Mondelēz International and twentyfifty have partnered together working on human rights for over 10 years. In 2019 twentyfifty worked with Mondelēz to assess their Human Rights Due Diligence practices and develop a human rights work plan to further their ambition. One of the key recommendations was to conduct some comprehensive Human Rights Impact Assessments in key manufacturing locations to better understand existing risks and practices on the ground.
Key success factors
Leadership of Change
At the time Mondelēz needed more visibility over their human rights risks on the ground and of the forced labour risk in particular. The sites identified were in Thailand and Malaysia. Conscious of the limitations of social audits and having already conducted some desktop research on their potential risks the team at Mondelēz decided to commission twentyfifty to conduct two human rights impact assessments. The objectives were to deepen their understanding of the potential issues on the ground, of the due diligence systems in place and see how they could galvanise other teams internally on those topics.
twentyfifty conducted the impact assessments using experts in the field and using our own state of the art impact assessment methodology. This methodology includes participatory worker interview techniques designed to put workers at ease during assessments. Building trust with local teams early on and making sure we were aligned on the objectives of the assessments was crucial. twentyfifty also adapted the assessment approach each day based on the learnings of the previous day and in agreement with the local management teams. We shared our findings and co-constructed an action plan with the two sites over several iterations. This regular communication with the site management was extremely important and ensured that they took ownership of the assessment and of follow up.
The two assessments helped the sites get a better understanding of their potential human rights risks (forced labour risks in particular) and of their maturity in terms of due diligence. Those findings complemented the findings coming from previous social audits and showed the value of conducting impact assessments.
There have also been other positive and longer-term implications for the company. By providing tangible information on the strengths and areas for improvements of local sites they contributed to engage senior leaders in the company on the human rights agenda and set up a new senior human rights committee.