Corporations are not prepared to handle the challenging process of due diligence because of its complexity and transversal impact among the company organization and governance. Key departments have to be actively involved worldwide, such as procurement, legal, health/safety/environment, human resources, corporate social responsibility, risk management, business units, and operations. Moreover, to develop a preliminary plan, external stakeholders should be consulted to get their feedback or involvement. This includes community groups, civil society, non-governmental organizations, traditional leaders, local government, representatives of indigenous groups, or representatives of any vulnerable or marginalized groups.
A company able to run an efficient human rights due diligence process in its entire supply chain implies automatically that this company has already set up a mature and operational sustainable development strategy. Unfortunately, most don’t have one, in particular B2B companies that don’t have the pressure from their clients, consumers, shareholders and investors.
Moreover, the situation is even more challenging for international corporations because most of the time, the sustainability knowledge stays at corporate level and doesn’t always extend to the company’s management in other countries. The weakness here is that corporations fail to effectively implement and make their codes of conduct, charters and policies operational in the field.
GREEN TIGER SAS’s services are based on quick-win initiatives to accelerate and facilitate the implementation of effective sustainable development strategies allowing the company to implement a phased, long-term action plan to manage its human rights due diligence process. We help the company design the most appropriate due diligence process. Our approach also includes partnering with a team of leading international legal experts and a very knowledgeable network of senior sustainability experts.
GREEN TIGERS SAS’ approach is based on a very pragmatic methodology adapted to each company’s case. The starting point is the assessment of the company sustainability maturity level to determine the extent of the action plan.
GREEN TIGER SAS Methodology
1. Sustainability maturity assessment
1.2. Sponsor engagement
2. Stakeholders mobilization
2.1. Internal stakeholders mobilization
2.2. External stakeholders mobilization
3. Long-term sustainability action plan
4. Commitment from sponsors
5. Launch of plan
The first step of the approach is “sustainability assessment maturity” which includes two phases, the “exploration” phase and the “sponsor engagement” phase determining the level of sponsorship and awareness of the company’s executive committee member, but also of its board of directors. The second step, “stakeholders’ mobilization“, includes two phases, “internal stakeholders’ mobilization”, mobilizing the internal stakeholders to make them aware of the sustainability role expected from them, then the “external stakeholders mobilization” phase which helps assess the expectations expressed by the external stakeholders, and whether specific actions are required to request their involvement/sponsorship to support the initiative. The third step, “long-term sustainability action plan”, defines the main actions that must be done and includes an estimated budget to be successful. In particular, during this step GREEN TIGER SAS provides advice in setting up the proper due diligence framework to comply with human rights regulations. The fourth step, “commitment from sponsors”, ensures that the sponsors will be formally nominated and engaged before going further. The last step, “launch of plan”, specifies what, who, when, and the mandatory KPIs to measure the progress.
The following questions help corporations measure the gaps between where they stand and where they should be:
- How are labor standards integrated into the business and implemented with suppliers?
- Does the company have the due diligence tools and processes to involve self-assessment and audit of suppliers? Are they integrating criteria sensitive to the vulnerability of some category of workers?
- Do anonymous worker surveys exist and how often do they occur?
- Is the company’s grievance mechanism accessible by suppliers’ workers? Do KPI measures exist, such as the number of grievances raised by suppliers’ workers? How many grievances have been resolved by management?
- What is the ratio of permanent to temporary contracts for workers of the suppliers classified as the most vulnerable?
- Is there any mechanism to assess the relationship between suppliers and the local communities close by in order to identify any environmental-related issues (e.g. no access to clean and safe water, noises, pollution) because of the supplier’s activity?
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