GLOBAL - There are clear gaps on due diligence and grievance mechanisms at most companies in the extractive sector, according to research published by global fund manager Standard Life Investments (SLI).
The report - entitled 'Business and Human Rights' - reviews the implementation of the key aspects of professor John Ruggie's Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (GPs) in the extractives sector.
The key findings were:
Julie McDowell, head of sustainable and responsible investment at SLI, said: "While the human rights policies of the largest extractive companies demonstrate a high level of alignment with the requirements set out in the GPs, there are clear gaps at most companies on due diligence and grievance mechanisms.
"Our findings support the conclusion that the GPs are much more than a consolidation of existing best practice. They constitute a new set of standards for corporate conduct that will require significant change to current practice.
"Because our study focused on the companies likely to have the highest standards, we expect that companies outside the extractive industries will face even bigger challenges in moving to align their procedures with the GPs."
Endorsed by the UN's Human Rights Council in June, the GPs have gained extensive support and constitute the first widespread, multi-stakeholder agreement on benchmarks for corporate conduct on human rights.
The full report can be found here.