The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How HP upholds and promotes human rights

As a global technology leader, with operations in 59 countries and customers, partners and suppliers in nearly every corner of the globe, HP champions equal and human rights for everyone it works with so that business and society can thrive  Tweet This!, striving to support the relevant fundamental rights and freedoms of all people across its business.

This case study is based on the 2018 Sustainable Impact Report by HP 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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HP is committed to embedding human rights within its business policies and practices, and to also protecting and respecting human rights in collaboration with its suppliers and partners. In order to uphold and promote human rights HP took action to:

  • provide human rights leadership
  • train employees on human rights
  • provide grievance mechanisms
  • identify and address human rights risks

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Sustainable Impact Report HP identified a range of material issues, such as product energy efficiency, privacy, supply chain responsibility, data and product security, health and safety, intellectual property protection. Among these, upholding and promoting human rights stands out as a key material issue for HP.

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 organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

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 HP engages with:   

Stakeholder Group
Peer companies
Public policy makers
Industry bodies
Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs)
Sector experts

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics HP engaged experts and leaders from across HP as well as select external topic experts, also using data analytics to assess the importance of various topics to industry peers and regulatory stakeholders.

What actions were taken by HP to uphold and promote human rights?

In its 2018 Sustainable Impact Report HP reports that it took the following actions for upholding and promoting human rights:

  • Providing human rights leadership
  • Human rights leadership comes from the highest levels of HP. HP’s CEO has approved HP’s Sustainable Impact and Human Rights Policy, and signs HP’s annual public statement about its efforts to eradicate modern slavery. The Nominating, Governance and Social Responsibility Committee (NGSRC) of the Board of Directors oversees human rights within HP, reviewing the results of the annual human rights assessment and approving HP’s modern slavery statements. HP’s company-wide Human Rights Council, established in 2017, further strengthens HP’s management of human rights risks across the company. It is chaired by the head of the Human Rights Office and includes senior management from Ethics and Investigations, Global Indirect Procurement, Human Resources, Privacy, Supply Chain Responsibility, and Technical Regulations. The Council meets twice a year to coordinate on due diligence and performance improvements for respecting human rights and to approve the annual human rights assessment, which includes identification of salient risks and impacts. In 2018, the Human Rights Council approved an initiative to conduct third-party audits of a number of HP offices, to expand HP’s monitoring and validate the company’s approach.
  • Training employees on human rights
  • All employees and members of HP’s Board of Directors complete the annual Integrity at HP training to strengthen their understanding of how HP conducts its business, including training related to human rights issues. HP also provides annual training for relevant procurement staff that covers the context of forced labour and slavery, identification of forced labour conditions, company policies and standards to combat modern slavery, who to contact for help, and how to report related information.
  • Providing grievance mechanisms
  • When violations of HP’s policies and expectations occur, HP offers multiple channels for employees and third parties to ask questions and report concerns without fear of retaliation. Reporting avenues include email, an internal online form, a global 24-hour toll-free phone line with translation, mail, or in person. HP also offers anonymous reporting options, where allowed by law.
  • Identifying and addressing human rights risks
  • In 2018, HP evaluated eight corporate functions that had a role in respecting the human rights of workers against the appropriate UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) rights. HP identified salient risks in its Supply Chain Responsibility, Global Indirect Procurement, Human Resources, and Technical Regulations functions. HP’s due diligence process aims to address actual and potential adverse impacts in its operations and supply chain. It is a risk-based process and commensurate to the severity and likelihood of the impact, focusing on three key aspects: embedding responsible business conduct, ceasing, preventing, or remedying the impact, and reporting on implementation and results.

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

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 412-1 Operations that have been subject to human rights reviews or impact assessments

Disclosure 412-1 Operations that have been subject to human rights reviews or impact assessments does not correspond to any SDG.


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1) This case study is based on published information by HP, 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:


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