The EU Commission opened a feedback period on its proposed Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence directive, which ran until 23 May 2022. On this page, you will find selected responses in support of effective legislation aligned with international standards from companies and business associations/initiatives who submitted feedback along with other respondents. Excerpts of responses are grouped by different key topics.
All feedback to the EU Commission survey on its proposal is availablehere.
"We support the proposal introducing civil liability requirements. To ensure clarity when it comes to implementation, Member States should establish additional civil procedural rules, where necessary. The EC should ensure an effective enforcement mechanism to properly implement this provision."
Accountancy Europe, Belgium
"The proposal needs to clearly specify the legal liability regime applicable to companies. Clarifying the liability regime under this Directive will be essential to secure the homogeneous transposition of its provisions across the EU, safeguard the integrity of the Single Market, and set up a consistent liability framework that will support the competitiveness of European businesses."
"Without an adequate “stick” – encompassing administrative penalties, effective sanctions and provisions for civil liability –, laggards will not be sufficiently encouraged to carry out HREDD to a high standard. In addition, those that are harmed need access to remedy. Ecopreneur.eu therefore calls on the EU and its Member States governments to implement a wide range of enforcement instruments, with criminal law as last resort."
"Le Mouvement Impact France se félicite que la responsabilité civile des entreprises puisse être engagée en cas de manquement au devoir de vigilance. [...] Pour autant, plusieurs obstacles juridiques ne sont pas levés par la proposition de directive. En effet, le texte ne mentionne pas en l’état des éléments cruciaux tels que la charge de la preuve, l’assistance administrative et financière allouée aux victimes ou encore l’accès aux preuves. Nous considérons ainsi que tout doit être fait pour garantir un accès à la justice réel et équitable pour les victimes des abus des entreprises en levant ces obstacles qui restent autant de freins ne permettant pas la pleine effectivité de ladite directive."
Mouvement Impact France
Established Business Relationships
"However, the draft directive introduces terminology not known in these previously mentioned principles such as 'established business relationship' which leaves room for interpretation, may lead to unwanted consequences (supplier hopping) and is difficult to combine with the risk assessment process which is key part of the due diligence process. The terminology hinders the risk assessment process laid down in UNGP."
"[...] 'established business relationships'. This runs counter to existing international standards, under which companies’ responsibilities flow from the connection between negative impacts at any point in the value chain and companies’ operations, products, or services. Not the proximity or commercial relationship with a specific entity. Based on international standards companies instead should prioritize risks and impacts based on the concept of severity, in order to ensure that the most salient human rights risks to people are addressed. [...] Ericsson supports the scope of due diligence duties to cover the full value chain of companies [...]"
"[...] the attempt to restrict the broad scope of the value chain as defined in Article 3 lit. g) of the draft directive by the new concept 'established business relationship' will not succeed due to the vague definition of that term and a lack of risk-based approach regarding the identification of relevant business relationships."
"Although Henkel recognizes that the concept of 'established business relationships' can lift some administrative burdens for companies, particularly SMEs, we fear that it may lead to an overreliance on contractual assurances and enhanced due diligence efforts on activities that pose a negligible risk to people and the planet — risks are oftentimes the greatest where relationships are not established. [,,,] As such, the scope of the due diligence obligations should cover a company’s operations, those of its subsidiaries, and its business relationships based on a prioritization of due diligence efforts on the severity of the actual or potential harm of an activity to people and the planet."
"The proposal limits the scope of this due diligence to 'established business relationships' and unhelpfully reverses the logic of the UNGPs, and risks creating perverse incentives whereby companies may adapt their business structures to avoid the requirement to carry out human rights due diligence and/or fail to identify the most severe risks and impacts that often further upstream."
Aviva Investors, UK
Contract Clauses and Audits
"However, there appears to be an over-reliance on demonstrating compliance through contractual assurance and audit processes. While these actions can form a part of effective due diligence measures, research and company practices have shown that such efforts have a limited effect in delivering improved outcomes for people, while generating significant costs to companies and often shifting responsibility from companies onto their business partners without attention to the role of their own practices in generating risks to people."
