Human Rights

Copel, committed to respecting Human Rights and aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, understands that it is its responsibility to prevent and mitigate related risks, as well as provide for the remediation of violations that may occur within its sphere of influence, in addition to respecting the rights guaranteed by the Federal Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In this sense, Copel has guidelines in its regulations, promotes actions with its stakeholders and produces specific materials, according to the risks and opportunities it identifies. The Company is also represented in the Human Rights Work Group of the Global Compact Network Brazil, which allows for the sharing of experiences with other companies and keeps it updated regarding the best Sustainability practices.

To ensure due attention to the topic, Copel has maintained its Human Rights Program since 2018. Through it, the company has already experienced important advances.

To learn more about the initiatives and results, access the Human Rights Program and the Company’s Integrated Reports.

To report human rights violations at Copel and its partners and suppliers, access the Reporting Channel.

Due Diligence

To improve its performance in relation to human rights, Copel has developed a due diligence process that allows it to identify, mitigate and respond to adverse impacts caused or potential risks, considering all its activities and operations, as well as internal and external public.

Human rights due diligence is a tool that contributes to guaranteeing the protection of workers’ rights, as well as preserving the sustainability of the company’s processes and services, which generates and distributes energy in a clean way, considering social justice in its choices and procedures.

The guidelines of the process are defined in an administrative rule, which expands the scope of the preventive actions, including the obligation to carry out field inspections, considering the diverse contexts, complexities, activities and publics of the company: own employees, outsourced workforce, partners and suppliers, as well as women, children, indigenous peoples, riverside populations, migrant workers and any groups that find themselves in vulnerable situations.

Due diligence in human rights reinforces the commitments already assumed by Copel in its human rights and sustainability policies, which opposes and combats any form of discrimination – whether due to characteristics such as skin color, origin, sexual orientation, biological sex, gender identity, age, disability, religion, culture, financial condition, social class and the like.

Copel is against any degrading work condition, not tolerating any form of forced labor, child labor and human trafficking. The Company’s policies guide its conduct throughout the value chain, prioritizing equity and decent work, therefore, among Copel’s six priority SDGs is SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth.

In addition, the Company guarantees, supports and encourages freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, and equal pay.

Thus, periodic actions are planned for the mapping of impacts, risk prevention, as well as the preparation of mitigation plans and remediation of impacts if necessary.

Human Rights Due Diligence Report

This report aims to present COPEL's due diligence actions in relation to the issue of human rights as well as the progress made in the last year.

Current Practices

In 2022, as a result of the work groups of the Permanent Commission of Suppliers of Copel Distribuição, an improvement was made in the list of criteria for social-environmental inspection and a standard inspection procedure was created for contracts signed with critical suppliers, referring to engineering works and services, common engineering services of pruning and trimming, and supply of materials whose inspection is performed in the factory, for which, during the life of the contract, an audit is performed at least once to verify compliance with social-environmental criteria. A pilot project was carried out in a contract with a critical supplier.

As a way to disseminate the standard inspection procedure created, all existing contracts with critical suppliers in relation to social and environmental aspects were mapped, and the managers and operational inspectors of these contracts were instructed about the standard procedures and oriented on how to act at the time of the on-site inspection.

Copel also establishes in its labor outsourcing contracts that the outsourced employees have the same health and safety conditions and access to basic benefits enjoyed by its own employees, such as transportation and meals. To this end, it is inspected on a monthly basis whether the benefits provided for the category, whether in law or in Collective Agreement instruments, are being guaranteed.

Registration of inspections in lodgings
Registration of inspections in lodgings

To further improve the monitoring of these practices, the study of critical suppliers at Copel Distribuição was reviewed by the subcommittee responsible for this topic, which classifies suppliers and third parties according to their degree of dependence, social and environmental risks.

The objective of the study is to identify suppliers that present a potential risk of disrespecting human rights or that may cause negative socio-environmental impacts.

Copel’s selection and contracting processes require, as a condition for participation in bidding contests, a self-declaration from suppliers, attesting to the commitment with aspects related to environmental and social sustainability, which is a condition for contracting with the Company.

