Human rights performance: Other GRI indicators
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.
HR4 Non-discrimination violations
All countries in ABB’s sustainability management program are asked to report any incidents of discrimination. There were 13 substantiated cases of harassment and two of discrimination in 2012, resulting in one termination, one resignation and a range of other measures, including formal warnings, counseling and further training.
HR5, HR6, HR7 Operations at risk
Freedom of association and collective bargaining, child labor, forced or compulsory labor
There were no ABB operations identified during 2012 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. In ABB’s supply chain no cases of underage labor were found in 2012.
HR8 Training of security personnel in human rights
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. This is an area of focus for our regional and country-level security staff, and will continue in 2013.
In addition, ABB’s country and regional security heads have been made aware of growing stakeholder expectations that human rights must be observed, and of the kinds of human rights issues that could arise in communities where ABB has operations or business activities.
In 2012, nearly 40 crisis management training courses were held for country managers in different parts of the world. More than 1,200 managers in more than 90 percent of ABB countries have now been trained on crisis management; depending on local needs, some of that training contains sessions on human rights.
Work is also under way to strengthen ABB’s Group-wide security guidelines, taking the Voluntary Principles for Security and Human Rights into account. These internal guidelines, which form the basis of ABB’s security activities worldwide, will be finalized in 2013.
HR9 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 2012.
HR10 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.
HR11 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 confidentially. Figures are available for cases of discrimination and harassment (HR 4).