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Human rights

Businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights. We also believe businesses have an important role in supporting and promoting human rights.

Greeting community members
Community engagement is integral to our human rights work.

Hydro respects the human rights of all individuals and groups that may be affected by our operations. This includes employees, contractors, suppliers, agencies, partners, communities, and those affected by the use and disposal of our products. 

Our commitment to respect human rights is guided by internationally recognized human rights and labor standards, including those contained in the International Bill of Human Rights and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (Core Labor Standards).

Our approach is based on key frameworks that define human rights principles for businesses (external links):

Hydro’s major risks to people

We have identified the human rights salient to our operations and which we are most at risk of impacting:

  • Modern slavery, forced labor and child labor abuse
  • Principles of freedom of association and collective bargaining
  • Freedom from discrimination and harassment
  • Decent working conditions
  • Right to privacy
  • Right to health
  • Right to safety
  • Rights of vulnerable individuals and groups
  • Provide information, dialogue and participation
  • Rightful, respectful and lawful resettlement, relocation and repossession

Hydro’s Human rights management

Managing and improving our human rights impact is an ongoing process. You can find more information about Hydro’s human rights management in Hydro’s Human Rights Policy and our Annual Report.

Policy commitment and governance

  • Hydro’s Human Rights Policy was developed in 2013 through a multi-stakeholder process. The policy was updated in 2016 and in 2020. In the most recent update, several internal and external experts were consulted with competence from social responsibility, health, safety and environment, legal, human rights, as well as NGOs. The policy outlines the company’s commitment to respecting human rights. The commitment is integrated in key procedures, including supply chain management, HSE, HR, new projects, and risk management. The policy is approved by Hydro’s Corporate Management Board.
  • Respecting human rights is part of Hydro’s Code of Conduct, with which we expect all of our employees to comply.
  • Hydro’s Code of Conduct is approved and owned by Hydro’s Board of Directors. Hydro’s Governance Documents concerning human rights are approved by the relevant Executive Vice Presidents.
  • We have set minimum requirements relating to human rights to our suppliers. These are stated in Hydro’s Supplier Code of Conduct. We expect our suppliers to comply with and promote the same principles in their own supply chain.
  • We communicate our performance in our Annual report according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. The report also includes our Modern Slavery Transparency Statement.

Due diligence: Identifying, assessing, acting, monitoring and communicating impacts

  • Human rights risk assessments and mitigating action plans are integrated in Hydro’s enterprise risk management process.
  • In line with our risk-based approach, we aim to conduct more thorough stand-alone human rights impact assessments with mitigating action plans where there is a higher risk for adverse human rights impact.
  • Before new projects, major developments or large expansions are undertaken, we aim to conduct risk-based environmental and social impact assessments, when relevant, which include evaluating risks for adverse human rights impacts. We are guided by The IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability in doing so.
  • We have procedures to assess new suppliers against human rights criteria. Where relevant, we conduct risk-based audits and reviews of suppliers, and work to improve supplier performance through corrective action plans or supplier development programs.
  • The Norwegian Transparency Act establishes legal requirements for larger enterprises’ duty to report on the work they do to ensure compliance with fundamental human rights and decent working conditions in the enterprises themselves, in their supply chains and with their business partners. In addition there is also a duty to report on the assessments made to ensure that stakeholders have access to the information. The Act is based on the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) and the OECD’s guidelines for responsible business conduct. Hydro has a company-wide approach to human rights due diligence which is integrated into our governance structure, including the annual ERM process. A description of Hydro’s implementation and the main results of our risk based approach can be found in theHydro Annual Report in the chapters Human Rights and Responsible Supply Chain.

Stakeholder engagement

  • Where relevant, we consult parties we may impact through cause, contribution or linkage in the identification, assessment and management of significant human rights impacts associated with our activities.
  • We engage and collaborate with stakeholders both internally and externally where relevant to help inform us about, and evaluate the effectiveness of, our human rights management. This may include civic organizations, NGOs, unions, local associations, authorities, etc.
  • We also consult with human rights experts knowledgeable about the local territories where we operate or through established partnerships. See more under Industry commitment and collaboration below.
  • We engage in dialogue where relevant with employees’ representatives, employee forums or unions. Hydro has a Global Framework Agreement with international and national unions.
  • Where relevant and in line with our risk-based approach, we have regular dialogue with communities, and more frequent and structured dialogue in communities with higher risk of facing adverse human rights impacts. Read more about community engagement here.
  • We aim to contribute to the economic and social development of our employees, our partners and the communities in which we operate, and promote principles of good governance in doing so. Read more about community development here.

Grievance mechanisms and remediation

To help facilitate informed and effective participation by people who are potentially affected by our operations, we establish or facilitate access to effective grievance mechanisms where relevant.

We encourage, and will not retaliate against, individuals who in good faith raise concerns regarding Hydro’s respect for human rights.

A companywide whistleblower channel AlertLine for reporting concerns involving illegal, unethical or unwanted behavior is available, on an identified or anonymous basis, for employees and on-site contractors. In countries with higher risks for adverse human rights impact to communities according to our risk-based approach, we aim to have local community-based grievance mechanisms.

