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Home / case studies / Case study: How GPIC respects and promotes human rights

Case study: How GPIC respects and promotes human rights

Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC) is a leading joint venture setup and owned by the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), Kuwait, manufacturing fertilisers and petrochemicals. As a major manufacturer within the Kingdom of Bahrain, GPIC is committed to driving fairness by further building human rights across its operations  Tweet This! and advancing human rights in its supply chain, continuously improving and promoting best practice.

This case study is based on the 2018 Sustainability Report by GPIC published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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GPIC respects all internationally recognised human rights as relevant to its operations and constantly builds its employees’ and workers’ awareness and knowledge of human rights, encouraging them to speak up, without retribution, about any concerns they may have. In order to respect and promote human rights GPIC took action to:

  • respect employees’ human rights
  • protect the human rights of suppliers and contractors
  • promote the human rights of women and children
  • respect community human rights
  • provide human rights training

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report GPIC identified a range of material issues, such as financial performance, process and product safety, air and water pollution, education, training and development, health and safety. Among these, respecting and promoting human rights stands out as a key material issue for GPIC.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups GPIC engages with: 

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Shareholders ·      Meetings, Mail, Media

·      Regular Board meetings

Employees

 

·      Multiple forums throughout the year in which employees are encouraged to share their views with executives about a variety of issues within the Company

·      Strategic executive management and management meeting during the first quarter to discuss and share company performance, future strategies and challenges

·      Regular meetings right from shop floor to top-tier management level

·      Involvement in functional committees and councils

·      Printed publications, such as the company magazine

·      On-line communication tools such as e-mails, websites, intranet

·      Regular Labour Union meetings with employees and management

·      Open face to face discussions

·      Conferences, forums, presentations

·      Suggestion schemes

·      Regular sectional meetings

·      Regular shift talks

Local Community

 

 

 

·      Open to visits by community members to GPIC’s industrial areas

·      Environmental awareness lectures delivered by GPIC employees to Bahrain schools at various levels

·      Media – electronic and press

·      Social investment

Government and Regulators

 

 

 

·      Conferences and speaking engagements

·      Presence at various business leader forums and policy advisory groups

·      Working closely with local authorities during the planning and implementation of new projects

·      Working closely with regulators related to environment, safety and health to ensure legal compliance

·      Regular audits by government officials

·      GPIC representation and participation in governmental entities, committees and task groups

·      GPIC President’s representation in different governmental entities

Suppliers and contractors

 

 

·      Supplier conferences, forums and workshops

·      Day to day communications between suppliers, vendors, buying teams and technologists

·      Meetings with suppliers

·      Formal feedback from contractors, vendors

Distributors

 

 

·      Day to day communication

·      Meetings

·      Phone calls

·      Contracts

·      Written communication

Media ·      Responses to media requests for information and interviews

·      Conferences and speaking engagements

·      GPIC‘s official website

·      GPIC’s engagement of media to cover most of its official events held internally and externally

·      GPIC‘s publications and newsletters

·      Press releases in key newspapers

·      TV and Radio interviews of GPIC’s President

Non-Profit Organisations and Academia

 

·      Conferences and speaking engagements

·      Correspondence

·      Face to face discussions

·      Communicating GPIC’s position on a range of social and environmental issues

·      Responding to information requests and surveys

·      Bench marking surveys

·      Financial support towards capacity building the organisations

Regional / International Organisations

 

·      Conferences and speaking engagements

·      Correspondence

·      Face to face discussions

·      Communicating GPIC’s position on a range of social and environmental issues

·      Responding to information requests and surveys

·      Bench marking surveys

·      Financial support towards capacity building the organisations

·      Being part of working/ advocacy committees

·      Being part of their board

Customers

 

·      Feedback through marketing and online feedback forms

·      Audits via buyer surveys

·      Customer feedback evaluation forms

·      Customer invitational and group meetings

Banks ·      Meetings

·      Written Communication

·      Phone Calls

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics GPIC surveyed over 90 internal and external stakeholders, to validate previous priority issues for them and identify new/emerging ones.