"We see risks that businesses will seek to fulfil requirements based on contractual obligations rather than by assessing real risks across the value chain based on their severity and likelihood and prioritizing these risks."
"By singling out contractual cascading, however, the current proposal would seem to encourage a top-down approach to due diligence and could be misinterpreted as incentivising the shifting of responsibility further up the supply chain, instead of fostering a more inclusive approach. We suggest that the CSDDD proposal make it clearer that contractual cascading and third-party verification systems are just tools within a broader HREDD toolbox."
"First, and further to point 2 (iii) above, the Proposal appears to rely primarily on the use of contractual clauses, third-party verification and, where necessary, a prevention action plan as tools for engagement with the supply chain. Second, the focus on the contractual clauses and third-party verification as (only) tools for engagement will most likely not contribute towards achieving the goals of the proposal."
Dutch Banking Association (NVB), Netherlands
"Overreliance on contractual cascading should be avoided. Contractual cascading is in practice difficult to monitor and enforce, and it leads to a culture of avoidance and pushing responsibilities further down in the chain, instead of engagement. Contractual clauses are and can remain a normal practice in business relations, but they are unfit for being the sole instrument (art. 22.2) to avoid liability/responsibility further in the chain, as the CSDDD proposes." "Contractual assurance and contractual cascading are proven to be highly problematic in practice, especially concerning monitoring and enforcement."
VNO-NCW (Confederation of Dutch Industry and Employers), Netherlands
"[...] the Directive’s focus on contracts makes that Due Diligence is being delegated downwards the supply chain, placing a burden on suppliers which can result in deteriorating working and environmental conditions. Due Diligence should be seen as a process of collaboration between supply chain partners -directly and indirectly linked- in the supply chain."
MVO Nederland, Netherlands
"Companies should identify potential adverse impacts in their supply chain and not offload risk via contracts, especially to SMEs."
Accountancy Europe, Belgium
"Requiring mainly contract assurances and audit/verification processes as due diligence obligations curtails the freedom of companies to choose from a greater variety of tools to comply with their obligations and potentially increases the risk that companies simply shift their obligations upstream."
European Coffee Federation, Belgium
"The proposal risks entrenching a widely held misconception among companies that a reliance on compliance-based mechanisms e.g. contractual obligations and auditing are sufficient to comply with the due diligence requirement. In our experience this misconception is one of the biggest barriers we face when engaging with companies on their due diligence processes."
Aviva Investors, UK
“Thus better alignment with recognized international principles and standards need to be ensured in the directive and especially the process related to risk assessment, prioritization need to be clearly included in the directive.”
"Align with the existing internationally recognized frameworks, in particular OECD Guidelines and UN Guiding Principles: we recommend strengthening alignment of the proposed EU CSDDD with the concepts set out in these frameworks - as they form the backbone of current efforts and demonstrated their effectiveness - rather than developing new concepts. Clear definitions are critical to ensure legal certainty. We recommend in particular that the substantive components of the due diligence duty as set out in Article 5 - 11 of the proposal are fully aligned with these existing frameworks."
RBA (Responsible Business Alliance), United States
"Due diligence duty should be consistent with existing international frameworks such as UNGPs, ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the OECD MNE Guidance."
American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AmCham EU)
"The OECD Guidelines and UNGPs distinguish between adverse impact 'caused by', 'contributed to' or 'directly linked to' business operations. This spectrum indicates the involvement of a company with the adverse impact and the manner in which they are expected to address it, including remedy. This framework is absent from the Proposal, which - in the opinion of the NVB - is a missed opportunity to align current best practices [in the financial sector] with the CSDD due diligence obligation."
