Human rights

Maersk is committed to respecting human rights, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and as a member of the UN Global Compact.

Why human rights matter

We recognise that our conduct in our own business and across our value chain through our business relationships has the potential to significantly impact society – both positively and negatively. This recognition is tightly connected with our purpose “Improving life for all by integrating the world”. Increasing regulation and growing stakeholder expectations relating to human rights also confirm that this is an area where Maersk can and should take a lead.

Many of our ESG commitments touch on human rights: from our action on climate change and our focus on sustainable supply chains, to the way we use data and build and recycle our vessels. In our ESG Strategy, human rights both informs and guides several ESG categories, and is a category in its own right, ensuring that we have the right level of oversight and engagement.

Our human rights targets

Develop action plans addressing the salient human rights risks identified in our human rights assessment
Formalise Maersk’s human rights governance framework

Our ambition

We will continue to align our business practices with the UN Guiding Principles and ensure that human rights considerations are integrated into our due diligence processes and ESG governance mechanisms.
Human rights

How we work with human rights

Our work to respect human rights is managed across many different business areas, for example HR, HSSE, Global Employee Relations, Sustainable Procurement and Compliance. Alignment on human rights risks and management is anchored in Commit, our central governance system. Our ESG governance framework ensures that human rights are captured in our strategy, and there is the appropriate level of Board engagement and oversight. We engage regularly with stakeholders, including rights-holders, on how we manage our human rights responsibilities.

Maersk Human Rights Policy

Maersk's Human Rights Policy Statement outlines our commitment to respect human rights based on international standards, and is complemented by our Employee and Supplier Codes of Conduct.

Determining our key risks

We conduct human rights assessments to understand our potential and actual human rights risks and impacts in our operations and across our value chain. In 2021 we refreshed our understanding of our salient human rights risks via a corporate-wide human rights assessment.

Our prioritized salient human rights impacts are:

  • Working conditions: wages, benefits & hours (in the supply chain)
  • Working conditions: workers accommodation (in the supply chain)
  • Health & safety (in the supply chain)
  • Violence & harassment at work
  • Access to remedy
  • Impacts of climate change & decarbonization

We continue to define action plans and prioritise areas for action based on our risk assessments. We will continue efforts to improve due diligence on high-risk suppliers and strengthening our grievance mechanisms. We are also working to better understand emerging issues linked to our growth strategy, including data ethics and just transition.

Our rightsholders

Our rightsholders are our employees (including seafarers), third-party contractors, supply chain workers, local communities and broader global society.

Committing to a just transition

We understand that global action on climate change may have unintended impacts on peoples’ rights and livelihoods, and that new supply chains (for example biofuel sourcing) may affect communities.

We are therefore taking a human-centred approach to our decarbonisation strategy. We will adhere to international human rights standards and actively engage with all stakeholder groups and policy debates to ensure that the energy transition is a just transition.

Maersk Sustainability Report 2021

Read more about our progress on environmental, social and governance dimensions in our latest Sustainability Report.
Maersk sustainability report

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Learn more about A.P. Moller - Maersk, our values, leadership, our history and more.