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Today we celebrate the 71st Birthday of the Declaration of Human Rights and share some reflections of the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, which our team has participated in Geneva a few weeks ago.

Under the theme " Time to Act: Governments as Catalysts for Business Respect for Human Rights ," the eighth annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights brought together over 2,000 representatives of companies, civil society, and states in Geneva in the final week of November to discuss best practices and emerging issues in business and human rights. BSR attended the event both to share our learnings from working with leading companies on business and human rights over the course of the year and to keep our finger on the pulse of the latest trends.

As we look ahead to 2020 — and to the dawn of this decisive decade when the decisions we make as a society on how to address economic inequality, climate change, technological innovation, and political polarization will shape our shared future for generations to come — what Are the pivotal human rights issues that businesses should be paying attention to? Here's what we heard at the Forum:

States and regulators are responding to the call to action to protect human rights through mandatory due diligence and increased regulation.

A crucial discussion throughout the Forum highlighted the role of states and regional regulators to take on their duty to protect human rights and close the gap in implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), as Pillar One, the state duty to protect human rights, remains the true catalyst to realize corporate respect beyond voluntary measures.

Mandatory due diligence in national legislation is gaining ground, with the latest laws being enacted in France, the Netherlands, and Australia and with more legislation proposed. What’s more, mandatory frameworks are only expected to increase. Comments by the European Union, the Council of Europe, and the OECD all stressed the importance of policy coherence at the state and regional levels. Regional bodies such as the EU and the African Union—which will soon be publishing its first human rights and business policy—are playing a growing role in creating a level playing field and strong systems for human rights protection and business accountability. Similarly, trade investmentspublic procurement practices, and state involvement in investments such as mega-sporting events must integrate human rights due diligence in project screening as well as regulatory measures to ensure law and trade agreements include respect for human rights. With interventions by states from all over the globe, notable leadership was taken by northern European countries Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Finland, reflecting the region’s long-standing commitment to sustainable development and human rights.

Equality and inclusion must be prominent enablers in realizing the UNGPs.

The world is facing a profound inequality crisis as the divide between low- and high-income groups continues to deepen and discrimination remains a burden to the realization of human rights, especially for vulnerable groups. Creating and fostering equal and inclusive societies was the theme of many sessions, with emphasis on equal workplaces and supply chains.

BSR was represented on two panels, the first on the role of the private sector in protecting LGBTI rights and the second on applying a gender lens to the UNGPs in practice. According to the panel facilitated by Dan Bross, Executive Director of the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality (PGLE), commitment to implementing the UN Standards of Business Conduct must be a priority of business, and joint action to decriminalize sexual orientation will be central to creating inclusive workplaces and enabling regulatory environments.

Similarly, we are at a point where translating businesses’ numerous commitments to gender equality will require practical action. BSR Manager Francesca Manta’s contribution to the panel on gender and the UNGPs stressed the importance of ensuring gender-specific impacts and issues are made visible and taken into account by using a new framework for context analysis and data collection in global supply chains. Diversity and Inclusion policies and commitments to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) as well as to the UNGPs may remain a paper exercise if differentiated impacts are not identified, monitored, and acted upon, using operational tools such as the Gender Impact and Data tool (GDI), which BSR developed for supply chain due diligence. It is time for due diligence to stop being gender-blind and make women visible and counted.

Addressing corruption and conflict must become a priority of business and states if we are to realize a future of peace and stability.

In line with this year’s theme, the Forum had numerous sessions on the linkages between corruption, conflict, and human rights and the role both states and companies must play to eradicate unethical practices and resolve regional and global conflicts.

Whispered already as the theme of next year’s Forum, corruption took center stage with discussions ranging from the integration of compliance and human rights due diligence processes to holistic approaches to context analysis such as the one at the session facilitated by the UN Global Compact networks. Corruption is often seen as a ‘victimless crime,’ and the panels urged participants to recognize corruption as a strong contributor to human rights abuses. In an increasingly fragile world characterized by rising violence, closing civic space, and more authoritarian governance, business has a critical role to play in preventing corrupt practices and human rights violations. The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights is currently working on the connection between anti-corruption efforts and implementation of the UNGPs to inform its 2020 report to the UN Human Rights Council. In conflict-affected and high-risk areas, part of business’s responsibility to respect human rights involves actively combating corruption by integrating their anti-corruption and human rights efforts. Companies cannot successfully respect human rights without also addressing issues of corruption in the environment where they operate and that impact their supply chain.

