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Honoring Human Rights Day at HPE

Today, in honor of Human Rights Day, HPE reaffirms its steadfast commitment to uphold the respect for human rights throughout our company and global operations. While we know our work in this area will continue to evolve over the years, today we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the progress we have made as an organization to uphold our ongoing commitment to – and promotion of – the internationally recognized United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Global Compact, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

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HPE’s predecessor, the Hewlett Packard Company, was an early adopter of the UNGP framework, committing to the UNGPs nine years ago, in 2011.  In doing so, HP recognized the responsibility companies have to uphold and protect rights and dignity for all by The UNGPs clearly lay out the responsibility of government to protect human rights, the responsibility of business to respect human rights, and a joint responsibility to remedy if rights are not upheld.

In 2011, HP established our approach to managing respect for human rights through the publication of our first-ever Global Human Rights Policy. HPE has proudly carried on that legacy of commitment to respect the rights of all.  HPE demonstrates leadership in areas such as preventing and detecting forced labor in the supply chain, promoting inclusion and diversity, and responsibly sourcing minerals. We promote the UNGPs among our partners and suppliers, and are founding members of many groups that guide the principles, including the Responsible Business Alliance, the Leadership Group on Responsible Recruitment, the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, and the Responsible Minerals Initiative.

In 2019, we completed our latest company-wide Human Rights Impact Assessment with independent experts from Article One in order to better understand our risks, identify gaps in our due diligence, and update our strategy and processes. The assessment helped to identify six most salient human rights risks for the company, including: responsible product development, responsible product use, modern slavery, responsible sourcing of minerals, water management, and inclusion and diversity. As a result, the right to freedom of movement, freedom of expression, non-discrimination, privacy, and fair and equal treatment have been of top priority for our recent efforts.

Over the last year, we’ve worked with teams from across our business in order to prioritize these risk areas and respond to new challenges. We established new risk-sensing and due diligence processes related to responsible product development for HPE’s latest advances in artificial intelligence. We have also worked in partnership with our suppliers to elevate worker well-being during the pandemic, which heightened vulnerabilities for workers around the globe. We improved our tools for identifying forced labor in the supply chain and supported the repayment of recruitment fees to workers who were wrongfully charged on condition for their employment. Lastly, this year we provided new opportunities for our staff to volunteer with NGOs to combat modern slavery in the communities where they live and work. As we learn more, we update our processes and share best practices and challenges with peers, suppliers, and partners.

Our efforts have been recognized. In 2020 we achieved a top ranking in KnowTheChain, second in the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, a near perfect score in Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and were rated as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere.

2021 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and HPE’s 10-year commitment to – and promotion of – the UNGPs. These principles continue to guide and shape our work and have arguably never been more relevant. Throughout 2021, we will share additional information, announcements, and examples of how we exercise and elevate our respect for human rights.

Please join us today in celebrating Human Rights Day, and later next year, as we celebrate the upcoming 10th anniversary of the UNGPs and our ten year commitment to them.

For more information on our Human Rights efforts at HPE, read our latest Living Progress Report.

 

Glenn Leon
Senior Vice President, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

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