Our key takeaway: Companies are increasingly expected - by laws and lawsuits, investors, corporate benchmarks, civil society and consumers - to respond to climate change in a way that respects human rights. This is relevant, for example, when companies take action to transition into renewable energy, scale up circular economy, move to regenerative agriculture and implement nature-based solutions. What can companies do? Assess and address the human rights risks and impacts of their climate strategies and action plans grounded in the UN Guiding Principles, according to GBI. More specifically, companies can: (1) Map the “potential touchpoints” between human rights and climate action as a starting point. For instance, companies can look at how their scope 1, 2 or 3 emissions reduction strategies impact human rights; (2) Align policy commitments to the just transition and ensure human rights and environmental colleagues are involved in crafting policies together; (3) Conduct human rights due diligence for all measures aimed at tackling climate change and environmental issues, with meaningful stakeholder engagement at the core; and (4) Develop integrated governance structures and bridging silos between business functions to ensure that human rights and climate change can be approached in a holistic manner.
GBI published Integrating human rights into company climate action: Insights from business practitioners (January 2024):