In situations where we identify adverse human rights impact that we have caused or contributed to, we work to cooperate in, promote access to and/or provide fair remediation.

Hydro is committed to not interfere, retaliate or hinder access to judicial or non-judicial mechanisms. Non-judicial mechanisms include the OECD National Contact Points and the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO).

Industry commitment and collaboration

We recognize the importance of working collaboratively across our industry to promote the respect for, and fulfillment of, human rights. We are members of the International Council on Mining and Metals and the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, and actively participate in working groups related to human rights and social development.

Furthermore, we participate in forums such as the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights and are members of Norwegian KAN (Coalition for responsible business) and the and the Danish Institute for Human Rights’ Nordic Business Network for Human Rights.  

Hydro has had a long-standing partnership with Amnesty International Norway since 2002. The partnership is based on human rights education and dialogue meetings on relevant human rights dilemmas. We also cooperate with the Danish Institute for Human Rights for external expertise to further develop, maintain and strengthen our approach to human rights. As a Signature Partner of UNICEF Norway, we contribute to children and youth education, and discuss how to further integrate respect for children’s rights in our processes and procedures.

Hydro Brazil is also a member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights.

Managing human rights risks

In line with our risk-based approach and major risks to people, we are working closely with specific cases with high human rights risk. We welcome dialogue and encourage you to contact us if you would like to discuss further.  

Many of our risks are described in several human rights impact assessments, which we are continuously working to mitigate. More information can also be found in our Annual Report

I Qatar har vi et joint venture-smelter med Qatar Petroleum, kaldet Qatalum. Det store flertal af Qatalums medarbejdere er vandrende arbejdstagere. Vi stræber efter at sikre gode arbejdsforhold for mennesker, der er ansat direkte hos os, og følge op på betingelserne for kontraktansatte.

Risici inkluderer:

  • Moderne slaveri, tvangsarbejde og misbrug af børnearbejde
  • Anstændige arbejdsforhold
  • Principper for foreningsfrihed og kollektive forhandlinger

Sådan arbejder vi for at mindske risici:

For juridiske enheder, hvor Hydro har mindre end 100 procent af stemmerettighederne, vil Hydros repræsentanter i bestyrelserne eller i andre styrende organer bestræbe sig på at følge principperne og standarderne i Hydros styrende dokumenter. Vi arbejder gennem Qatalums bestyrelse og støtter Qatalum i udviklingen af styrende dokumenter relateret til virksomheders sociale ansvar (CSR) og menneskerettigheder.

GIEK (Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency) foretog en gennemgang af CSR-præstationen i april 2019. GIEK anerkendte forbedringen siden deres sidste besøg i 2016 og fremsatte anbefalinger til yderligere styrkelse af Qatalums styrende dokumenter og dets etablerede procedurer.

I Brasilien er Hydros bauxitmine, Paragominas og aluminiumoxidraffinaderiet, Alunorte, beliggende i staten Pará i det nordlige Brasilien og er forbundet med en 244 km rør af bauxitopslæmning. Beliggende ved siden af Alunorte er det primære aluminiumsværk Albras, hvor Hydro ejer 51 procent. Derudover har Hydro tre aluminiumekstruderingsanlæg i det sydlige Brasilien. Hydro beskæftiger i alt omkring 6.000 faste medarbejdere og 8.000 entreprenørarbejdere (fuldtidsækvivalenter) i Brasilien. Derudover har Hydro en ejerandel på 5 procent i Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN) og off-take-aftaler med Vale for yderligere 40 procent af bauxitvolumen produceret af MRN.

Risici inkluderer:

  • Sårbare enkeltpersoners og gruppers rettigheder
  • Giv information, dialog og deltagelse
  • Retmæssig, respektfuld og lovlig genbosættelse, flytning og tilbagetagelse

Sådan arbejder vi for at mindske risici:

Vi har en række sociale og samfundsprojekter i de samfund, hvor vi arbejder for at styrke lokalsamfundene gennem uddannelse og kapacitetsopbygning og drive økonomisk vækst. Gennem et struktureret interessentengagement stræber vi efter at have en åben dialog og fremme gennemsigtighed med lokale institutioner og samfund. I 2019 blev der gennemført over 200 samfundsdialogmøder med samfund ved siden af vores operationer i staten Pará. Vi fortsætter med at implementere et Open-Door-program, hvilket letter systematisk besøg hos vores enheder fra hovedinteressenter. Vi havde over 1800 besøgende gennem dette program i 2019.

For bedre at forstå vores indflydelse gennemfører den brasilianske konsulentvirksomhed Proactiva i øjeblikket en grundig vurdering af virkningerne af menneskerettighederne i Pará, Brasilien. Due diligence dækker Alunorte aluminiumoxidraffinaderi, Albras primære aluminiumproducent og Paragominas bauxitmine, inklusive rørledningen. Resultaterne vil omfatte afbødende tiltag, der vil blive gennemført i de kommende år. Arbejdet er integreret i de forskellige områder og overvåges af en PMO. Vi øger yderligere vores engagement med centrale brasilianske menneskerettighedsinteressenter.

