Measuring corporate performance and identifying promising practices
KnowTheChain believes that benchmarks can play a powerful role in encouraging companies to uphold labor standards and protect workers’ rights. We believe they harness the competitive nature of markets to drive a “race to the top” by creating brand reward for leaders and brand risk for laggards. But more importantly, they give companies and investors the information necessary to understand performance, examples of good practices, and a path forward.
Existing benchmarks such as the Access to Medicine Index for the pharmaceutical sector, Oxfam’s Behind the Brands ranking of global food companies, and Ranking Digital Rights for ICT, have demonstrated how this approach can drive tangible improvements in companies’ policy and practice.
To that end, we developed a methodology framework for the first sector to be benchmarked–Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This framework will be used to benchmark 20 companies in this sector on their efforts to address forced labor in their supply chains. The remaining two industries will be benchmarked later this year. This process is intended to identify companies with strong practices and encourage others to improve.
Transparency Snapshot: A Pilot Benchmark Report
As reports of human trafficking and forced labor abuses in corporate supply chains continue to increase, many companies are adopting policies and programs to mitigate these risks. Yet little is known about which companies are leading the way in human rights policy and practice, and where more efforts are needed. Transparency Snapshot: A Pilot Benchmark Report report highlights initial findings from a KTC-developed pilot methodology that assessed company transparency and disclosure statements on forced labor in supply chains.
Twenty companies were selected across three sectors (apparel & footwear, food & beverage, and Information and Communication Technology [ICT]) for this initial evaluation based on their high risk of exposure to the issue and market capitalization.
Footwear and apparel lead on disclosure and transparency efforts.
Opportunity for significant improvement on worker communication
Policies and Standards
Companies are expected to publicly articulate a commitment to mitigate human trafficking and forced labor in a formal policy. A policy should also outline a company’s specific expectations for suppliers.
Impact and Risk Assessment
Companies are expected to undertake assessment processes to increase their understanding of how and where actual or potential labor abuses occur in their supply chains or through their direct activities.
Companies are expected to take appropriate measures to ensure their policies and standards are adhered to throughout their operations. This includes establishing clear managerial responsibility and accountability for supply chain standards, training employees, and integrating supply chain standards into supplier contracts.
None of the companies disclose management incentives linked to addressing human trafficking and forced labor in their supply chains.
Companies are expected to establish processes for monitoring labor conditions in their supply chains.
Companies are expected to establish programs for remedying violations and non-compliance found in their supply chain.