Dutch Banking Association (NVB), Netherlands
"Prioritisation based on the saliency of the risk: central to any realistic HRDD process, this principle is missing, or is insufficiently reflected, in the current Directive proposal."
International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), Switzerland
"The current proposal [...] asks that companies look at the nature of their business relationships instead of focusing on where risks might be the most severe. [...] We encourage the EU Institutions to reconsider this point by organising the HREDD logic in alignment with the UNGPs and OECD Guidelines. This would mean first and foremost embedding a risk-based approach and the related logic of prioritisation within the proposed due diligence duty. It would also mean expecting businesses to apply a vulnerability lens throughout the due diligence process."
"Legislation which is not fully aligned with these international frameworks can work to undermine their effectiveness and even lower the standards many companies already practice. [...] Align fully with existing international standards and outline a risk based approach to due diligence. Prioritization based on salient risks is a proven concept in conducting due diligence and helping business address the most salient risks to people and planet."
"Alignment with the well-functioning risk-and principle-based UN Guiding Principles Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and OECD guidelines should be ensured."
Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, Finland
"Ensure that the legislative framework is aligned with internationally recognised frameworks and standards (as highlighted above)."
"[...] the language of the Directive should be consistent with that of the OECD MNE Guidelines and the UNGPs, to ensure the greatest possible harmonisation."
"These standards set out a responsibility for banks to conduct ongoing due diligence to identify impacts with which the bank might be involved, through its own activities, or which may be directly linked to its operations, products or services by its business relationships.The current proposal differs substantially from these two standards, which would have significant adverse impact on banks that have already committed and established processes based on these international standards. [...] Mandatory due diligence introduced in the Directive should be based on and aligned with the UNGPs, not introduce a new, UNGP-resembling definition of due diligence."
European Banking Federation, Belgium
"[...] the EU supply chain due diligence obligations and scope of the due diligence duty should be defined in line with recognised international standards, and in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the OECD Guidance on Responsible Business Conduct."
European Coffee Federation, Belgium
"The directive must be fully in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance."
Ethical Trade Norway
"Overall, the Norwegian Consumer Authority believes that it would be beneficial if the Directive proposal was more closely aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, which the Transparency Act is also based upon. This will contribute to clarity and a less fragmented set of regulations, especially considering the fact that companies have been aware of these guidelines for several years."
Norwegian Consumer Authority
"The SER believes the European legislation must follow the leading international frameworks for international responsible business conduct, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises as closely as possible, including the proportionality concept therein and the provisions regarding engagement with affected stakeholders."
SER (Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands)
Environment and Climate Change
"It is not clear why emission reduction objectives are only required if climate change is a principal risk or impact, and why not in all cases."
IKEA – Ingka Group, Netherlands
"The NVB notes that separating combating climate change from the redress and remediation regime in the CSDD risks limited compliance with this provision."
Dutch Banking Association (NVB), Netherlands
"We agree that Member States should ensure that companies adopt plans to provide for changing business models and develop long-term strategies to transition to a sustainable economy. We understand that the Proposal requires that companies should include emission reduction objectives in the plan if climate change has been identified as a principal risk or will have a material on the company’s operations."
"[...] we recommend that governments should consider whether carbon-intensive industries should be subject to mandatory climate disclosures."
"[...] Adverse impacts related to climate change should be included in the due diligence review process, in which a company should firstly prevent and, if necessary, mitigate any adverse impacts."
"We agree that linking remuneration to business risks, including climate-related risks, is an important element of executive remuneration plans."
International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), UK
"The transition plan requirement in this directive could complement the same requirement in the CSRD, the latter being limited to reporting on the plan."
European Banking Federation, Belgium
"The Finnish Commerce Federation has previously adopted the view that the due diligence rules should at least initially be limited to human rights. [...] The Finnish Commerce Federation has revised its previous stance and is open to extending the regulation to environmental and climate aspects."
