Human rights

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As a global company, we recognize that our actions can have both positive and negative impacts on people – either directly through our own operations, or indirectly through our value chain. We are committed to taking responsibility for the impact we can have on individuals and for making sure that there is no harm to people as a result of our activities.

Ensuring that human rights are respected throughout our value chain is a key element of Huhtamaki’s 2030 sustainability agenda. Our commitment to human rights is grounded in our values – Care Dare Deliver – which are the foundation on which we conduct our business.

The foundation for our human rights work

Our global Human Rights Policy reflects Huhtamaki’s commitment to human rights as set forth in the United Nations International Bill of Human Rights and taking into account the United Nation’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP).

Human rights due diligence is built into several of our key processes, for instance, in our Global Working Conditions Requirements, in our health and safety management systems, in supply chain management and in our compliance system.

  • In our own operations, risks for human rights issues are identified via the global Enterprise Risk Management, the global Ethics and Compliance program and by following incidents reported through the grievance system. Our Global Working Conditions Requirements are implemented at all our sites and cover topics such as anti-corruption, safety, work ergonomics, work contracts, working hours, grievances, and supplier management. The performance in these areas is audited with SMETA audits.
  • Engaging with local communities gives us valuable feedback from local stakeholders. In mergers and acquisitions, environmental and social impact assessments are part of the standard due diligence process.
  • Our updated supply chain due diligence process has been built to identify risks in the supply chain. All key suppliers, corresponding to the top 80% in terms of procurement spend, are now systematically screened in our supplier monitoring tool against for example sanctions lists, watch lists and negative media, helping us to identify and address risks related to human rights in our supply chain.

Enhancing our human rights due diligence

Recognizing the importance of human rights, we initiated a project in 2020 to address the topic in a more structured way. We wanted to take action to understand our impacts on human rights better, to identify potential vulnerable groups and to align our human rights due diligence with the recommendations laid out in the UNGP.

The project has entailed working together with a cross-functional team and an external human rights expert team to identify our potential human rights risks and impacts, and to make sure we have adequate policies and procedures in place to address them. We performed a gap analysis of our current policies and procedures to identify what areas of our human rights due diligence we still need to strengthen.

We have also conducted our first human rights impact assessment as a pilot project at one of our sites. Based on the findings from this pilot, we will develop and refine the impact assessment methodology and conduct further impact assessments at other sites.

Moving forward, Huhtamaki is dedicated to developing its human rights due diligence processes and to taking action on closing the identified gaps. We will also focus on training our employees and raising awareness of human rights throughout the organization. We will start communicating about how we are addressing the identified issues, and what actions we are taking to prevent and mitigate any potential negative impacts.