Business principles

for people-centered

technology transformation

Putting people at the heart of the future of work.​

WBCSD’s Principles aim to ensure technology transformation benefits the workforce, now and in the future.

The challenge

With society and technology changing faster than ever before, WBCSD is working towards a vision of the Future of Work where people thrive – personally, professionally, and as active members of their communities. A future with inclusive workforces that are secure, motivated, skilled and prepared for any challenge that comes next. Where people’s lives are enriched by advancing technology. And where society can prosper from equal access to new opportunities. ​

Workers are at the frontline of technology transformation

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Companies make technology-related decisions ever day that impact workers’ rights, wellbeing and futures

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In the face of rapid tech evolution, impacts on the workforce can be underestimated or overlooked

Workers are at the frontline of technology transformation

"

Companies make technology-related decisions ever day that impact workers’ rights, wellbeing and futures

"

In the face of rapid tech evolution, impacts on the workforce can be underestimated or overlooked

In response to this challenge, 22 leading companies have come together through WBCSD’s Future of Work Project to develop a shared set of principles to ensure technology transformation benefits the workforce, now and in the future.

Business principles for people-centered technology transformation ​

By adopting these Principles, companies commit to: ​

Implement policies to ensure respect for workers’ human rights in relation to the development and implementation of new technology. ​

Conduct effective due diligence to identify current and potential human rights impacts of new technology on workers, considering the diversity and future inclusion of those workers.​

Be accountable for any negative human rights impacts of new technology on workers and provide channels for effective remediation. ​

Communicate transparently on the anticipated current and future impacts, challenges and opportunities related to new technology for the workforce and how companies are preparing for the associated transitions.

Consult openly with the workforce and relevant stakeholders to understand and address their expectations and concerns related to the impact of new technology on workers and their work. ​

Involve the workforce when designing, adopting and working with new technologies. ​

Prepare the workforce ahead of technology implementation by enabling workers to envision their future roles, equipping them with new skills, and providing access to lifelong learning, training and support.​

Enable inclusion by ensuring under-represented groups are fully engaged and benefit equally from the opportunities that arise from new technology. ​

Drive equality by fairly sharing the benefits of technology-driven improvements in work quality and productivity with all workers. ​

Objectives of the Principles​

The Principles provide a touchstone that all companies can align to when their workforce faces impacts from the development and implementation of new technologies.

Adopting the Principles will help companies:

Clarify the business responsibility towards their direct workforce and workers in their supply chain, based on the positions of leading companies.

Take a clear and transparent position on technology and their workforce, and build trust with current and future workers and stakeholders.

Ensure that business decisions lead to people being respected, engaged and empowered for a positive future of work. ​

Applying the Principles enables companies to ensure the ongoing trust, preparedness and resilience of their own workforce, attract and retain the best talent, stay ahead of the curve on expectations and regulations, and contribute to a thriving workforce, company, labor market and society.

Scope of the Principles​

These Principles aim to fill a specific gap by focusing on the impact of technology transformation on workers and how work is carried out.

The Principles apply to any technology that impacts a company’s direct employees, contract and temporary workers, and workers throughout their supply. ​

This can include automation, digitization, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, information and communication technologies (ICT), platform technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality, 3D/4D printing, and more. ​

Audience of the Principles​

The Principles can be applied by any business embarking on technology transformation initiatives.

They are particularly relevant to:

Senior Executives

Senior Executives setting technology transformation agendas and positioning their companies’ responses to the future of work.

Technology and Innovation leaders

Technology and Innovation leaders guiding the procurement, strategy, planning or implementation of new technology in the workplace and supply chain.

Human Resource leaders

Human Resource leaders shaping hiring practices, job redesign, upskilling or redeployment of workers in response to and making use of new technology. ​

Procurement leaders

Procurement leaders responsible for sourcing temporary and other forms of employment in the supply chain using new technology. ​

In addition, the Principles can be used as a reference for employees and stakeholders to better understand the responsibilities of a company towards workers when applying new technologies that impact work and the workers.

Quotes from CEOs​

"C.P. Group will join hands with WBCSD and its members to promote an inclusive ‘Future of Work’ through constructive engagement with all stakeholders based on the ‘Future of Work Principles.’ These Principles will guide us to groom our next generation of leaders, who utilize technology in a responsible manner while maximizing its impacts in order to combat inequality and mitigate climate change. In doing so, C.P. Group is also a strong and optimistic believer in the value of public-private partnerships as an important catalyst to achieve our goals."

Suphachai Chearavanont
CEO of Charoen Pokphand (C.P.) Group

The Future of Work
2020-07-08T12:42:40+02:00
"C.P. Group will join hands with WBCSD and its members to promote an inclusive ‘Future of Work’ through constructive engagement with all stakeholders based on the ‘Future of Work Principles.’ These Principles will guide us to groom our next generation of leaders, who utilize technology in a responsible manner while maximizing its impacts in order to combat inequality and mitigate climate change. In doing so, C.P. Group is also a strong and optimistic believer in the value of public-private partnerships as an important catalyst to achieve our goals." Suphachai Chearavanont CEO of Charoen Pokphand (C.P.) Group
“As companies learn to adapt to our ‘new normal’, we have seen that technology has played a huge role in enabling business resilience. Now is the time to shape the future and ensure that it is people centric. The principles aim to inform and guide technology-related business decisions, ensuring that technology benefits workers, now and for the years to come.”