Finnish Commerce Federation
"Norwegian Consumer Authority supports the Directive proposal’s inclusion of climate and environmental aspects, in addition to fundamental human rights and decent working conditions. This ensures harmony between associated obligations. Although this represents an expansion in relation to the Transparency Act in Norway, the preparatory works state that an evaluation of the Transparency Act will be carried out after a certain period of time, with reference being made to the forthcoming EU Directive."
Norwegian Consumer Authority
"The scope of the legal framework should cover all companies independent of their size or turnover taking a risk-based approach for sustainability due diligence into account."
BMW Group, Germany
"We strongly recommend that the financial sector should be covered completely and consistently with the UNGPs without the specific limitations to due diligence on companies at the pre- contractual phase and to operations of large corporate clients."
"We recommend expanding the scope of the proposal to include SMEs as well."
"We regret the exclusion of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). [...] in line with the UNGP, all companies, regardless of their size, should be responsible for respecting human rights, the HRDD process will vary in complexity with the size of the business enterprise - a distinction which could be introduced in the legal liability regime."
International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), Switzerland
"[...] recommends that companies operating in the EU as smaller enterprises are included in the Scope, and be required to report on actual and potential human rights adverse impacts and environmental adverse impacts, with respect to their own operations, the operations of their subsidiaries (if any), and their value chain operations."
International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), UK
"[...] the ultimate ambition of the EU law should be that operating in the EU internal market is conditional upon conducting due diligence, regardless of sector, size and supply chain. This could be achieved by means of a progressive expansion of the scope of the Directive for instance, and by factoring in clear time-bound transitional periods for that expansion."
"To better achieve the goals of the proposal, a risk-based approach should be adopted and applied to all companies regardless of size."
"The European Cocoa Association therefore proposes to widen the scope of the Directive by aligning it with the scope of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). In addition, for all EU and non-EU companies - including SMEs - placing a product on the EU market for the first time or providing services, due diligence obligations should apply systematically irrespective of the capacity."
European Cocoa Association, Belgium
"ecoDa would encourage the enlargement of the scope as the Directive currently includes too few third-country companies."
ecoDa (European Confederation of Directors' Associations), Belgium
"Therefore all companies should be obliged to comply, as we expect all companies should be working according the OECD Guidelines. In practice, proportionality should be taken into account and SMEs should be supported in order to increase their positive impact and influence in the supply chain."
MVO Nederland, Netherlands
"Im Sinne der weiterhin notwendigen Harmonisierung neuer unternehmensrechtlicher EU-Regulatorien mit bereits bestehenden, wird empfohlen, etwaige Größenkriterien insbesondere abgestimmt zu Regelungen der kommenden CSRD/BilanzRL sowie zur Taxonomie-VO vorzusehen."
Kammer der Steuerberater und Wirtschaftsprüfer, Germany
"According to the earlier position adopted by the Finnish Commerce Federation, the scope of the regulation should cover companies of all sizes, but the obligations applied to small companies should be lighter than those imposed on larger ones and put in proportion to their resources and possibility to influence matters."
Finnish Commerce Federation
"[...] a blanket exemption for SMEs could be problematic [...] Therefore, it is very positive that the Parliament's proposal includes those SMEs, which can be considered „high-risk” (textiles, agriculture and extraction of minerals as proposed by the EU Commission)"
"Le Mouvement Impact France regrette ce manque d’ambition et appelle les colégislateurs à intégrer l’ensemble des entreprises de 250 à 500 employés au processus complet de diligence raisonnable. De plus, nous considérons que les entreprises de 50 à 250 salariés opérants dans des secteurs à haut risque doivent être soumises à des obligations de vigilance simplifiées."
Mouvement Impact France
"The Norwegian Consumer Authority believes that the Directive should apply to a larger number of enterprises than what has currently been proposed. The Transparency Act is believed to include approximately 9000 Norwegian companies, whilst the Directive proposal is expected to include only around 300 of these. In Norway, for example, the market for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accounts for around 99% of all Norwegian companies. A requirement that due diligence is to be carried out on the basis of proportionality, as included in the Transparency Act, will in our view limit the burden on any smaller businesses which may be caught by such regulations."
