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"People" in the CSR

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Significant Variation in Organizational Emphasis

People aspects and indicators are highly varied in CSRs worldwide, with what is probably the most variation of any of the 3Ps. Some companies have tremendous emphasis on People aspects and address not only concerns internal to the organization, but also the entire supply chain. These organizations also tend to have a very high level of stakeholder engagement, not only as an input for the creation of People aspects and indicators, but many times, as an output of the creation of those aspects and indicators. For example, if an organization annually polled and surveyed the labor union at their manufacturing sites to address an important People aspect for their sustainability program, the very act of collecting that data and engaging union members would be a significant act of stakeholder engagement.

As we will see in our exploration of Nike in our case this week, sometimes the high level of attention to People aspects may also be the result of past negative incidents. Occurrences such as episodes of major PR damage, labor strikes, or NGO investigation tend to nudge organizations to pay more attention to those aspects in the future.

At the other end of the spectrum lie some of the same companies actively chasing "the White Whale of Sustainability" in regard to Planet aspects. Perhaps because of a superficial understanding of sustainability (i.e., "greenwashing") or perhaps because they wish to take a somewhat more passive approach to sustainability, these organizations will have a tendency to do one of two things with People aspects:

  1. Include a few, somewhat generic aspects and indicators for employees. The scope of these efforts will tend to be as passive as possible, perhaps a short employee survey with no open-ended questions, or maybe a staged employee picture with a single statistic. We can not consider it meaningful stakeholder engagement when the effort itself is superficial, and the only stakeholder group engaged receives paychecks bearing the signature of the CEO of the organization in question.
  2. Completely ignore People aspects and indicators. Typically, this is a symptom of a "greenwashed" sustainability effort.

People Aspects and Indicators in Sustainability Reporting

In the table below are some expressions of the more common People aspects you'll see in CSRs worldwide. I have also included links to the Global Reporting Initiative G4 Implementation Manual for reference (or if you would like to explore more on a certain aspect!). Please note that the GRI G4 Social section holds quite a few less common aspects not reflected in the table below, so it is worth reading the Social section in its entirety sometime.

Read the linked GRI pages (a page or two each), and pay special attention to the Guidance: Relevance sections, as they frame up the topic nicely.

Review the sample presentations of the indicators. Take some time to consider not only the structure of the presentation, but also the underlying aspects and indicators represented.

  • Are they appropriately represented for the organization?
  • Are they clearly stated?
  • Could they be better stated in a different way?

Again, remember as we become more advanced in our abilities to critically analyze filings, we will begin to see that some indicators and graphs may appear to be beautifully executed, but there may be serious issues underlying the scope and indexing on which the indicator is represented.

People Aspects and Indicators in Corporate Sustainability Reports

Employment

Employment
Aspect of Employment GRI G4 definition Example of the indicator as presented in CSR
New employee hires and turnover by age, gender and region G4-LA1 Report Total workforce by employment type, employee contract and region, broken down by gender. See text version below for more details.

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Text Version of the LA1 - Total workforce by employment type, employee contract and region, broken down by gender image
Benefits extended only to full-time employees G4-LA2 Report Benefits for Permanent Employees Chart. See text version below for more details.

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Text Version of Benefits for Permanent Employees Chart
Return to work and retention rates after parental leave, by gender G4-LA3 Report Return to Work and Retention Rates After Parental Leave by Gender. See text version below for more details.

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Text Version of Return to Work and Retention Rates After Parental Leave by Gender Image

Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational Health and Safety
Aspect of Occupational Health and Safety GRI G4 definition Example/Presentation of the indicator as presented in CSR
Percentage of total workforce represented in formal joint management-worker health and safety committees G4-LA5 Report
All production sites have a mandatory health and safety committee that covers all of the employees working on the site. Within Yara offices there are varying degrees of formal health and safety committees depending on local legislation. 33 of the 44 reporting countries have a health and safety committee in place. 8056 employees are covered by the mandate of the local health and safety committee, which, based on number of permanent employees, equals 82.5%, up from 58% in 2012.
Type of injury and rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism G4-LA6 Report Injury and rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism table. See text version below for more details.

