Case study

The role of benchmarking in improving business practices towards human rights in the automotive manufacturing sector

This case study examines how benchmarking has contributed to promoting more sustainable practices towards human rights issues in the automotive manufacturing sector industry. WBA has benchmarked the automotive manufacturing industry twice in in our Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB); first in 2020 and more recently in 2022. During this time, we have measured improved performance by a number of companies on core human rights indicators. But what has been WBA’s contribution to this improvement in business practices towards human rights? We interviewed a group of companies – Nissan, Renault and Mahindra & Mahindra – who have all improved on their score since the first iteration, to find out.

These examples detail some of the mechanisms and processes with which WBA has supported automotive manufacturing companies, including the granularity of WBA’s datasets and comparability against companies in the sector. The findings increase our understanding of the mechanisms through which WBA’s outputs, including the publication and socialisation of methodologies and results, have contributed to companies changing behaviour and improving sustainable business practices related to human rights, i.e. the outcome level of WBA’s Theory of Change.

WBA hopes these examples will support other companies – both within the automotive manufacturing industry and beyond – with improving their disclosure and business practices towards human rights-related issues. Furthermore, we hope that this case study encourages companies to implement more effective monitoring systems to measure how their business activities improve the lives of key stakeholders in their value chains.

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