John Ruggie -- Business Practice and Human Rights

one of the projects that we have run over the last several years is something that we call the cost of conflict with communities we've worked closely with companies particularly again in the extractive sector and in the infrastructure sector again the big physical footprint kind of companies and we have been asking them to look into their own books to find out what it's costing them to get things wrong and the results of that have been absolutely staggering not only to us but also to the companies themselves you find in the oil industry for example the oil majors the amount of time that it takes to from from the initial stage of where you get a permit or a license to drill to the time the first drop of oil comes out of the ground has doubled over the last ten years though the single most important factor determining that is community pushback they call it stakeholder and related risk so we asked companies to look further into this what does it cost you because there is community pushback to your activities what does it cost you because pipelines are being blown up what is it what does it cost you because the only access road to a mine is blocked by a community a week or two weeks or three weeks at a time and the funny thing is that companies didn't really know the answer to those questions because the costs are borne by individual business units down on the ground they're never really reported as stakeholder related costs or risks they're never aggregated and so senior management never sees them we we had one company report to us that over the course of two years this is an oil major over the course of two years they lost six point five billion dollars to stakeholder related risk this was at a time when their annual profit was twenty billion they hit the roof when they saw that and said there has to be a better way can can you help us identify viable means to to avoid these kinds of risks and so the the answer to the question that that you posed you know and why why should this be of concern to companies is because it makes sense for companies to be concerned with them with these issues and and because at the end of the day it's also the right thing to do business is in business to do business business is not in business to harm human rights and I think when you put it to most business in in that way they actually want to know well how can I limit the adverse impacts that I have on human rights and how can I increase the positive effects that I have on human rights and so we've provided the tools for managing those challenges by developing what we call human rights due diligence process whereby companies can anticipate what the adverse impacts of a project are likely to be help them develop mitigation strategies and Mathurin dov of the process establish grievance mechanisms so that's if something goes wrong that doesn't require legal action but does require a substantive response then there there is a mechanism available through a joint process between communities and companies through which grievances can be resolved before they escalate into major campaigns by ad maseeh groups or into major lawsuits you

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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