They call for the law to apply to the entire global value chain, within and beyond the EU's borders, include the financial sector, establish, on a mandatory basis, consultations and participation of rights holders and stakeholders, and ensure access to justice for victims, among others
To be fully effective, the provision on disengagement must tackle both the risk of companies disengaging too hastily or irresponsibly (the “cut and run” approach), as well as the risk of companies not disengaging where necessary. In the former case, companies risk severely harming relevant stakeholders. In the latter, they risk fostering human and/or environmental human rights violations. The recommendations by CSOs aim to ensure that Articles 7(5) and 8(8) address and prevent the aforementioned scenarios.
According to the NGOs, external pressure from investors, banks, policymakers and regulators is key to forcing Glencore to change. The EU should properly integrate the human rights responsibilities of the financial sector into its Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD).
As negotiations of a final text of the European Union (UE) Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive are progressing, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) publishes four new briefs with recommendations for EU institutions to ensure that the legislation better protects human rights and the environment from corporate harms.
The impending Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive offers a unique opportunity to compel larger companies across sectors to transition their business model, take concrete steps to reduce emissions and adapt to growing climate-related risks.
Ahead of a COREPER meeting to update the EU Council’s negotiation mandate for the CSDDD trilogue, over 60 NGOs are drawing policymakers’ attention to five issues that are key to aligning the legislation with international standards and ensuring real-world improvements for people and the planet: climate transition plans; civil liability and access to justice; inclusion of the financial sector; value chain; normative scope
Against the background of potential implications under German law, the German Institute for Human Rights summarizes key access to justice elements for both the design and transposition of the CSDD Directive.
The Spanish Presidency of the EU Council is leaning towards the exclusion of the financial sector from the EU corporate accountability rules, which are currently under inter-institutional negotiations, according to an internal document.
GNI calls on EU Member States and the European Parliament, with the support of the Commission, to adopt a robust Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive that is aligned with the established international frameworks.
As representatives of the European Parliament and EU countries negotiate the details of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) in Brussels, visiting Guatemalan human rights activist Bernardo Caal Xol has urged them to implement the directive, which would force European companies to behave more responsibly.
Financial institutions in the EU have been involved in driving environmental and human rights-related harm, but the upcoming Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive could minimise such impacts, highlights a new WWF report.
The representative associations of the Dutch insurance, pensions and banking sector have reached out to EU policymakers to call on them to include financial institutions in the scope of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CS3D).
While the EU has so far failed to take appropriate action against the most invasive forms of spyware, the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) could offer a crucial opportunity for the EU to rein in the rampant human rights abuses of the surveillance technology sector, argues Hannah Storey of Amnesty International.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, referring to a new OHCHR position paper, urges EU institutions to ensure the forthcoming CSDDD is fully aligned with the UNGPs. The Directive should adopt a true risk-based approach, without legal loopholes that would allow companies to ignore their most severe adverse impacts, e.g. because they occur downstream. It should clearly differentiate what is expected from companies when they cause or contribute to an adverse impact or when they are linked to it, which includes recognizing the limits of over-reliance on contracts and audits. The position paper also reiterates the importance of meaningful engagement with affected stakeholders, as well as of meaningful accountability measures.
UN PRI sent a letter to representatives of the Governments of France, Germany, Luxembourg and Italy as well as DG JUST and DG FISMA in the European Commission, calling for policymakers to support a risk-based approach, aligned with international standards and grounded in the concepts of severity and leverage to ensure clear, achievable and proportionate due diligence obligations for the financial sector.
This open letter calls on the European Union (EU) to include rights to self-determination, to lands, territories and resource, and to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in the upcoming Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence.
