Methodology

Grounded in international and industry-specific standards on human rights and responsible business conduct, the CHRB Methodology focuses on companies’ policies, processes, practices, as well as how they respond to serious allegations. This is done through the application of specific indicators across six Measurement Themes of different weights.

In its application, the Methodology relies on public information disclosed by companies on their websites, other platforms, or through the CHRB Disclosure Platform. The CHRB then uses that public information in its assessments to produce a transparent benchmark as a public good.

See 2020 Methodology

Changes to the 2020 assessment

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated impacts around the world, the CHRB adapted its approach in 2020. Except for automotive companies, which were benchmarked for the first time and assessed against the full CHRB methodology, all other companies were assessed on a subset of the methodology.

These changes to the usual CHRB processes were made with two considerations in mind: recognition that the crisis had, and continues to have, a severe impact on most companies, with repercussions for disclosure patterns as some of the focus has shifted to managing the situation; and the need to emphasise companies’ ongoing responsibility to respect the rights of workers in their operations and supply chains. We consider it essential that respect for human rights is not deprioritised at a time when risks are increased, especially for the most vulnerable.

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CHRB scoring appeal process for the 2020 benchmark results 

  1. If a company has evidence or believes evidence exists that public information has not been evaluated in considering the company’s scoring in the CHRB, or their score has not been calculated according to the CHRB Methodology, they should raise it with CHRB via  info@corporatebenchmark.org 4 weeks of the benchmark publication (i.e. by 14 December 2020). They can raise it informally to seek clarification or can specify that they would like to appeal the score and have it reviewed by the Appeals Committee. For the scores that they wish to formally appeal, companies should use this appeals form and send it to info@corporatebenchmark.org, using one form for each indicator they wish to challenge.
  2. Please note that companies that did not formally engage with the CHRB during the engagement and feedback phases of the assessment can only appeal formally in relation to manifest errors, not differences of opinion or interpretation. If the manifest error occurred in the second review, the CHRB will review the appeal and change the assessment as appropriate and according to the rules outlined below (on the basis that the company could not have raised the issue during the engagement phase). However, if the manifest error occurred in the initial review, the CHRB will acknowledge the error to the company and make a note for the assessment to be updated in the next iteration of the benchmark, but will not address the issue publicly unless doing so would change the company’s score by 2 points or more.
  3. In appealing, the company must explain why it thinks there has been an error and must specify the indicator, relevant evidence provided and an explanation as to why the company is appealing for a rescore.
  4. CHRB will make an initial judgment about whether the claim would result in a change in the company’s score of at least two (2) points or cause the company to change its banding within the benchmark. If the appeal is about limited issues that could not meet either of those tests, then CHRB will reply to the company with an explanation of the scoring and address the concerns with the company directly. This first step screening process is meant to limit demands on the independent Appeals Committee members out of recognition that they have volunteered their time to support CHRB and so their assistance should be reserved for allegations of more widespread errors in scoring.
  5. If the claim meets the threshold test in point 4, the CHRB Appeals Committee will review the claim in light of the CHRB methodology and research guidance developed for the researchers. The company will be notified that the request has been sent to the Appeals Committee which will address the issue within 6 weeks from the date of receipt of the written appeal.
  6. If needed, the Appeals Committee can interact directly with the company making the appeal.
  7. The CHRB Appeals Committee will review the information and decide whether the scoring should be corrected. In either case, it will explain the scoring decision and how the decision was determined via email or on a phone call.
  8. If a new score is agreed this will be updated online within a month of the appeal being resolved and there will be a small news item placed on the CHRB website explaining the change.
  9. The Appeals Committee decision on whether a re-score is appropriate is final.

The CHRB Appeals Committee is made up of five members:

  • Margaret Wachenfeld, Managing Director of Themis Research, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Human Rights and Business and co-chair of the Methodology Committee
  • Peter Webster, CEO of the EIRIS Foundation, Senior Advisor at Vigeo Eiris and co-chair of the CHRB Methodology Committee
  • Daniel Neale, Social Transformation Lead at the World Benchmarking Alliance and member of the CHRB methodology Committee.
  • Lise Smit, Associate Senior Research Fellow in Business and Human Rights and Director, Human Rights Due Diligence Forum, British Institute of International and Comparative Law
  • Nadia Bernaz, Associate Professor of Law, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
  • Tara Van Ho, Lecturer and Co-Director, Postgraduate Taught Programmes in Human Rights, School of Law, University of Essex, UK.
Download appeals form