Uafklarede spørgsmål er fortsat relateret til identifikation af enkeltpersoner, der er direkte påvirket af opførelsen af en 244 km lang bauxitrørledning, der krydser områder beboet af traditionelle Quilombola-grupper i Jambuaçu-territoriet i Pará. Disse spørgsmål vedrører tiden, før Hydro blev ejer, og den tidligere ejer af rørledningen er stadig den juridiske part. Hydro opretholder sine forbindelser med Quilombola-repræsentanter gennem dedikeret personale og samarbejder med Fundação Cultural Palmares for at fremme dialogen og etablere en positiv dagsorden inden for Quilombola-området. Palmares-stiftelsen er det brasilianske agentur med ansvar for Quilombolas-anliggender. I øjeblikket arbejder Hydro sammen med forskellige interessenter, herunder, men ikke begrænset til, Palmares, Quilombola-samfund og staten Pará for at etablere en aftale, der søger at afhjælpe virkningerne.

Gennem Moju Sustainable Territory-programmet i Jambuaçu Territory har vi truffet foranstaltninger for at støtte lokale foreninger langs rørledningen for at styrke deres juridiske, administrative og regeringsstruktur. Programmet består i øjeblikket af flere foreninger med planer om at udvide til andre interesserede Jambuaçu-foreninger i 2020.

I Barcarena, også i Pará, i et område omkring Hydros aktiviteter og reguleret til industrielle formål, er ulovlig skovhugst og uregelmæssige bosættelser accelereret siden 2016. Hverken myndighederne eller Hydro ønsker bosættelse i området. Derudover er der fremsat beskyldninger fra lokale grupper om potentielle miljøpåvirkninger.

I kommunen Oriximiná i Pará, Brasilien, hvor MRN-bauxitminen er placeret, er der en løbende tvist mellem Quilombola-samfund og de brasilianske myndigheder om ejendomsret til jord ejet af den føderale regering. Det område, som disse samfund gør krav på, omfatter visse områder, der planlægges udvundet af MRN i fremtiden, men MRN er ikke en juridisk part i denne konflikt.

Hydro interagerer med MRN gennem bestyrelsens udvalg for at anmode om, at omfanget af den planlagte miljømæssige og sociale konsekvensanalyse (ESIA) og Quilombola-høringsprocesser til udvidelsesprojektet overholder lokale, nationale og internationale standarder. MRN beskæftiger sig i øjeblikket med at forstå og reagere på lokale interessenters forventninger med hensyn til bekymring over virkningerne af MRN's aktiviteter på lokalsamfund. MRN støtter også Sustainable Territories Program, et socialt program til fremme af langsigtet udvikling af traditionelle samfund i Oriximiná.

Hydro har mere end 30.000 aktive leverandører globalt. De fleste er placeret i de samme lande som vores produktionsfaciliteter.

Risici inkluderer:

  • Moderne slaveri, tvangsarbejde, misbrug af børnearbejde
  • Anstændige arbejdsforhold
  • Ret til sundhed og sikkerhed

Sådan arbejder vi for at mindske risici:

Vi har sat minimumskrav til vores leverandører vedrørende menneskerettigheder. Disse er angivet i Hydros leverandørkodeks . Vi forventer, at vores leverandører overholder og fremmer de samme principper i deres egen forsyningskæde. Læs mere om ansvarlig forsyningskæde her.

Baseret på vores proces for due diligence-integritet vurderer vi nye leverandører ud fra menneskerettighedskriterier. Vi gennemfører risikobaseret revision og gennemgang af leverandører og arbejder for at forbedre leverandørens ydeevne gennem korrigerende handlingsplaner eller leverandørudviklingsprogrammer. Cirka 100 revisioner udføres hvert år afhængigt af risiko.

Manglende overholdelse eller overtrædelse af principperne i Hydros leverandørkodeks, som ikke kan rettes inden for en rimelig periode, kan føre til opsigelse af leverandøraftalen. I 2019 opsagde vi f.eks. En kontrakt med en af vores metalleverandører. Hydro var bekymret over metalleverandørens overholdelse af principperne, men fik ikke tilladelse til at revidere leverandørens drift.


Due diligence: processen til at identificere, forebygge, afbøde og redegøre for, hvordan Hydro håndterer faktiske og potentielle negative påvirkninger i vores egen drift og forsyningskæde

Væsentlige spørgsmål: de menneskerettigheder, der er i fare for den mest alvorlige negative påvirkning fra Hydros aktiviteter eller leverandører

Større risiko for mennesker: fremtrædende menneskerettighedsspørgsmål, som vores operationer har størst risiko for at påvirke

Risiko for mennesker: Risiko for potentielle eller negative menneskerettighedsrelaterede påvirkninger

Risikobaseret: prioritering baseret på højeste sværhedsgrad og sandsynlighed for en negativ påvirkning

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