The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) is working with Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) to develop a human rights implementation plan across PMI’s value chain, including risk assessment, gap analysis and action plan.
The collaboration will run from September 2016 to August 2017. The project was kicked off with a cross-functional workshop and subsequent interviews of PMI employees.
- PMI is very pleased to be able to collaborate with DIHR, a global leader on human rights and business. Respecting labor and human rights issues is a critical element of doing business with integrity across our value chain. That has been our strong belief for a long time. We expect to learn from DIHR’s expertise and at the same time get valuable third party input to help guide us as we develop a more systematic, rights-based approach in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, says Miguel Coleta, Sustainability Officer at PMI.
In assessing PMI’s risks and gaps, DIHR will be looking at PMI’s policies, procedures and practices and its entire value chain with a human rights lens. The aim is to establish an initial baseline and ensure that recommendations for further actions are in line with international standards on business and human rights.
“We work with PMI to support the company in its efforts to identify, avoid and address human rights impacts associated with its activities and business relationships. Keeping PMI’s size, global presence and sector in mind, improved human rights performance has a huge potential to result in positive impacts for the environment in which PMI operates, not least consumers, communities, employees, and supply chain workers,” says Signe Andreasen Lysgaard, Senior Adviser on Business and Human Rights at DIHR.
Since 1999, DIHR has engaged directly with corporate actors to help them improve the human rights impacts associated with their activities and business relationships at the global, country and project level. Other companies that DIHR is currently working with include: Nestlé, Total SA and Shell. All engagements with corporate actors are governed by DIHR's Corporate Engagement Principles, a document of shared objectives and understandings for advancing human rights through private-sector operations.
“Due to the impact of smoking on health, the decision to work with PMI was not made overnight. DIHR researched the company and discussed the potential for collaboration internally as well as with externals that already work with PMI. Based on the potential for impact, PMI’s openness and continued willingness to engage and improve, as well as the firm commitment of the company to our Corporate Engagement Principles, we decided to move forward with the engagement. We look forward to supporting PMI on their journey,” says Cathrine Bloch Poulsen-Hansen, Programme Manager, Corporate Engagement, DIHR.
Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is the world’s leading international tobacco company, with six of the world's top 15 international brands and products sold in more than 180 markets. In addition to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, including Marlboro, the number one global cigarette brand, and other tobacco products, PMI is engaged in the development and commercialization of Reduced-Risk Products (“RRPs”). RRPs is the term PMI uses to refer to products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities, and industry-leading scientific substantiation, PMI aims to provide an RRP portfolio that meets a broad spectrum of adult smoker preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements.
For more information, see www.pmi.com and www.pmiscience.com.
DIHR is a member of a network of 120 national human rights institutions worldwide. Internationally, DIHR works with states, independent organizations and the corporate sector, enabling them to strengthen human rights. It has worked closely with business and human right communities since 1999 to develop tools and standards for instilling better business practice in the context of human rights. DIHR assists private companies in assessing the impact of their work on human rights.
For more information, see www.humanrights.dk.