Respecting human rights

Imperial’s commitment to respecting human rights is embedded throughout our corporate policies, practices and expectations. Our practices are guided by the goals of universally recognized human rights principles and support our integrated approach to identifying and mitigating potential human rights impacts of our activities. We strive to have a positive influence on our workforce and in the communities where we operate. Imperial condemns human rights violations in any form. We do not utilize forced or compulsory labour in our operations and forbid the use of children in our workforce.

Our respect for the rights of our workforce and those within the communities where we operate is embedded throughout our corporate policies, practices and expectations and reflect the spirit and intent of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also support the International Labour Organization 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (ILO Declaration,) including:

  • Freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
  • Elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour.
  • Effective abolition of child labour.
  • Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Our policies and practices also incorporate elements of the 2011 U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework for the distinct but complementary roles of businesses’ and governments’ regarding human rights including commitments, due diligence and access to remedy.

Integration into our policies and practices

While Imperial is not a formal signatory to the U.N. Global Compact, a voluntary corporate initiative in support of U.N. goals, our Standards of Business Conduct incorporates key elements of the pact. 

  • Our statement on labour and the workplace reinforces Imperial’s commitment to providing positive, productive and supportive work environments. Additionally, our Standards of Business Conduct provide a framework for responsible operations and are consistent with the spirit and intent of the ILO Declaration.
  • Our statement of supplier, vendor and contractor expectations call for the operations and business practices of these entities to be conducted in a manner consistent with the ILO Declaration, which recognizes freedom of association and includes the elimination of child labor, forced labor and workplace discrimination. They also communicate our expectations of respecting human rights in a manner consistent with the goals of the UNGP. Our suppliers, vendors and contractors are held to stringent compliance, anti-corruption, non-conflict, safety and other guidelines in order to remain in good standing.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

In addition, we believe Indigenous reconciliation is the responsibility of all Canadians, including businesses. Imperial’s commitment to positive and progressive Indigenous relations is supported by our guiding principles and four Indigenous pillars of engagement, focused on consultation, workforce development, business development and community relations. Our consultation efforts are reflective of the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Imperial’s operations are located in Canada where the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom and provincial human rights legislation protects Canadians’ rights to be treated equally under the law.

Reinforced through training

Employees are introduced to the Standards of Business Conduct, which include Imperial’s foundation policies, upon commencement of employment. During employment, employees are reminded of the Standards of Business Conduct annually. Business practices training is required for employees every four years. This includes training on select foundation policies such as Ethics, as well as complaint procedures and open-door communication.

Due diligence

Our practices support early identification and assessment of potential human rights impacts, along with other potential socioeconomic impacts and opportunities associated with our activities. We work to avoid or reduce any human rights or socioeconomic risks through comprehensive planning, effective mitigation, monitoring and other measures. Our socioeconomic management practices are guided by our corporate Environmental Aspects Guide (EAG) and consistent with our Environment Policy and Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS).

Access to remedy

We help provide effective, accessible and culturally appropriate channels for individuals or communities to raise concerns through our community and operations-level grievance management processes, as well as our complaint procedures and open-door communication for employees.

Related content