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Gunvor moves to integrate un human rights principles

Energy trader completes human rights review by management consultant twentyfifty

Gunvor Group, one of the largest global physical energy commodities traders, has completed a human rights review with respected human rights and management consultant twentyfifty in order to establish a practical path for integrating the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the UNGPs).

Gunvor’s review anticipates upcoming guidance by the Swiss government for how commodities traders should adopt the UNGPs, which set out the duties of governments to protect people against human rights abuses by business, and for businesses to identify and address their impacts on human rights.

“As a global physical energy trader and industrial asset owner, Gunvor has a responsibility to uphold human rights and serve as a good corporate citizen,” said Gunvor Group CEO Torbjörn Törnqvist. “We have been working with twentyfifty to identify how best to apply the UNGPs to our business, in line with the upcoming guidance from the Swiss federal government. In fact, in many areas, we’ve already taken action.”

Gunvor has begun to apply the UNGPs to its operations, including in practice, training and updated contractual terms. In 2017, Gunvor conducted a gap analysis of its business against the UNGPs, often known as the “Ruggie” principles after their author. During the last year, twentyfifty has conducted an independent review of Gunvor’s activities, including:

  • Gunvor’s internal gap analysis against the UNGPs
  • Gunvor’s approach to counterparty due diligence (“transaction analysis”)
  • Identification and management of human impacts at Gunvor’s industrial assets

twentyfifty identified Gunvor’s existing good practices in the areas of health, safety, environment, human rights and community (HSEC) and counterparty due diligence, along with further opportunities to integrate human rights due diligence into investment appraisal and monitoring. Gunvor is now compiling a long-term plan based on twentyfifty’s review to further integrate the UNGPs into its global businesses.

“Physical commodities trading is an extraordinarily complex industry when it comes to human rights topics, given the myriad of transaction types and wide range of business relationships,” says Luke Wilde, CEO of twentyfifty. “We are enjoying working with Gunvor to rise to the challenge of turning the theory of human rights due diligence into practical action in the energy trading sector.”

The Swiss guidance for the commodities trading industry will be launched at the UN Forum in Geneva on November 28, 2018. Gunvor has contributed its experience into the development of the guidance, which was led by the Institute for Human Rights and Business, with representatives from Swiss authorities, Swiss NGOs, and the private sector.

About twentyfifty
Founded in 2004, twentyfifty ltd. is a business consultancy with offices in the UK, Germany and Switzerland and operating globally. It guides its clients in identifying and addressing their impacts on human rights, and leading change that serves the business and society. It has an extensive portfolio of blue chip clients in the extractives, food and agriculture and technology and science sectors.

About Gunvor Group
Gunvor Group is one of the world’s largest independent commodities trading houses by turnover, creating logistics solutions that safely and efficiently move physical energy from where it is sourced and stored to where it is demanded most. With strategic investments in industrial infrastructure—refineries, pipelines, storage, terminals, mining and upstream—Gunvor further generates sustainable value across the global supply chain for its customers. More information can be found at or @Gunvor.

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