Shift and WBCSD launched a report titled, ‘The Human Rights Opportunity: 15 real-life cases of how business is contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals by putting people first’ in the margins of the HLPF.
The report calls on companies to identify their priority SDGs and deliver products or services that benefit both people and planet, featuring cases in four areas: living wages, forced labor, gender equality and land rights.
18 July 2018: Shift, in collaboration with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), launched a report on how companies aim to address human rights impacts in their contributions to the SDGs. The report was released in the margins of the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), at an event on the theme, ‘Business and the SDGs – Accelerating Transformation.’
Titled, ‘The Human Rights Opportunity: 15 real-life cases of how business is contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals by putting people first,’ the publication offers examples of how the private sector can contribute to the SDGs in four areas: living wages, forced labor, gender equality and land rights. It notes that, although these are generally seen as areas of compliance, with a variety of legal frameworks and standards such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights already in existence, going beyond the minimum requirements can transform the lives of millions of workers, their families and their communities.
The report calls on companies to develop a holistic SDG strategy by simultaneously identifying 1) their most severe business risks and impacts, and 2) how they can apply their business capabilities and competitive advantage to develop products or services that benefit both people and planet. Overlaying these two considerations reveals a company’s priority SDGs. The authors encourage innovation in these areas, with an emphasis on impact minimization and service delivery.
Cutting across industries—from tea to textiles to seafood to mining and diamonds—the 15 case studies highlight that the way companies “source, hire, produce, sell and deliver” can have a major impact not only on the availability and use of natural resources, but also on people and society. The cases also articulate the benefits of businesses’ moving “from pronouncements to practice,” highlighting improved staff recruitment and retention, increased productivity and an enhanced reputation, each of which positively contribute to companies’ bottom lines. [Publication: The Human Rights Opportunity: 15 real-life cases of how business is contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals by putting people first] [WBCSD press release]