18.1.2021 Article

Paulig was selected in the SIHTI (Status of Human Rights Performance of Finnish Companies) research. Human rights is a topical issue and extremely important for all companies. At Paulig, we believe that collaboration is key in building a better future. We support the EU-level human rights due diligence for all businesses. However, the change starts from yourself and I would like to elaborate how we use the SIHTI study to further develop our human rights work at Paulig.

What is SIHTI all about? 

SIHTI (Status of Human Rights Performance of Finnish Companies) is a project under the Government of Finland’s research, analysis and assessment activities. The purpose of SIHTI is to obtain a comprehensive and in-depth overview of how Finnish companies are fulfilling their human rights responsibility, i.e. how they have implemented the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The study is based on publicly available information and the methodology of the project is the international Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB).  

How did Paulig score? 

Paulig’s result is 25.6 / 100 points, which is a typical result for companies who are assessed against the benchmark for the first time. In the global comparison of the agricultural products sector, we had above average performance in acknowledging human rights, implementing policies into processes as well as noticing and mitigating the essential human rights risks. We also scored well in embedding Respect and Human Rights Due Diligence. 

The result indicates that we have made a right choice to further develop our human rights management model. We will have to improve our governance model and grievance mechanisms.  

Human rights is a complex topic and challenging to measure. There is no absolute instrument for evaluating e.g. the likelihood of different human rights risks. However, it is important that we have common principles and methods to benchmark the human rights work. The comprehensive management models in this sustainability area is still under development worldwide. When it comes to the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark of this study, we have globally only few best practice companies. They are a good inspiration to all of us.  

Now we have Paulig’s results but what’s next? I have a couple of theses regarding the topic: 

1. Form a clear view and understanding of your current status 

At Paulig, our owners have a long-term interest in doing business in a way that respects human rights and it has been one of the focus areas in our sustainability work for years. 

We have important foundations in place such as our Ethical Principles, with which we are committed to respecting the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights in all our operations. We also apply a diligent process when assessing our suppliers. We evaluate the sustainability risks related to suppliers through country risk assessments, supplier self-assessments and audits. The Paulig Code of Conduct for Suppliers stipulates the minimum requirements suppliers must abide by.  

In April 2020, we became an amfori member, which enables us to influence global decision-making, effectively promote well-being throughout the supply chain, scale external verifications in our supply chain and collaborate with others.  

Paulig has quite recently changed its operating model and we are in the beginning of our journey when it comes to comprehensive, harmonised  human rights work in all our operations and  value chains. We are harmonizing our ways of working across our operating countries and business units. We are building a common platform for the development work. Our sourcing has already showed good results of this collaboration. 

2. Define your targets and actions 

In our sustainability roadmap, we have the following plans in terms of human rights: 

  • All our raw materials from high-risk areas will come from sustainable sources verified by external partners by 2030. We have already reached this target in coffee and in the coming years we are extending the work into spices. 
  • We will define our human rights principles and build a human rights management model. 
  • We are developing the knowledge of the human rights topics in our entire organisation.  

If we implement these three actions successfully, I am confident that we will have needed platform, structure and tools in place to continuously improve the management of the human rights within our value chain.  

3. Find inspiration for further development from small achievements  

I am extremely happy that we have frameworks like CHRB. There are many parts in the study that fit well to Paulig’s business and our framework. We can see that we are on the right path and the study has helped us to identify some development areas that are relevant for us. The CHRB methodology spurs us in reaching even higher targets.  

The work within human rights means constant development. It requires collaboration and transparency. At Paulig, we are welcoming you to discuss these topics with us! 


Read more about our Sustainability and Human Rights work:  

Read more about SIHTI


Lea Rankinen, Director, Sustainability and Public Affairs

Lea Rankinen


Sustainability and Public Affairs



Working together and sharing the same ambitions lead to a bigger impact.”