The digital sphere is now indivisible from human rights impacts.

In a world where nearly every company can be considered a technology company, another important theme at the Forum was how human rights are affected by digital activities and what due diligence will mean in this sphere regardless of industry. Discussions spanned from the use of AI and biometrics in high-risk sectors such as defense and surveillance, to what accountability, attribution, and remedy look like in case of adverse impacts from digital activities, to how even digital marketing has far-reaching impacts on organized crime and online and offline hate crimes, and also explored how due diligence is key to ensuring ethical advertising by any brand. Every company should seek to understand the nature of its digital activities—data collection and processing, content management, advertising—and prioritize due diligence to understand human rights impacts from both intended and unintended misuse of their technology or digital activity. States, particularly those in Europe thanks to GDPR, are more and more involved in corporate dialogue and regulations in this sphere, including interesting initiatives such as the Tech Ambassador, which was instituted by Denmark to promote diplomatic activities with technology companies.

Climate is our biggest challenge and will have profound human rights implications.

Another theme throughout the three days, the Forum stressed how the climate crisis is now inextricably linked to the current and upcoming human rights impacts—on human life, inequality, health, access to livelihoods, migration. The Forum concluded with a powerful final session on the theme where a unanimous panel agreed that climate is the biggest business and human rights issue of our time and aggressive emission reductions by both states and businesses should be a core human rights demand. There are indeed positive developments and companies that are truly transitioning to fossil-free business models, such as the panelist Scania, but the pace is still too slow to keep emissions under control, particularly in light of the newly published UNEP Emission Gap Report 2019 which predicts increase in temperatures by 3 degrees Celsius. Again, policy coherence was called upon to urge states and businesses to threaten their commitment to the Paris Agreement and act immediately to address climate change in how they operate and our growth models.

We believe these key themes will take even more prominence as we enter the decisive decade next year, and we look forward to working with our members and partners to accelerate change and contribute to a just and sustainable future. To learn more about our work on human rights, please do not hesitate to  reach out and connect with our team .

This article was originally published on: BSR

We're looking for a bright and motivated student, who wants to supplement his/her graduate programme studies with some hands-on experience with (online) communication within the arena of sustainable/social business. Are you the one?

ARE YOU A BRILLIANT COMMUNICATOR – AND PASSIONATE ABOUT SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS?

We are a small but busy Scandinavian-based BCorp certified company with an expanding global outreach. 

We are looking for a bright and motivated student, who wants to supplement his/her graduate programme studies with some hands-on experience with (online) communication within the arena of sustainable business/CSR/social innovation/social entrepreneurship. 

The position requires a commitment of minimum 20-30 hours a month and includes – but is not limited to – the following key tasks and assignments:

OUR EXPECTATIONS TO YOU:

You are passionate about communication and sustainability – and have a healthy appetite to learn more. In addition you:

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM US:

We will help you build your skills, knowledge and professional network within the field of communications and sustainable/social business. We will give you lots of opportunities for taking on communications-related tasks and responsibilities that will strengthen your CV.

We provide you with a customized ”Give & Grow” contract to ensure that your professional and personal development goals are met and matched (read more about our Give & Grow philosophy here).

This position comes with a standard student salary.

Practicalities:

The position is physically based in our office in Copenhagen, and ideally you would be able to check-in at our office once a week, but some tasks and assignments can also easily be managed online/outside office as well.

You will be working closely together with our founder Tania Ellis and the rest of the team.

The position is available from the beginning of February 2020 for a minimum period of 6 months, preferably longer. 

Please submit your application via this application form. Deadline: January 6th 2020. 

You can download the job description and practical information here.

SAS lancerer deres første C02-besparende fly som led i en strategi, der skal gøre virksomhedens samling af fly mere klimavenlig inden 2023.

SAS tager nu kampen op for klimaet og offentliggør i den forbindelse deres nyeste køb: En Airbus A350, der er det mest energi- og brændstofseffektive fly på markedet. Købet sker som led i en omfattende udskiftning af deres nuværende flysortiment frem mod 2023. Målet er at reducere CO2-udledningen markant.

”Vi må forandre os med fremtiden. Og derfor har vi investeret 23 mia. kroner i nye fly. Kronjuvelen er A350”, siger SAS-topchef, Rickard Gustafson til Berlingske.

