Business Learning

Under the Business Learning Program, Shift works with a small number of select business participants that are serious about implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Participants come from different industry sectors and different regions of the world. They typically work with Shift over two to three years. The program combines:

  • Tailored advice and support to each participant on their main priorities for implementing the UN Guiding Principles;
  • Collective, cross-industry workshops that explore in depth shared challenges with regard to business and human rights.

The workshops are run twice a year, jointly with the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School. We produce a range of public outputs from these workshops, summarizing key points, practical approaches and lessons learned, which are available under Program Resources on the right hand side of this page (or via the Shift Resources section). 

In 2012, our workshops focused on the challenges in embedding respect for human rights throughout a company, and on respecting rights in global supply chains. In 2013, they explored the implications of bringing a human rights lens to stakeholder engagement, and creative ways for companies to build and use leverage to prevent and address human rights risks. In 2014, our workshops addressed the role of remedy and grievance mechanisms under the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, as well as human rights due diligence in high-risk circumstances. In 2015 they looked at the role of formal human rights reporting and brought the lens of the UN Guiding Principles to bear on three leading human rights issues: the nexus between forced and migrant labor, land-related impacts, and privacy-related impacts.  

Shift periodically produces other resources that bring together the wider learning from this work to make it publicly available. 

In assessing the seriousness of a company's commitment to implementation of the Guiding Principles, Shift considers a range of relevant factors including evidence of high-level commitment, organizational capacity, and support for Shift's broader educational purposes. 

Current participants in the program are:

  • ABN AMRO
  • Coca-Cola Company
  • Ericsson
  • Fujitsu
  • H&M
  • HEINEKEN Group
  • Hitachi
  • L'Oréal
  • NEXT
  • PepsiCo
  • Statoil
  • Total
  • Unilever
  • Volvo Group
  • Wells Fargo