"When we look at what has worked best for us over the past 125 years, it has not been about a single big-bang product innovation, a new marketing breakthrough or a bullet-proof business model. The secret to our secret formula has always been the power of the relationships and partnerships our people have forged all around the world." -- Muhtar Kent
We believe that dialogue with a wide-range of external stakeholders is critical to respecting human and workplace rights within our system. Continuous dialogue enables us to identify and address potential issues proactively and collaboratively. By combining our experience with the expertise, passion and knowledge of our stakeholders and partners we develop robust approaches to respect human and workplace rights. Furthermore, by working with other relevant parties from various sectors including private, public and non-profit and labor, we believe we can have a greater and more sustainable impact than by working alone. Here are a few examples of our ongoing engagement.
Since 2005 we have met twice annually with the International Union of Foodworkers and several of its affiliates. The IUF is a world-wide federation of trade unions representing workers in sectors including agriculture and plantations, food and beverages, and hotels among others. More than 30 percent of our business system’s employees are members of unions affiliated with the IUF. The semi-annual meetings, in addition to ongoing communications, provide a forum to discuss a variety of labor relations matters. Read our updated joint statement (PDF).
During the past eight years we have hosted industry conferences on human rights topics at our facilities in Atlanta which have been sponsored by the United States Council for International Business, International Organization of Employers and the United States Chamber of Commerce to tackle issues related to human rights. The first six conferences were hosted at that Atlanta office complex and the seventh was at the new Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta.
These conferences have engaged business in addressing forced labor, child labor, and other business and human rights issues. In 2010 and 2011, Professor John Ruggie, the former UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, was the keynote speaker and focused on his “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework for respecting human rights in a business context and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The 2015 conference, which convened more than 150 leaders from businesses, government and non-governmental organizations, focused on strategies to demonstrate respect for human rights in business. Conference panels focused on key issues including
Agendas from the conferences hosted by TCCC to engage business on Human Rights issues:
Member companies recognize supplier audits completed on behalf of another company through a framework called Mutual Recognition. Recognizing audits conducted on behalf of another company reduces audit fatigue, reduces time and costs on the part of suppliers and shifts the focus from auditing to performance. Our work with AIM-PROGRESS has advanced our mutual audit recognition to 16 percent of the suppliers we audit.