- The Social Impact Cluster - led by Forética and made up of more than 50 companies - presents a practical guide with recommendations and resources for the integration of human rights management in the sustainable development strategy of companies.
- In the year of the 10th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and in view of the forthcoming European Directive on human rights and environmental due diligence, it is imperative to accelerate business action to ensure a sustainable, green and inclusive recovery that leaves no one behind.
The Social Impact Cluster -led by Forética and made up of more than 50 large companies headed by Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar, Ibercaja, ILUNION and Naturgy- presents the report 'Integrating human rights into the business agenda. Basic kit for an effective strategy'.a practical guide with recommendations and resources for integrating human rights management strategically into companies' sustainability agendas.
This year's 10th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights has put at the center of the global debate the need to articulate more effective solutions for a real integration of respect for human rights from a business perspective. One of the most important legislative mechanisms in this area is the forthcoming European Directive on human rights and environmental due dil igence, which will oblige companies - both public and private - governed by the laws of the Member States, established in European territory or operating in the internal market, to establish specific due diligence mechanisms. This advance will serve to homogenize legislation on human rights and business in Europe, in a context in which only 1 in 3 companies in the European Union are carrying out due diligence processes on human rights and environmental impacts.
Germán Granda, CEO of Forética, states: "The unprecedented economic and social crisis caused by COVID-19 has led to a major setback in important levels of development in terms of poverty, lack of access to education and loss of employment. Today, urgent action by business to ensure a sustainable, green and inclusive recovery that leaves no one behind is even more relevant. It is essential to have companies that are more committed to effective management of their human rights impacts, both in their activities and in their products and services and throughout their value chain. From Forética's Social Impact Cluster, we see how the 'S' -social aspects- is becoming more and more relevant in the ESG approach to sustainability as an element linked to competitiveness and risk mitigation for companies".
The report published by Forética within the framework of the Social Impact Cluster includes four keys to integrating human rights into the social sustainability agenda of companies: raising awareness of the business case for human rights and their link to sustainability, establishing a roadmap for action, using due diligence as a reference guide, and seeking allies for greater impact.
Specifically, human rights due diligence involves establishing an internal management system. This process is divided into six main steps: the establishment of a public commitment, risk identification, cessation, prevention or mitigation of harm, remediation, communication and monitoring measures.
National and international trends in human rights from a business perspective.
Ricardo Trujillo, Manager of Forética's Social Impact Cluster, highlights: "We observe that different megatrends, such as climate change or digital transformation, have a clear impact on the interpretation and development of human rights, extending them to situations that previously did not exist (such as data protection and the use of personal information, or artificial intelligence) or a greater interrelation and dependence (such as environmental quality and its relationship with adequate standards of living). In this context, the companies that are part of the Cluster have dedicated this year to understanding the institutional and business context of human rights, to analyzing the role of companies in promoting higher standards of respect and protection of human rights and to proposing simple and effective ways to act on due diligence as a fundamental mechanism for business action in this area.
The business meeting, organized by Forética within the framework of the Social Impact Cluster, was opened by the Director of the ILO Office for Spain, Félix Peinado. As an international expert, Elena Espinoza, Head of Social Issues, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), addressed the growing relevance of human rights issues for investors.
In addition, the meeting heard high-impact experiences from the Cluster's leading companies, which shared their commitments to human rights, the main measures developed to promote their protection, as well as their priorities in the short and medium term in this area. These were addressed by Javier Dueñas, Delegate for the Sustainable Development Agenda at Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar; Fernando Riaño, Director of Institutional Relations and Sustainability at Grupo Social ONCE; María González, Head of CSR at Ibercaja; and Nuria Rodríguez, Director of Environment and Social Responsibility at Naturgy.
Since its creation in 2018, the Social Impact Cluster has focused on analyzing topics such as the role of business in addressing inequality gaps, business impact on gender and diversity or impact measurement.
The Social Impact Cluster 2021 is led by Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar, Ibercaja, ILUNION and Naturgy. The cluster is also made up of the following companies: Accenture, Adif, Airbus, Alsea, Atresmedia, Bayer, CaixaBank, Campofrío, Cecabank, CEMEX, Cerealto Siro, CIE Automotive, Cofares, Damm, DHL, El Corte Inglés, Emasesa, Enagás, Enaire, Endesa, Enresa, Enusa, Ferrovial, Fundación ONCE, Gestamp, GSK, Grupo Antolín, Grupo Calvo, Iberdrola, IBM, ICO, IKEA, ISS, Jealsa, LafargeHolcim, Lilly, L'Oréal, ManpowerGroup, Mercadona, Mutua Madrileña, OHLA, P&G, Pascual, QuirónSalud, Reale, Red Eléctrica de España, Reganosa, Sacyr, Sanitas, Santander, Tendam, Urbaser and Zurich.
To assist companies in integrating human rights as a fundamental element, the Social Impact Cluster approach is complemented through Forética's alliances with global partners such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and CSR Europe.