As a form of diligence to this declaration, Copel observes the list of employers that have submitted workers to conditions analogous to slavery, available on the website of the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE), disqualifying companies that are on this list.

Safety Inspections

The performance of suppliers (both with regard to quality and to occupational health and safety compliance) is diligently monitored during contractual execution.

For the service contracts, the Preserving Life Program (PPV) establishes the supervision, in the field, of the technical and safety procedures, during the execution of the activities of employees and contractors, according to the standards of the Labor Health and Safety Management System (GSST), issuing a report with a score of the flaws found and proposing solutions for the necessary cases.

For the employees who carry out the inspections, Field Inspectors Training courses are provided that aim to improve the preventive vision in order to identify and block the agents of occupational diseases and accidents.

It is worth noting that the inspectors also have access to the PPV through smartphones and tablets.

Sustainability Assessment

Another practice that helps in the inspection is the Sustainability Evaluation, which contributes to the understanding of the stage at which Copel’s suppliers are in issues related to the theme.

In 2022, it was included as one of the categories of the Supplier Award, with the objective of monitoring the sustainability practices of suppliers eligible for the categories of the Supplier Award of Copel DIS, in order to identify weaknesses to be developed with this stakeholder.

Copel Distribuição has been advancing in involving its suppliers in an increasingly sustainable supply chain. In this perspective, in 2023, it implemented the practice of sustainability assessment for the 2nd level of the supply chain. Initially, the questionnaire was sent to all suppliers with contracts that allow subcontracting and to subcontractors.

Human Rights Program

Copel has, since 2018, the Human Rights Program, aligned to  UN Guiding Principleson  Business and Human Rights, based on the following practices:

  • Analysis, preparation and refinement of policies and standards of Copel for prevention, inspection and mitigation of violations;
  • Producing and divulging didactic materials, with information on Copel’s reporting channels (hotlines) to be accessed if violations are identified;
  • Providing courses, talks and actions for sensitization, targeting the internal public, external contractors, the chain of production and the local community;

The Human Rights Program is related to the Sustainable Development Objectives, especially SDO 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth, which is one of the 5 ODS prioritized by Copel and by the Brazilian electric power industry.

ODS 8 em destaque

Human Rights Policy

In April 2020, the Company took an important step when launching its Human Rights Policy that formalizes guidelines for preventing, mitigating and repairing violations that may occur at the Company, in its chain of production or impacted communities. Based on it and the Company’s own methodology for identifying human rights risks, relevant measures are established in the several areas of operation of the company.

The policy follows the Universal Declaration of Human Rights established in 1948 by the UN, consisting of basic civil, political, economic and cultural rights common to all human beings. 

The document also follows the international standards of the UN Guiding Principles on Companies and Human Rights, of the Global Compact Principles, of the Declaration of the Fundamental Principles and Labor Rights of the International Labor Organization (OIT), and of ISO 26.000/2010: Social Responsibility.

The Policy guides Copel’s Human Rights Program, guided by the same documents and initiatives, as well as the Company’s other practices.

Human Rights Booklet

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was published by the United Nations Organization (ONU) in 1948.

Since then, many studies, materials, and policies have been produced to guide and try to ensure the fulfillment of such rights for all people.

Copel’s Human Rights Booklet aims to disseminate basic information on the subject to its employees, suppliers and other interested parties, contributing to the recognition of the importance of the subject among its publics.

Cartilha de Direitos Humanos

Human Rights Video

This video is part of a set of materials created with the objective of disseminating the importance of the Human Rights theme to the Company’s internal and external publics.

Migration and Refuge Booklet

Paraná is one of the states that most received migrants and refugees in recent years. Copel identified the demand and the importance of developing a project aimed at this audience.

Therefore, it gathered the main information on access to Copel’s services and social energy programs in booklets, available in 6 languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Ukrainian and French.

After all, energy is a basic need that contributes and opens doors to other services that are essential for effective citizenship.

Migration and Refuge Booklet
Migration and Refuge Booklet (Youtube video)