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International Relations students conduct research on global corporate responsibility

International Relations students at University of Gloucestershire have been working with WikiRate, a global research platform, to analyse how multinational corporations are performing on social and environmental goals in line with United Nations targets.

Students studying for a degree in International Relations within the University’s School of Natural and Social Sciences were each assigned a major corporation and tasked with measuring their current performance and entering their data on to the WikiRate platform.

A non-profit organisation, WikiRate is a collaborative open data platform on which researchers analyse data on companies’ environmental, social, and governance performance, supply chain transparency disclosures, and their progress toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The students used a range of metrics to look at how companies including Pfizer, Ford Motors and Hitachi were performing in areas such as carbon dioxide emissions, the gender pay gap and worker’s collective bargaining arrangements.

As well as adding their data to the WikiRate platform, which is now available to view on the platform, the students produced presentations and reports based on their research.

Dr Rachel Bennett, Academic Course Leader for International Relations, said: “The WikiRate project was an exceptional opportunity for students. They directly contributed to a major international research initiative and gained experience of presenting findings to stakeholders.”

Lucía Ixtacuy, Community and Data Manager at WikiRate, said: “It is always gratifying to witness young university students discuss ideas and examples of what companies do for sustainable development.

“In collecting the data and using it to deliver a presentation, they demonstrated their critical thinking skills and an understanding of the power of data.”