Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Last updated: 2012

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are a set of guidelines for States and companies to prevent, address and remedy human rights abuses committed in business operations.

Use this resource to:

  • Strategy: Adopt the standards and practices with regard to business and human rights so as to achieve tangible results for affected individuals and communities, and thereby also contribute to a socially sustainable globalisation.
  • Governance: Embed the human rights policy throughout a business’ functions.
  • Identify: Understand the responsibility of enterprises to respect human rights, depending on their scale and scope.
  • Assess: Implement human rights due diligence.
  • Set Targets: Design targets based on human rights due diligence assessment.
  • Act: Learn how states and companies can prevent and address negative impacts on human rights by business.
  • Monitor: Set up continued human rights due diligence for monitoring purposes.
  • Disclose: Make publicly available human rights commitments and processes.

Due Diligence for Responsible Corporate Lending and Securities Underwriting

Last updated: 2019

The overall objective of the Initiative is to advance human rights and positive outcomes for people through investor stewardship. The Initiative will primarily seek change through investors’ use of influence with a global framework for financial institutions to identify, respond to and publicly communicate on environmental and social risks associated with their clients.

Use this resource to:

  • Governance: Embed responsible business conduct into policies and management systems.
  • Identify: Understand the expectations of responsible business conduct, including a discussion of key considerations when identifying negative impacts and risks.
  • Assess: Understand the key considerations in carrying out due diligence as recommended by the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines). This helps to prevent and address adverse impacts related to human and labour rights, the environment, and corruption caused by financial institutions in the context of their corporate lending and underwriting activities.
  • Monitor: Monitor due diligence processes to prevent and address adverse impacts related to human and labour rights, the environment, and corruption caused by companies.

OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct

Last updated: 2018

Guidance that provides practical support to enterprises on the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by providing plain language explanations of its due diligence recommendations and associated provisions.

For organisations

Use this resource to:

  • Governance, strategy, and management approach: Assist enterprises with developing and strengthening their due diligence system, as well as processes related to impacts in operations, supply chains, and business relationships.

For investors and financial institutions

Use this resource to:

  • Governance: Embed responsible business conduct into policies and management systems.
  • Identify: Use guidance for expectations of responsible business conduct, including a discussion of key considerations when identifying negative impacts and risks.
  • Assess: Understand the key considerations in carrying out due diligence, as recommended by the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines). This helps to prevent and address adverse impacts related to human and labour rights, the environment and corruption caused by companies.
  • Monitor: Monitor due diligence processes to prevent and address adverse impacts related to human and labour rights, the environment, and corruption caused by companies.

An Introduction to Responsible Investment: Policy, Structure and Process

Last updated: 2019

Guidance on how an investor can develop a responsible investment policy.

Use this resource to:

  • Governance: Develop investment policies and incorporate sustainability considerations into the investment process.

Impact Standards for Financing Sustainable Development (IS-FSD)

Last updated: 2021

Practice standards to support donors in the deployment of public resources through DFIs and private asset managers, in a way that maximises the positive contribution towards the SDGs. The Standards are harmonised in approach with the UNDP SDG Impact Standards suite, the IS-FSD constitute a framework, ensuring that collectively (with the SDG Impact Standards for PE Funds, Bond Issuers and Enterprises) they help to connect actors across the system using a common language and approach for integrating SDG impacts in the investment strategy and throughout the investment process and governance structures.

Use this resource to:

  • Governance: Set up processes and embed practices that are aligned with the SDG Impact Standards.
  • Assess: Understand whether all relevant information is being actioned to understand impact. The Standards outline how baselines, social/ ecological thresholds and other contextual information should be included in assessment of whether an underlying asset is contributing to the SDGs.

Operating Principles for Impact Management

Principles describe essential features of managing investments into companies or other organisations with the intent to contribute to measurable positive social or environmental impact alongside financial returns.

This resource has mandatory requirements for signatories.

Use this resource to:

  • Strategy: Define strategic impact objectives consistent with the investment strategy alongside managing strategic impact on a portfolio basis.
  • Governance: Commit to following the principles and periodically having progress of adoption independently verified. The Principles can be applied to an entire investing organisation or an individual fund.
  • Monitor: Use criteria for which investor’s impact management practices can be monitored. The principles require these disclosures to be independently verified.
  • Disclose: Use Principle 9 to enable public disclosure of alignment with the Principles.

Multilateral Development Banks’ Harmonized Framework For Additionality In Private Sector Operations

Last updated: 2018

Guidance summarises Multilateral Development Banks’ approach to the topic of investor contribution (which they term “additionality”).

Use this resource to:

  • Strategy: Understand the common approaches to additionality, which allows for multilateral development banks to substantiate additionality in projects.
  • Governance: Learn about the common approaches to the governance of additionality.

SDG Impact Standards for Private Equity Funds

Last updated: 2020

Practice standards that provide a common language and a system for integrating sustainable development issues, the Sustainable Development Goals and impact management into business and investment decision-making.

Use this resource to:

  • Strategy: Use the standards to inform internal decision-making. The standards are designed to transform how enterprises and investors think about value creation, and integrate impact management and contributing positively to the SDGs in their strategy.
  • Governance: Learn how to integrate impact management into the management approach, disclosure and governance practices.

SDG Impact Standards for Bond Issuers

Last updated: 2020

Practice standards that provide a common language and a system for integrating sustainable development issues, the Sustainable Development Goals and impact management into business and investment decision-making.

Use this resource to:

  • Strategy: Use the standards to inform internal decision-making. The standards are designed to transform how enterprises and investors think about value creation, and integrate impact management and contributing positively to the SDGs in their strategy.
  • Governance: Learn how to integrate impact management into the management approach, disclosure and governance practices.