Peter Bakker
WBCSD President & CEO

The Future of Work
2020-07-08T13:06:03+02:00
“As companies learn to adapt to our ‘new normal’, we have seen that technology has played a huge role in enabling business resilience. Now is the time to shape the future and ensure that it is people centric. The principles aim to inform and guide technology-related business decisions, ensuring that technology benefits workers, now and for the years to come.” Peter Bakker WBCSD President & CEO
“Technology is having an unprecedented impact on the workplace. Transformative changes make the question of whether employees are prepared for the future of work a very important one. In a world where digital is the new normal, it’s more important than ever to forge new coalitions of governments, businesses, NGOs and all critical stakeholders work together to create an environment where workers feel powered and engaged and can grow as individuals. Technology is very much part of this journey into the future. It must be there to empower rather than bypass or replace people. By supporting people in realizing their full potential we can help not only shape the world of work, but also drive lifetime employability and sustainable economic growth. That is what we call Human Forward.”

Jacques van den Broek
CEO, Randstad NV

The Future of Work
2020-07-08T13:10:39+02:00
“Technology is having an unprecedented impact on the workplace. Transformative changes make the question of whether employees are prepared for the future of work a very important one. In a world where digital is the new normal, it’s more important than ever to forge new coalitions of governments, businesses, NGOs and all critical stakeholders work together to create an environment where workers feel powered and engaged and can grow as individuals. Technology is very much part of this journey into the future. It must be there to empower rather than bypass or replace people. By supporting people in realizing their full potential we can help not only shape the world of work, but also drive lifetime employability and sustainable economic growth. That is what we call Human Forward.” Jacques van den Broek CEO, Randstad NV
“The challenge of the future of work, in which we are now deep diving, studying and investing, encompasses a significant shift on the way we work, collaborate and interact not only with colleagues and clients, but also, and mainly, with technology. Aiming to have the workforce prepared for the upcoming technological transformation, we need to accelerate the reskilling and upskilling of our teams. Nonetheless, the urgency and speed needed must never overlap people’s protection and respect. This must always be our priority and this moment of complex disruption we’re living in is no exception. We have to make sure that we give people the right conditions and means to accomplish significant changes in their professional lives, feeling secure and motivated. Sonae is committed with the Future of Work Principles, proposed by the WBCSD, as we believe it defends the only way we can succeed in this huge technological transformation the world is facing.”

Cláudia Azevedo
CEO, Sonae

The Future of Work
2020-07-08T13:13:06+02:00
“The challenge of the future of work, in which we are now deep diving, studying and investing, encompasses a significant shift on the way we work, collaborate and interact not only with colleagues and clients, but also, and mainly, with technology. Aiming to have the workforce prepared for the upcoming technological transformation, we need to accelerate the reskilling and upskilling of our teams. Nonetheless, the urgency and speed needed must never overlap people’s protection and respect. This must always be our priority and this moment of complex disruption we’re living in is no exception. We have to make sure that we give people the right conditions and means to accomplish significant changes in their professional lives, feeling secure and motivated. Sonae is committed with the Future of Work Principles, proposed by the WBCSD, as we believe it defends the only way we can succeed in this huge technological transformation the world is facing.” Cláudia Azevedo CEO, Sonae
In an ever-changing world, the Future of Work and how that links to the rights and wellbeing of our employees and society are of paramount importance. Fujitsu, in line with our purpose, endeavors to make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation. Being human centric and inclusive is at the core of this. The principles WBCSD have built are an important statement which we are proud to be part of.

Sogo Fujisaki
VP, Responsible Business Division and Purpose Activation Office, Sustainability Unit and Fujitsu’s Liaison Delegate to WBCSD

The Future of Work
2020-07-08T13:15:18+02:00
“In an ever-changing world, the Future of Work and how that links to the rights and wellbeing of our employees and society are of paramount importance. Fujitsu, in line with our purpose, endeavors to make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation. Being human centric and inclusive is at the core of this. The principles WBCSD have built are an important statement which we are proud to be part of.” Sogo Fujisaki VP, Responsible Business Division and Purpose Activation Office, Sustainability Unit and Fujitsu’s Liaison Delegate to WBCSD
“People-centered technology transformation is one of the main challenges our member companies are experimenting these days. WBCSD’s principles help them to understand what to do and where to focus on their way towards a more sustainable future of work for everybody.”

Germán Granda
Managing Director, Forética, WBCSD’s Global Network partner in Spain

The Future of Work
2020-07-08T13:20:56+02:00
“People-centered technology transformation is one of the main challenges our member companies are experimenting these days. WBCSD’s principles help them to understand what to do and where to focus on their way towards a more sustainable future of work for everybody.” Germán Granda Managing Director, Forética, WBCSD’s Global Network partner in Spain
“As WBCSD’s Global Network partner in New Zealand, we strongly encourage our members to use these principles which put people at the heart of every business and at the core of everything we do.”

Mike Burrell
Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Council

The Future of Work
2020-07-08T13:22:26+02:00
“As WBCSD’s Global Network partner in New Zealand, we strongly encourage our members to use these principles which put people at the heart of every business and at the core of everything we do.” Mike Burrell Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Council
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The Future of Work

Companies and partners driving WBCSD’s Future of Work project ​

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