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Key Points

  • In close coordination with workers, workers’ organizations, and unions, public reporting should first and foremost include a description and discussion of all elements of the social compliance system—from the code of conduct to community and multi-stakeholder involvement, risk assessment, training, auditing, remediation, independent verification, and efforts to address root causes.

  • A company’s public reporting on its social compliance program may be a stand-alone report or part of a broader sustainability or CSR report. It may be published in hard copy, on a company’s website, or both; some companies publish both an annual or other regular hard-copy report and post updates online.

  • Public reporting can help to ensure accountability and build trust between consumers, companies, workers organizations, and more, even if they do not reveal a perfect social compliance record.

  • Several laws enacted at state, federal, and international levels, such as Canada’s Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act, the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act and the pending EU Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, have mandated certain disclosures for companies subject to those laws. See Legal Compliance for more information on public disclosure legislation.

  • The worker-driven social compliance team should designate a person to lead the reporting process, with other team members assigned to assist. That person will coordinate with the team but also with the other business units throughout the company. Some companies work with an external service provider to develop the report or integrate external stakeholders who serve as advisors to the team or as members of the team. Including input from workers’ organizations in the report drafting process is essential to preserving the report’s integrity.

  • Beyond the important need for transparency, reports provide companies of all sizes the much needed context with which to engage consumers, stakeholders, and the public on its efforts, successes and challenges, and need for additional action.

Key Topics

Examples in Action

Further Resources

  1. Fair Labor Association. Workplace Monitoring Reports. [Online, accessed August 4, 2020]. 
  2. Google. Google Transparency Report. [Online, accessed August 4, 2020]. 
  3. Global Reporting Initiative, the UN Global Compact and Realizing Rights. Corporate Human Rights Reporting: An Analysis of Current Trends. The Ethical Globalization Initiative. [Online, accessed November 2009].
  4. HP. Sustainable Impact. [Online, accessed August 4, 2020].  
  5. Nestlé. Tackling Child Labor. 2019 Report. [Online, accessed August 4, 2023].