Human rights performance information

HR1 Significant investment agreements that include Human Rights
ABB maintains and regularly reviews a list of sensitive countries where it has, or considers engaging in, business operations. Human rights, as well as legal, financial and security criteria, are included in risk assessments, and are among the factors in deciding whether ABB does business in a particular country.

Based partly or wholly on human rights considerations, ABB has not taken any business in Sudan or North Korea for several years.

HR3 Non-discrimination violations
All countries in ABB’s sustainability management program are asked to report any incidents of discrimination. There were 10 substantiated cases of harassment and one of discrimination in 2014, resulting in five terminations, and a range of other measures, including formal warnings, counseling and further training.

HR4, HR5, HR6, Operations at risk: Freedom of association and collective bargaining, child labor, forced or compulsory labor
There were no ABB operations identified during 2014 to be at significant risk concerning employee rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining, incidents of child labor, or incidents of forced or compulsory labor.


HR7 Training of security personnel in human right
ABB recognizes the importance of training security personnel, as well as ABB country and regional managers, on the human rights dimensions of security work. It has been part of general security training in different parts of the world for several years. As far as security personnel are concerned, ABB recognizes it is essential that they observe human rights. We require due diligence to be carried out on security companies according to ABB and international standards. In 2014, internal checklists for security providers were strengthened, and clauses on human rights were introduced into new contracts with private security providers. The wording is drawn from the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the International Code of Conduct for private security providers.


HR8 Indigenous rights violations
All countries in ABB’s sustainability management program are asked to report any incidents of indigenous rights violations. No such incidents were reported in 2014.


HR9 Percentage of total number of operations that have been subject to human rights reviews and/or impact assessments
This data is not available. ABB is involved as a supplier in thousands of projects worldwide each year. Depending on the scope and size of the project – such as larger power infrastructure projects – some will require at least an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment performed by the customer. The data is currently not consolidated by ABB.


HR10 Percentage of new suppliers that were screened using human rights criteria
All new suppliers are required to agree to ABB’s Supplier Code of Conduct which emphasizes labor and human rights among other issues. ABB applies a further checklist (part of the Achilles pre-qualification process) for key suppliers above a certain threshold, which includes questions on human rights.


HR11 Human rights impacts in the supply chain and actions taken
All new suppliers are required to commit to ABB’s Supplier Code of Conduct which emphasizes labor and human rights among other issues. ABB is also using a supplier self-evaluation checklist (part of the Achilles pre-qualification process) for key suppliers, which includes questions on human rights. This is supplemented by a contractual obligation on suppliers to deliver goods or services in accordance with the ABB Supplier Code of Conduct. There is also an annual supplier performance evaluation on ABB’s key suppliers, which includes an evaluation criterion relating to labor and human rights. A total of 7,132 evaluations were carried out in 2014. In addition, more focused assessments are carried out on key suppliers in high risk countries under the Supplier Sustainability Development Program, and corrective action plans and timelines are then agreed with suppliers. ABB publishes a list of the 10 most frequent issues discovered during assessments (see Responsible sourcing chapter for more information). In 2014, ABB found no evidence of child or forced labor in the supply chain.


HR12 Number of grievances related to human rights filed, addressed and resolved through formal grievance mechanism.
ABB has a number of formal grievance mechanisms, including a third-party run Business Ethics hotline available round the clock to internal and external stakeholders, and an Ombuds Program, where employees can report concerns, if they wish, confidentially. Figures are available for cases of discrimination and harassment (HR 4).


Last edited 2015-03-16
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    ABB is involved in a number of different projects around the world, supporting key rights - education, health care and housing, among others.
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