-private partnerships for almost 30 years working with organizations such as The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the UN Global Compact... Read More →

Monday November 26, 2018 1:30pm - 2:45pm CET
Room XX

3:30pm CET

Snapshot: Investor Relations - Need to Document Human Rights Due Diligence

Brief description of the presentation:
This session both introduces the screening tool Polaris uses when assessing the degree of alignment with the UNGPs of potential investments and the process from engaging in partnership with the portfolio company to aligning with the UNGPs.
Presentation objectives:
In this snapshot session, Polaris presents the UNGPs application in investment.


Henrik Bonnerup

Partner and CFO, Polaris Management A/S

Monday November 26, 2018 3:30pm - 3:45pm CET
Wednesday, November 28

10:00am CET

How can benchmarks, rating agencies and ESG researchers drive more and better human rights due diligence

Organized by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB)

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.

  • 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. 

  • 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...
avatar for John Morrison

John Morrison

Coordinator, CorA Netzwork for Corporate Accountability

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
Sustainability professional focusing on due diligence activities
avatar for Edoardo Gai

Edoardo Gai

Head of Sustainability Services, RobecoSAM

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

Chair, OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct
Christine Kaufmann is the Chair of the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct, the intergovernmental committee overseeing the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the comprehensive international framework for Responsible Business Conduct... Read More →

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

11:40am CET

How can investors drive more and better human rights due diligence?
Session organized  by the Principles for Responsible Investment.

Brief description of the session:
In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business in Human Rights (UNGPs), offering an international point of reference on how states should protect, and companies should respect, human rights. Moreover, the OECD, has integrated the UNGPs in its own policy frameworks, such as OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the OECD Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors.
Investors and businesses have responsibilities to respect human rights and should act with due diligence in line with the UNGPs and the OECD guidelines. However, despite the growing awareness and commitments by both investors and businesses regarding this responsibility, a recent report by the UN Working Group on business and human rights found that the “majority of companies do not demonstrate practices that meet the requirements set by the guiding principles,” and calls on investors to “more systematically require effective human rights due diligence by the companies they invest in.”
Investors are increasingly aware and concerned about the significant potential and actual operational, legal and reputational risks companies might face when they do not take adequate steps to manage human rights risks. These could include project delays and cancellations, lawsuits and significant fines and negative press coverage and reputational damage.
Investors can play an important role by proactively engaging with companies on developing policies and processes that can prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts, rather than only reacting to them once they have occurred.

Session objectives:
This session will explore how investors can engage portfolio companies, as well as with rights-holders and other local stakeholders, on human rights risks to promote the uptake of human rights due diligence and access to remedy for victims of adverse impacts.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Paloma Munoz Quick

Paloma Munoz Quick

Director, Investor Alliance for Human Rights
Director of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, a collective action platform for responsible investment that is grounded in respect for people’s fundamental rights. In this capacity, Paloma leads strategic development and drives thought leadership work to advance the investor... Read More →

avatar for Benjamin Cokelet

Benjamin Cokelet

Founder & Co-Executive Director, PODER
avatar for Danielle Essink

Danielle Essink

Senior Engagement Specialist, Active Ownership, Robeco
Ms. Essink is a Director at Robeco’s Active Ownership department. She has over 12 years of experience engaging companies on human rights related topics and encouraging them to operate with greater awareness and respect for human rights. She currently has a specific focus on the... Read More →
avatar for Irina van der Sluijs

Irina van der Sluijs

Senior Advisor Human Rights, ASN Bank
avatar for Francis West

Francis West

Business Engagement Director, Shift
As Shift’s Business Engagement Director, Francis oversees Shift's work providing expert advice to a select group of companies that are serious about human rights. Shift is committed to using the knowledge that we help generate to build broader understanding of the practical application... Read More →

Wednesday November 28, 2018 11:40am - 1:00pm CET
Room XX