CEO Guide to Human Rights


18 June, 2019




In our newest CEO Guide, over 30 top business executives from across the world call for urgent business leadership on respect for human rights. The CEO Guide to Human Rights was launched on 19 June 2019 at the Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit 2019 in London, and brings to life the business drivers for action and the tangible steps CEOs can take to ensure their companies go beyond compliance and drive transformative change in people’s lives.

The 35 forward-thinking top executives of WBCSD member companies are sending clear messages to raise the bar on human rights performance, embed human rights in corporate culture, set clear expectations of suppliers and business partners and drive meaningful engagement and collaborations with peers, governments as well as civil society.

The executives who have signed this Guide represent 35 companies headquartered across 17 countries, with 2.8 million direct employees and extensive global supply chains across 17 industry sectors.

The CEO Guide highlights four drivers for action beyond compliance that make a compelling business case for any corporate leader:

  • Regulation is making expectations enforceable;
  • Public interest is high;
  • Business relationships are in the spotlight; and
  • Investor expectations are rising.

CEO leadership plays a crucial role in ensuring that human rights are taken seriously across their own companies and business relationships. To support this, the CEO Guide highlights actions that executives can take to advance respect for human rights:

  • Know the most important human rights for your company;
  • Lead from the top;
  • Engage transparently with stakeholders;
  • Collaborate beyond your comfort zone.