What actions were taken by GPIC to respect and promote human rights?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report GPIC reports that it took the following actions for respecting and promoting human rights:

  • Respecting employees’ human rights
  • GPIC respects the human rights of its employees as established in the ILO’s (International Labour Organization) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the Bahrain Labour Law, including non-discrimination, prohibition of child and enforced labour, freedom of association and the right to engage in collective bargaining, prohibition of harassment, providing equal opportunity to employees, and being fair and equitable. GPIC’s goal is to achieve zero injuries and illness in the working environment, as well as emphasising the off-the-job safety of all employees. Strict compliance with all applicable SHE (Safety, Health and Environmental) policies, standards and practices is maintained, for the benefit of the company’s human capital. GPIC also seeks to provide a work environment that is pleasant, healthy and free from intimidation, hostility or other offensive behaviour towards employees, contractors, vendors or customers. GPIC’s policy is to honour and respect the right of all employees to practice their religious beliefs with dignity and its grievance handling system aims to make sure that any and all cases of grievances, are filed. GPIC provides equal employment opportunities to all applicants and employees and recruitment for all employment vacancies is based upon relevant qualifications, skills, experience and eligibility. All decisions that directly affect an employee’s employment status are fair and equitable, in terms of: a) advancement b) development and training c) the disciplinary process. Additionally, GPIC’s employees are encouraged to make suggestions or contribute ideas that help improve any aspect of the work process, including production. All such constructive ideas and suggestions will be valued, as part of motivation and innovation. GPIC also aims to ensure the confidentiality of all employee information and that personnel records, medical or any other records relating to employees are maintained accurately and securely.
  • Protecting the human rights of suppliers and contractors
  • GPIC’s suppliers and contractors receive the same care in terms of prevention of injuries or illness as company employees. Contractors also enjoy a work environment that is as pleasant, healthy and free from intimidation, hostility or any other offensive behaviour. Those who contract to work with or supply GPIC will benefit from any conflict of interest or even the chance of one being declared at the earliest possible stage and will also benefit from guidance in such matters from the GPIC HR Department. Anyone who deals with GPIC may be assured that their business will be transacted without fear of bribery or corruption, as well as freedom from coercion or undue influence. All GPIC’s contracts and significant agreements require compliance with Bahrain labour law and the human rights requirements Bahrain recognises, and GPIC’s contract supervisors are responsible for monitoring the performance of contractors, including their treatment of workers.
  • Promoting the human rights of women and children
  • GPIC aims to remain a role model in empowering women within Bahrain’s industrial sector and pursues its strategic priority to employ more women in various positions, as allowed by the laws of Bahrain. GPIC has also established an Equal Opportunities Committee, which is now elevated to a Council, to oversee practices of fairness between men and women and to ensure adherence to the human rights of women. In addition, GPIC continues in its commitment of support to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), signed in 2014 by GPIC’s President. GPIC also upholds the human rights of children by the deliberate and methodical support of children in education, innovation, environmental awareness, health, safety, road safety, responsible care and social responsibility. GPIC does its utmost to protect the human rights of children in that the company never employs children to work for it and also does its utmost to make sure that all other businesses with which it has dealings do the same.
  • Respecting community human rights
  • GPIC will at all times respect the cultures, customs and values of the people in the communities in which it operates. The company will involve the community and protect its rights through open, transparent, and amicable partnerships with NGOs, local charities, sports clubs, ministries, and parliamentary representatives. GPIC seeks to serve as a source of positive influence within any community by contributing, within the scope of its capabilities, to the promotion and fulfilment of community human rights by improving economic, educational, environmental and social conditions. GPIC will also seek to have open dialogue with stakeholders and participate in community engagement activities.
  • Providing human rights training
  • In 2016 /2017 GPIC carried out specific training for its security personnel on UN Human Rights and etiquette and 11 of its employees attended. In addition to this, a number of GPIC employees have undergone training on etiquette by the National Institute of Human Rights (NIHR) and also on Bahrain labour law. In all, 109 employees attended various trainings on aspects related to human rights, labour rights and ethics. Additionally, all employees are made aware of and sign the Code of Conduct, which highlights the significance of GPIC’s core values.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 410-1 Security personnel trained in human rights policies or procedures

2) Disclosure 412-2 Employee training on human rights policies or procedures

3) Disclosure 412-3 Significant investment agreements and contracts that include human rights clauses or that underwent human rights screening

 

Disclosure 410-1 Security personnel trained in human rights policies or procedures corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Business theme: Security

Disclosure 412-2 Employee training on human rights policies or procedures does not correspond to any SDG.

Disclosure 412-3 Significant investment agreements and contracts that include human rights clauses or that underwent human rights screening does not correspond to any SDG.

 

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References:

1) This case study is based on published information by GPIC, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to GPIC: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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