Our approach


Embedding respect for human rights

We are committed to respecting and protecting human rights as defined in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These include universal human rights such as freedom of thought, opinion, expression, religion and the right to assemble peacefully, as well as freedom from any discrimination based on gender, age, ethnicity, race, nationality, family ties, religion, political opinion, trade union affiliation, disability, sexual orientation or other similar aspects relating to a person.

We acknowledge our responsibility to address human rights issues in our value chain. This entails a commitment to identify and prevent any harm caused to people, conduct continuous human rights due diligence, and in a case a breaches, to put things right. Our human rights work is based on the UN Guiding Principles of Human Rights and Business and is guided by our Code of Conduct and its associated policies, rules and guidelines. We expect a similar commitment from our suppliers and third parties, as defined in our Supplier and Third-Party Code.

Respecting and promoting human rights is led from the top and embedded in our compliance system

Our human rights work begins with identifying potential risks. The main emphasis of our compliance system is on preventive actions, which are based on an annual risk management cycle and risk assessments conducted in all businesses and operations. Human rights related issues are regularly reported to our Audit Committee and the Board of Directors.

Our human resources and sourcing teams are accountable for ensuring that human rights are respected within our operations and supply chain. Our Compliance team is responsible for the compliance system and for implementation of our Code of Conduct and related policies and rules globally. The team co-operates closely with the corporate Responsibility team, Internal audit and the businesses to ensure strategic development, assurance and best practise sharing.

It is vital that we have clear policies which define the expectations of ourselves and our business partners with regard to human rights. The policies, internal and external audits, our whistleblowing channel and capacity building activities form the basis of our risk mitigation. Should any of our stakeholders, including our own employees, have concerns or suspect any misconduct or abuse of human rights, they are encouraged to contact UPM’s Stakeholder Relations or use the UPM Report Misconduct channel. This channel is confidential and anonymous.

We believe in capacity building and collaborative action

An integral part of our approach to preventing and addressing human rights risks is internal capacity building and collaborative action. We focus on creating awareness, engagement and effective implementation of human rights policies across all our businesses. Our corporate compliance model ensures that human rights topics are embedded into everyday work in all our businesses and that best practice is shared.

As human rights challenges are often systemic, we are also active in collaboration forums. Forums like the United Nations Global Compact and its action platforms, the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative, and collaboration with Shift, the leading centre of expertise in UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights help us to manage human rights issues and ultimately make a difference.


UPM in Uruguay sets a great example of the extent of contractor management