Læs også: TUI fjerner rødt kød fra flyets menukortet

Det nye Airbus-fly reducerer mængden af brændstof og udledning af CO2 med op til 30 procent i forhold til den tidligere model. Flyet er udviklet med et lettere skrog og aerodynamiske vinger, der automatisk tilpasser sig i luften, med henblik på at ligge så let som muligt i atmosfæren.

Transportminister Benny Engelbrecht er postitivt indstillet over for SAS' initiativer.

”Det er et vigtigt skridt for Skandinaviens største luftfartsselskab at kunne introducere de her fly. Det er begyndelsen på et nyt, grønt kapitel med passagerer, der kan flyvere grønnere i stedet for mindre”, siger han til Berlingske.

Læs også: SAS og Airbus sammen om forskning i el- og hybridfly

Flyselskabets ambitioner går desuden fint i spænd med regeringens målsætning om at reducere den nationale CO2-udledning med 70 procent inden 2030.

Derudover satser SAS på, at alternative brændstoffer skal kunne bruges ved alle selskabets indenrigsruter. Med rejser over længere distancer, skal der en mere avanceret teknologi til, hvorfor SAS og Airbus i maj 2019 har indgået partnerskab i håb om at udvikle verdens første eldrevne passagerfly.

SAS’ nye grønne fly letter for første gang fra Kastrup d. 28 januar 2020 med syv forskellige ruter.  

- HL

Daka har det sidst halve år sat fokus på at afhente de døde dyr hurtigere. Målet er at holde fast i den høje danske sikkerhed i forhold til smittefare, forebygge lugtgener og forbedre udnyttelsen og dermed bæredygtigheden i recirkuleringen af de døde dyr.

Indtil videre har Dakas informationskampagne resulteret i, at PIGUP&KO afhentningsappen nu anvendes af 50 % af de danske landmænd med dyrehold. Der er i dag 6.000 landmænd, som bruger PIGUP&KO hver eneste måned. Det har gjort det nemt at tilmelde afhentningerne fra Daka. Hvilket er en fordel for både landmændene og Daka.

”Når landmanden tilmelder dyret på stedet via mobilen, kan resten af servicen hurtigere håndteres. For os betyder den elektroniske tilmelding, at bestillingen ryger direkte ind i transportsystemet, så dyret kan afhentes hurtigst muligt, nogle gange ned til 15 minutter efter tilmelding”, siger Dakas Transportchef Jesper Visby.

Daka har flere initiativer i støbeskeen for både at undgå smittespredning, sikre friskere råvarer og mindske lugtgener, for i sidste ende at skabe en endnu bedre håndtering af de døde dyr.

”En frisk råvare er nemmere at forarbejde til biodiesel, og kan for en større dels vedkommende indgå i gødningsproduktion. Det betyder i sidste ende en bedre genanvendelse og dermed recirkulering af ressourcerne”, forklarer Jesper Visby

”I forbindelse med vores kampagne omkring tilmelding af råvarer talte vi med op mod 500 landmænd. Vi fik værdifuld feedback og mange ideer til, hvordan vi kan forbedre vores service. Det har givet os blod på tanden til at etablere et dialogforum med 15 landmænd, hvor vi kan sætte konkrete problemstillinger og ideer til debat med henblik på at udvikle servicen og samarbejdet”, siger Jesper Visby

I dialogforummet vil virksomhed og landmænd mødes for at nytænke samarbejdet og skabe forbedringer.  Det nye dialogforums medlemmer omfatter flere typer bedrifter, både konventionelle og økologiske.

Det nye dialogforum for bæredygtig innovation afholder to møder om året, det første i starten af december

Adm. Direktør for Dansk Industri, Lars Sandahl Sørensen, lægger for første gang nogensinde op til at mænd skal have ret til øremærket barsel og i fremtiden mulighed for mere end de otte ugers orlov, som EU kræver. Det skriver Berlingske.dk.

Den nyligt tiltrådte direktør for Dansk Industri, Lars Randahl Sørensen, vil have, at det skal være staten og arbejdsmarkedets parter, der bestemmer hvor lang en barsel mænd skal tage, hvis familien ønsker at få den fulde barsel betalt.

Motivationen bag dette ligger i et ønske om at få flere kvindelige ansættelser i den private sektor og give dem større mulighed for at blive forfremmet. En målsætning, der i dag er vanskelig at nå, da kvinderne på nuværende tidspunkt tager 90 procent af barselsorloven.

