Can creativity and communications accelerate corporate human rights? We decided to find out
Early in 2017, while reading through BSR and Globescan’s annual Sustainability Survey, something hit a nerve among our team at Tea & Water. Human rights was being reported as the number one priority for sustainability leaders around the world and yet the tools being used to tackle and talk about it had hardly evolved beyond a corporate policy. With our curiosity well and truly sparked, we started to wonder how this could be the case.
Human rights in business is an incredibly complex issue to talk about and many businesses are still trying to get to grips with implementing the UN Guiding Principles. But it’s also one of the most deeply personal issues on the sustainability agenda and one that impacts each of us, and society at large, in literally life-changing ways. Since we love a good problem to tackle, and have a network of clever and diverse people to tap into, we started to ask questions. Lots of them, to everyone we could find.
After several months of insight-mining, client Q&As, coffee shop chats, and the odd glass of wine, we started to collate some of our opinions on how creativity and communications could become valuable tools in furthering human rights agendas within businesses. Better still, we asked some of the most interesting people we could find to give their perspectives too.
The result is our Perspectives: Making Business Human-First, available to download here. It includes interviews with Céline Gilart, the inspirational head of social impact at Twinings; Daniel D’Ambrosio, an innovative human rights lawyer at DLA Piper; Anant Ahuja, who drives organisational development at India’s biggest garment manufacturer; Louise Nicholls, the brilliantly knowledgeable head of human rights at Marks & Spencer; Kim Yeshi, founder of a luxury textile social enterprise in Tibet; and Phanella Mayall Fine, who is supercharging women’s careers across London with the Step Up Club.
We hope this collection of ideas, inspiration and perspectives opens up a conversation on how possible it is to innovate the way we talk about human rights in order to inspire action and drive benefits for companies, workers, and communities. By bringing together diverse global opinions from all sides of the value chain, this document lives and breathes the spirit of collaboration and listening that we value so highly at Tea & Water. If you would like to join us in the conversation please reach out, we’d love to hear from you.