Human Rights and Sustainability Auditing:
Measuring the Corporate Response
human rights agenda is very much part of the social and ethical
dimensions of sustainable development, its implications are also felt
right across the economic and environmental domains. Indeed, it was no
accident that early ‘eco-martyrs’, like Chico Mendes in Brazil or Ken
Saro-Wiwa in Nigeria, were identified not only with environmental
issues, but also with social and economic issues.
jointly with Amnesty International UK and the Council for Economic
Priorities (CEP), the Environment Foundation used this Eighth
Consultation to test the extent to which the human rights agenda cuts
across the environmental and sustainability agendas – and, in the
process, discovered a rich and evolving set of inter-connections.
Out of our
growing interconnectedness poses a profound challenge for companies
configured to meet the simpler challenges of the past. Successful
companies and institutions will need to reorganise their internal
departmental responsibilities and structures.
- The same
challenge faces national and international NGOs. Increasingly, their
capacity to have real impact will depend on their ability to link – and
play off – the different issues explored during the Consultation.
attention needs to be focused on the roles of:
financial directors and the financial markets, with little evidence to
date that non-financial factors are influencing the financial bottom
boards, whose commitment will be essential if the human rights agenda
is to be mainstreamed into corporate strategy, policy and operations
schools, which are educating tomorrow’s leaders – and where sustainable
development is far from being integrated into curricula and research