Human rights are universal rights and liberties that apply to all individuals, promoting equality, fairness, and a life free from fear and discrimination. They encompass various rights such as life, liberty, expression, and education, based on the principles of dignity, equality, and respect. Governments are responsible for upholding these rights, while individuals and organizations play a vital role in advocating for their fulfillment.
Enterprises can affect the human rights of their employees and contract workers, their customers, workers in their supply chains, communities around their operations and end users of their products or services. Integrating human rights into business practices is essential for ethical conduct, risk management, meeting stakeholder expectations, and seizing business opportunities. By respecting and promoting human rights, businesses can contribute to sustainable development, build trust, and ensure their own long-term viability.
What is Huhtamaki doing?
As a global company, we at Huhtamaki take responsibility for the impact we have on individuals and communities we operate in. Our commitment to respect all internationally recognized human rights sits at the highest level of the company and is central to Huhtamaki’s values of Care, Dare, Deliver. Our commitment to respect human rights is outlined in Huhtamaki's Code of Conduct and Global Human Rights Policy.
In 2021 and 2022, we improved our human rights management by conducting global assessments, revising policies, and initiating impact assessments at two sites. We established a group to align our processes with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, continuously enhancing our approach to protecting human rights in business activities.
Most recently, we have updated our Group Human Rights Policy and created a steering group for social sustainability, with key members of management, to oversee the development of our human rights due diligence process. Huhtamaki was also one of the participants in the UN Global Compact Business and Human Rights Accelerator program in 2023. The goal with the program was for participants to develop a concrete action plan for how to identify, prevent and mitigate human rights impacts throughout the value chain. As a result, we now have a clearer view of how to assess our potential impacts on people and what our development needs are. All these initiatives mark our progress in understanding and addressing human rights issues within our operations and value chain.
Moving forward, Huhtamaki is dedicated to continuously improving its human rights due diligence process. We will continue refining our risk assessment approach and start analyzing any identified risks in more detail. We will also continue training our employees and raising awareness of human rights throughout the organization. These steps will help meet the growing expectations from various stakeholders as well as forthcoming legislation for knowing what our human rights impacts are and showing that we are taking steps to address these impacts. We are committed to continuous improvement and to fully integrating human rights into our processes and continue to develop a structured framework for addressing human rights.