• The Global Compact Local Network Spain analyses the 2018 COPs and finds that Ibex 35 companies have improved their commitment to human rights

The companies of the Spanish Exchange Index, Ibex 35, have improved their commitment to human rights policies over the past year. During the last financial year, 19 Ibex 35 companies have been registered with a specific policy in this area, compared to 11 companies in 2016 and 14 in 2017. This is verified from the analysis of its sustainability reports carried out by the Spanish Local Network, included in the annual guide “Communicating Progress 2018. An integrated vision of sustainability and Reporting”. A document that allows us to observe the evolution of organisations in specific aspects of CSR and sustainability, as well as to detect the main risks and opportunities in this area.

Despite the improvement, of the four areas: human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, human rights is the least worked by Ibex 35 companies. The analysis carried out by the Spanish Local Network has identified progress with respect to previous years, but continues to show areas of improvement in different indicators, such as training in human rights or the implementation of a due diligence process to evaluate their performance in the area of human rights.

In general, 68% of Spanish companies include in their ethical code a commitment to respect human rights, although the difference between organisations is still evident. As the results of the analysis show, 84% of large companies include this commitment, a percentage that is reduced to 62% in SMEs. This difference is partly due to the fact that smaller companies usually do not have a code of ethics in their entity.

In addition, companies are increasingly working to evaluate their suppliers in order to avoid being involved in human or labour rights violations. This aspect is already dealt with by 66% of the Ibex 35 companies and by 24% of the Spanish members surveyed.

The data show that only 11% of Spanish Network members identify their human rights risks, despite the fact that 82% have policies or practices in this area. This contrasts with 53% of entities that assess environmental risks.

With regard to this last area, the implementation of environmental policies has seen the most significant improvement. In this way, 24 out of every 35 of Ibex 35 companies include information on material recycling, compared to the 16 companies of the previous year, and 94% measure their greenhouse gas emissions taking into account their direct, indirect and indirect emissions in the value chain. Likewise, the Ibex 35 in its entirety reports on the consumption of fuels derived from its activity.

In aspects related to labour standards, the percentage of the Ibex 35 companies that quantitatively explains the relationship between the basic salary of men and women has decreased with respect to the previous year. In 2017, 12 companies reported this information, compared to 9 last year. On the other hand, other data such as the percentage of people who have returned to work after their maternity/paternity leave or the relation between the average wage of the workers and the local minimum wage of the country in which they carry out their activity have remained at values similar to the last year analysed.

In the thematic section linked to anti-corruption, it is striking that all Ibex 35 organisations include an ethical code in their sustainability reports, but only half of them (51%) report on confirmed cases of corruption and the measures adopted after their identification. As a point of improvement, stock market companies have a complaints channel, however, only 14 of these specifically report information on complaints received, either by type, region, etc.

Evolution in Sustainable Development Goals

With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the entities have focused their efforts on the integration of Agenda 2030 into their business strategy. Taking into account the data obtained in the analysis of the Ibex 35 companies, 80% of them include in their reports a commitment to the SDGs, slightly improving on last year where there were 74% of companies that expressed it, and 77% identify the priority ODS for management.

However, there are still large areas for improvement. For the time being, none of the stock market companies includes specific SDGs training for their employees in their sustainability reports. As for the percentage of these organizations that explain in their reports how they contribute to the priority SDGs is 57%, and the establishment of measurable and quantifiable objectives on their contribution is collected only by 17%.

Referring to the Global Compact entities in Spain, 59% (74% large companies and 54% SMEs) have measures in place to advance the Sustainable Development Goals, although only 27% (37% large companies and 23% SMEs) have carried out an evaluation of the risks and opportunities related to them.