HUMAN RIGHTS MONTH

History of human rights at ISS

As December is Human Rights Month, let’s take a look back at the evolution of human rights at ISS from our foundation in 1901 through to the initiatives protecting and honouring human rights today. 

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1901

Our legacy, our people

In the past 120 years, ISS has grown from a small security firm in Copenhagen into one of the largest facility management firms globally. As we believe that people make places, respect for the individual and a strong sense of equality have been part of our culture since the beginning.

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1940s

Putting our people first through time

Did you know that we were one of the first Danish companies to hire a human resources manager? Gerda Buhl joined ISS in 1940 to improve the welfare of cleaners in need. Before public welfare was fashionable, she set up a “welfare department”, helping employees with loan schemes, donations, housing, and so on.

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1999

From local action to global commitments

At the dawn of the new millennium, we became one of the founding signatories of United Nation’s Global Compact – the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative. Being a part underscores our commitment to honour and meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

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2015 - 2016

Assessing our impact and taking action

As a global business, are aware of our potential impact on human rights. We conducted a due diligence self-assessment to understand our impact across our value chain, identifying three areas: labour, forced labour and the right to privacy, and addressed these by strengthening related requirements in the ISS Global People Standards.

“ISS is built on a foundation of equity, inclusion, fairness and respect for all individuals. Empowering all groups of people is simply in our culture."

Margot Slattery, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion

Looking ahead

We stand committed to our efforts to cultivate a diverse and inclusive culture where everyone feels safe, valued and heard – but we know we still have work to do. Going forward, we will have great ambitions on our five dimensions; Cultures, Race & Ethnicity, Generations & Age, Pride, Abilities and Gender Balance, such as achieving at least a 40% gender balance in all corporate leadership levels by 2025.

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