Our approach to communicating the assessment results
Although we have determined a concrete ranking with exact scores per company, we have decided not to publicly communicate these results. Instead, we have decided to communicate the category in which the assessed companies are located and to report on key takeaways and aggregate results per sector.
There is a number of reasons underpinning this decision.
Measuring human rights performance remains a challenge
We believe that the individual review sheets and accompanying scoring are useful from an engagement point of view (investor-investee), but do not necessarily reflect the underlying sectoral issues and themes. To put it bluntly: What is one point extra in terms of human rights? There are no fundamental units for measuring human rights.
We do not aim to create another benchmark
Moreover, the objective behind this assessment is not to create yet another benchmark that will lead to no performance-related changes on the part of the companies assessed (or, in other words, “to benchmark for the sake of benchmarking”). The objective of the assessment is to stimulate sector-wide progress and to ultimately lift the level playing field.
We believe this does not help the payment of living wage
We believe reporting concrete scores and ‘naming and shaming’ might negatively affect the quality of the engagement, for example, by potentially undermining our engagement efforts vis-à-vis some of the lower-ranking companies which have committed to improve their performance going forward.
From a sectoral perspective, it is more informative to report on the stage each of the companies is in
Therefore, rather than concentrating on a specific score, we are grouping the companies into four categories based on where we perceive them to be on their journey to implementing living wage. This gives us a good overview of where the sector is as a whole and where we would like it to go.
These four categories are ‘embryonic’, ‘developing’, ‘maturing’, and ‘leading’, and they are defined as follows:
Embryonic: The company has barely recognised the importance of living wage and has not articulated the benefits for itself or more widely.
Developing: The company recognises that the payment of a living wage is an issue, but there is no formal process to tackle it within its own manufacturing arms or those within its supply chain, and there is little evidence of improvement.
Maturing: The company recognises that the payment of a living wage is a salient issue and has in place formal processes to address it. There is evidence of improvement in high risk areas.
Leading: The company believes that payment of a living wage is a salient issue and is important for its wider strategic intent. There are effective processes in place to ensure progress to a widespread payment of a living wage in its own manufacturing arms or those within its supply chains. The company is seen as a leader and acts as a catalyst for other organisations to strive to pay a living wage.