Text Version of injury and rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism table

Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Diversity and Equal Opportunity
Aspect of Diversity and Equal Opportunity GRI G4 definition Example/Presentation of the indicator as presented in CSR
Composition of governance bodies and breakdown of employees per employee category G4-LA12 Report
Ethnicity by Gender Table. See text version below for more details.

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Text Version of Ethnicity by Gender Table

Equal Remuneration for Women and Men

Equal Remuneration for Women and Men
Aspect of Remuneration for Women and Men GRI G4 definition Example/Presentation of the indicator as presented in CSR
Ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men by employee category G4-LA13 Report Salary Comparison Graph. See text version below for more details.


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Text Version of Salary Comparison Graph

Supplier Assessment for Labor Practices

Supplier Assessment for Labor Practices
Aspect of Supplier Assessment for Labor Practices GRI G4 definition Example/Presentation of the indicator as presented in CSR
Percentage of new suppliers that were screened using labor practices criteria G4-LA14 Report IWAY Audio Data Table. See text version below for more details.


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Text Version IWAY Audio Data Table
Significant actual and potential negative impacts for labor practices in the supply chain and actions taken G4-LA15 Report Number of Deficiencies per Labor Standard/Management Aspect for all Audits in 2012. See text version below for more details.

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Text Version of the Number of Deficiencies per Labor Standard/Management Aspect for all Audits 2012

Labor Practices Grievance Mechanisms

Labor Practices Grievance Mechanisms
Aspect of Labor Practices Grievance Mechanisms GRI G4 definition Example/Presentation of the indicator as presented in CSR
Number of grievances about labor practices filed, addressed, and resolved G4-LA16 Report 2012 Worker Complaints by Major Failure Category Diagram. See text version below for more details.


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Text Version of the 2012 Worker Complaints by Major Failure Category Diagram

Child Labor, Forced or Compulsory Labor, and Assessment

Child Labor, Forced or Compulsory Labor, and Assessment
Aspect Category Aspect GRI G4 definition Example/Presentation of the indicator as presented in CSR
Child Labor Organizations and suppliers identified as having significant risk for incidents of child labor, and measures taken G4-HR5 Report  Responsible Sourcing Program Graph. See text version below for more details.


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Text Version of the Responsible Sourcing Program Graph
Forced or Compulsory Labor Operations and suppliers identified as having significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labor, and measures taken G4-HR6 Report
Assessment Total number and percentage of operations that have been subject to human rights reviews or impact assessments G4-HR9 Report

Supplier Human Rights Assessment

Supplier Human Rights Assessment
Aspect of Supplier Human Rights Assessment GRI G4 definition Example/Presentation of the indicator as presented in CSR
Significant actual and potential negative human rights impacts in the supply chain and actions taken G4-HR11 Report Nike Audit Chart. See the text version below for more details.


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Text Version of the Nike Audit Chart

Local Communities

Local Communities
Aspect of Local Communities GRI G4 definition Example/Presentation of the indicator as presented in CSR
Percentage of operations with implemented local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs G4-SO1 Report Levels of Community Engagment Diagram. See Text Version below for more details.


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Text Version of the Levels of Community Engagement, Impact Assessments, and Development Programs Diagram

Public Policy

Public Policy
Aspect of Public Policy GRI G4 definition Example/Presentation of the indicator as presented in CSR
Total value of political contributions by country and recipient/beneficiary G4-SO6 Report Target Corporate Political Contributions List. See the text version below for more details.


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Text Version of the Target Corporate Political Contributions List

Compliance

Compliance
Aspect of Compliance GRI G4 definition Example/Presentation of the indicator as presented in CSR
Monetary value of significant fines and total number of non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance G4-SO8 Report Global Environmental & Safety Compliance Performance Data Summary Table. See text version below for more details.

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Text Version of the Global Environmental & Safety Compliance Performance Data Summary Table

Five word summary - Understanding People aspects and indicators