Evaluate whether legally mandated corporate statements exist and whether they comply with minimum disclosure requirements, and/or best and emerging practices.

Examples include:

The Modern Slavery Registry 2 tracks and collects corporate statements to comply with the UK Modern Slavery Act (MSA) and California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (CATSCA). The registry benchmarks the MSA statements of companies in the FTSE 100 and furnishes information on their reporting practices, which has reportedly influenced change among some companies

Reports from NGOs, such as Development International 3 and the ENOUGH Project ,4 assess CATSCA statements and disclosures and diligence conducted pursuant to Section 1502 of the US Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act (the US Conflict Minerals Rule)

What do human rights and ESG benchmarks measure?

Benchmarks focus on human rights, labor rights, political rights, "digital rights" (human rights in the Internet era) and wider sustainability efforts. They generally review corporate statements on policies and processes, how companies manage their processes, and corporate responses to human rights and/or environmental complaints. Several different types of benchmarks exist.


Gauge corporate performance on specific human rights and sustainability issues against a variety of indicators, including established human rights and sector-specific standards and norms.

KnowTheChain5 (KTC) measures corporate policies and practices to mitigate the risk of forced labor and human trafficking in companies' supply chains, as well as corrective action plans, remediation programs and responses to forced labor allegations. KTC currently focuses on the apparel & footwear, food & beverage, and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors

Behind the Brands 6 produces scorecards on the agricultural sourcing policies of large food and beverage companies across several themes that impact food security

CDP7 (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) scores major businesses on environmental performance, including with respect to climate change, water security and deforestation

Oxfam International's Supermarket Scorecard8 measures companies' publicly available food supply chain policies, commitments and actions

Fashion Revolution's Fashion Transparency Index 9 assesses global fashion brands and retailers on social and environmental disclosures

Access to Medicine 10 analyzes pharmaceutical companies' provision and pricing of medicines

Access to Nutrition 11 scores food and beverage manufacturers on their contributions to good nutrition


Evaluate corporate disclosures, internal systems and external business processes against established human rights standards and sectorspecific standards and norms.

Corporate Human Rights Benchmark12 (CHRB) assessed approximately 200 large, publicly traded global companies in the agricultural products, apparel, extractives and ICT/ technology manufacturing sectors in 2019. The CHRB plans to add rankings for the automotive sector in 2020

BankTrack 13 assessed 50 of the largest private sector commercial banks globally in 2019 using criteria based on the UNGP requirements, following 2016 and 2014 benchmarks, which ranked them on their human rights policy commitments, due diligence, reporting and approach to access to remedy

Ranking Digital Rights 14 (RDR) evaluates the disclosed commitments and policies of dozens of the world's largest Internet, mobile and telecommunications companies (including the parent company, operating company and selected services) affecting freedom of expression and privacy of Internet users worldwide. RDR asks whether a company offers clear, accessible complaint mechanisms that enable users to seek a remedy if they feel the company's actions violated their rights to freedom of expression or privacy

The Responsible Mining Foundation's Responsible Mining Index15 assesses large, global mining companies' activities in six economic and ESG areas: economic development, business conduct, life cycle management, community well-being, working conditions and environmental responsibility

The World Benchmarking Alliance16 (WBA) measures sustainability performance and contributions toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The WBA and the CHRB have long been linked, and the CHRB is in the process of becoming part of the WBA. The WBA developed a Climate and Energy benchmark to assess the climate action performance of companies in the oil & gas, electric utilities and automotive sectors, and plans to release rankings addressing the automotive sector. The WBA also recently launched the Sustainable Seafood Index, focusing on leading seafood companies' contributions to sustainable management of oceans and coastal ecosystems. It plans to assess 2,000 keystone actors on social elements, including human rights, building on the CHRB core UNGP indicators

What isn't a human rights benchmark?

(For this purpose)

Many other groups evaluate and analyze trends with respect to human rights, but don't rank aspects of corporate performance, including:

Related assessments, reporting platforms and indices -- such as the UNGP Reporting Framework,17 the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Framework18 and Vigeo Eiris19 assessments.

Reports by membership-based organizations --such as the Ethical Trading Initiative 20 (ETI) and Global Network Initiative 21 (GNI).

Indices and ratings developed and made available by commercial companies for a fee to help investors construct a portfolio that is broadly aligned on ESG criteria -- such as products from MSCI,22 RepRisk,23 RobecoSAM,24 Sigwatch,25 Sustainalytics26 and ZSL SPOTT27