To begin to answer the question ‘How can we measure company contributions to peacebuilding’, PeaceNexus has developed the Peacebuilding Business Criteria (PBBC) to illustrate how companies can support peacebuilding. The PBBC are informed by industry guidelines, human rights principles and ESG assessment methodologies but go beyond. They show how companies can adapt their business model to conflict-prone environments through more inclusive risk management and innovative thinking.
This set of criteria is being developed within the PeaceNexus Business and Peace team in order to simplify and harmonise competing conceptions of what is required of a business in order to be classified as engaging in peacebuilding. This serves as the foundation of an index and a targeted investment mechanism to enhance the peacebuilding impact of the PeaceNexus endowment fund.
The PBBC focus on six areas of company policy and action, i.e. labour, sourcing, community relations, governance, products and security. The PBBC describe the action companies can undertake to help stabilise fragile contexts.
We use a set of 10 questions to introduce the main themes of the PBBC. The questions were mainly developed for companies with operations in fragile states. They are meant to raise awareness about key issues in complex environments and to check companies’ levels of conflict-sensitivity.
The following questions do not capture the full scope of the peacebuilding criteria, but rather provide a light introduction to the main themes as a means to start a conversation on the important issues.
- Do you conduct a systematic process of conflict analysis and stakeholder mapping to inform your business decisions?
- Do you conduct regular monitoring and stakeholder consultation to allow local actors to express concerns about your activities and provide effective grievance and remediation mechanisms?
- Do your business’ hiring practices aim to promote social inclusiveness and create jobs for the local population?
- Does your business conduct high levels of due diligence to ensure that no business in your supply chains is contributing to violent conflict?
- Do you target your social investment to address the needs of communities affected by your operations in a way that benefits all groups in those communities?
- Do you take a consultative approach, premised on broad community acceptance, to acquiring or accessing land for your business?
- Do you work with government, other businesses, and community stakeholders to promote international standards on human rights, governance and the environment?
- Do you incorporate performance standards related to conflict-sensitivity or peace promotion (such as maintaining good stakeholder relations, or conducting thorough due diligence) into contracts, at both the operational and executive level?
- Do you adapt your business model in favour of specific needs of consumers and producers in fragile and conflict-prone contexts?
- Do you engage with police and militia to develop a sustainable and inclusive security approach around your operations and neighbouring communities?
Based on the PBBC we produced a pilot Peacebuilding Company Index (PBCI) in collaboration with the ESG-rating agency Covalence. The pilot index ranked 100 multinational corporates businesses by their peacebuilding performance. PeaceNexus is committed to further developing the methodology with partners, with the objective of using it to select companies that would be eligible for a Peace Investment Fund.