Læs også: Det blå Danmark mangler arbejdskraft, men har svært ved at tiltrække kvinder

”Vi går simpelthen glip af alt for mange talenter, som udviklingen er i dag. Det er der ikke nogen nemme løsninger på, men øremærket barsel er et greb, jeg ser positivt på, fordi jeg kan se, at det virker”, siger Lars Randahl Sørensen til Berlingske.

Den øremærkede barsel til mænd er ikke den eneste ingrediens, der skal tilsættes opskriften på mere ligestilling mellem kønnene, når det kommer til at tage barselsorloven. Men hvis mænd tager en større bid af barslen, vil det, ifølge Lars Randahl Sørensen, sætte gang i en positiv udvikling, hvor kvinder vil have lettere ved at vende tilbage til arbejdsmarkedet og blive forfremmet.

I den danske lovgivning i dag er der ingen øremærket barsel til mænd, men i stedet ret til to ugers frivillig barselsorlov. Nu har EU til gengæld besluttet at indføre to måneders fædreorlov i alle EU-lande, hvorfor vedtagelsen formentlig træder i kraft i Danmark inden 2022.

Disse to måneder er dog også frivillige, hvilket betyder man mister retten til understøttelse, såfremt man ikke ønsker at benytte sig af de to måneders barsel.

Læs også: Dansk Erhverv og Dansk Industris syn på business casen for CSR

Næstformand i Fagbevægelsens Hovedorganisation, Majbritt Berlau, finder Lars Randahl Sørensens udsagn for interessant og er positivt indstillet på at diskutere en øremærket barsel til mænd.

”Det er et godt grundprincip, hvis man går ind for reel ligestilling i barsel og orlov, at der bliver et lige antal uger til mor og far. Det vil sige, at der er øremærket det samme antal uger til barnets forældre”, siger hun til Berlingske.

Selvom Lars Randahl Sørensen anerkender udfordringen, ser han umiddelbart ingen nemme løsninger og at den øremærkede barsel skal være ét af flere tiltag, der skal sikre mere ligestilling i erhvervslivet.

- HL

Are you our new Data Specialist, who can help us deliver on our ambitious sustainability strategy?

We are looking for a skilled Data Specialist to assist us in collecting, structuring, analysing and verifying often complex information on our value chain and present conclusions and assumptions in a compelling and accurate way. To succeed, it is key that you understand our strategic goals and target groups and that you pay attention to detail.

About the team   
You will join BESTSELLER’s growing, international Sustainability department, consisting of different professional backgrounds. With our ambitious sustainability strategy, Fashion FWD, we are committed to inspiring, engaging and leading our business to become climate positive, fair for all, and circular by design. We provide a dynamic work environment with opportunities to influence an important agenda and drive change. 

About the position  
As Data Specialist, you will be responsible for developing an even more data-driven approach to sustainability. You will be building, developing, managing, and maintaining databases that are aligned with our goals and the needs of the managers in our Sustainability department, thereby, assisting them in engaging with our suppliers, partner organisations and key stakeholders.

First off, you will focus on setting a baseline for our energy consumption in our owned and operated buildings globally and support us in building a clear business case to drive transformation processes. Next, you will map our key impacts from our indirect sourcing and ensure that we address these in line with our sustainability strategy.  

Qualifications  

Your profile  
Working in a fast-paced and dynamic environment, it is key that you are structured and know how to prioritise your work, as you will be managing several tasks simultaneously. You are result oriented and service minded, focused on providing strong data that will support our managers in their work to transform our business towards a more sustainable future. Owing to your excellent communication skills, you further understand how to convey complex information in a way that it becomes comprehensible and compelling to other people.

Work place: You will be working out of our office in either Aarhus, Brande or Copenhagen, Denmark. Depending on your base location, you can expect travels to account for up to 10 percent of your working hours. This includes regular travels between our offices in Denmark. 

We are looking forward to hearing from you!  
Please focus on the following keywords in your CV and application, when explaining how your experience fits this position:

If you have any questions for this position, please contact Henrik Sand, Sustainability Lead for Owned & Operated Buildings and Indirect Procurement, on +45 3085 2692. Otherwise, please send us your motivated application and CV as soon as possible and no later than the Tuesday 14th of January 2020. We conduct interviews on an ongoing basis and reserve the right to remove the job ad before the application deadline if we find the right candidate.  

Tags: BESTSELLER

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