EU countries are set to start discussions on the inclusion of the financial sector under the scope of the proposed EU corporate accountability directive, in an effort to find a negotiating mandate and strike a deal with the European Parliament.
Six civil society groups working on sustainable finance called on EU Member States to back human rights and environmental rules for the financial sector, as part of negotiations on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.
The costs of reacting to extreme weather events will be even higher if EU Member States do not hold the private sector accountable for its climate impacts, write Paul de Clerck and Cass Hebron (FOEE), Julia Otten and Daniel Torán (Frank Bold) and ECCJ for the Justice is Everybody’s Business campaign.
The EU should include financial markets in the scope of its Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) to help reorientate capital markets towards more sustainable investments while making European financial markets more consistent and reliable, argues Richard Gardiner.
In this report, Shift takes stock of where progress has been made – and where work still remains – to ensure greater alignment between the positions of the three EU political institutions – the Commission, Council and Parliament – and the international due diligence standards.
The Dutch National Contact Point identified notable points of divergence between the CSDDD regulatory framework and the OECD framework in 14 key areas. It notes that there is a concern limitations in the CSDDD regulatory framework in comparison with the OECD framework will result in a dilution of RBC principles and standards of conduct from the OECD Guidelines and/or in a lack of clarity about what is expected from companies in terms of RBC and due diligence.
According to the study financed by Arbeiterkammer Wien, the stricter the regulations and the fewer the loopholes that are left open, the more effective the EU CSDDD will be, not just in terms of protecting human rights, but also in economic terms.
The organisations welcome the CSDDD and its goal to address the human rights and environmental impacts of companies' global value chains. However, in order for it to lead to positive change, it must take into account the interests and needs of rightsholders, especially those in the most vulnerable position in global value chains.
Earthsight reveals that a year after the original investigation trade links between companies involved in indigenous rights violations in Brazil and European companies remain, highlighting the need for strong indigenous rights protections in the CSDDD.
Several EU member states have yet to decide on their position on some key aspects of the EU’s draft law to hold companies accountable for human rights and environmental violations throughout their value chain, slowing down the ongoing negotiations on the file.
As the first part of a briefing series by four NGOs, this policy brief examines the role of operational grievance mechanisms in the ongoing negotiations of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive between the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the EU Council. These mechanisms can play an important complementary role within a comprehensive remedy framework. An analysis of the three proposals shows that the position of the EU Parliament is most in line with these objectives. Therefore, this perspective should prevail in the EU trilogue negotiations. However, there is still scope for improving certain aspects of the EU Parliament's position.
The draft EU directive raises cautious optimism among civil society organisations working for the rights of people affected by corporate behaviours in third countries, however concerns remain that it could be diluted into a box-ticking exercise and limit access to justice for victims of corporate abuses.
This publication analyses the different legislative proposals for an EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, highlighting five key issues and making recommendations for the ongoing trilogue negotiations.
The negotiators agreed on some points this week, and the Spanish EU Council Presidency is expected to push on the talks starting in September in order to strike a deal before the end of the current term.
This piece seeks to inform the current debate by broadening the examples of sectors, products and services and current business practice which demonstrate the critical need for, and ability of, companies to consider human rights risks downstream.
This briefing addresses two main challenges for the Trilogues negotiations in order to allow for effective environmental and climate protection in the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD): 1. Listing environmental conventions does not provide adequate protection, and 2. tackling climate change is a critical part of environmental due diligence.
More than 160 faith leaders worldwide, men and women from various faiths, have signed the statement urging European Union lawmakers to adopt a robust legal framework to hold companies accountable for environmental damage and human rights abuses.
The position of the European Parliament supports the full respect for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the new CSDDD, says the Securing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in the Green Economy (SIRGE) Coalition
EU governments should heed the call of businesses, civil society, and the multilateral institutions that built the due diligence normative framework to align their domestic law with the OECD Guidelines, including its latest updated text.
This policy briefing paper discusses the rationales for including more substantive provisions on engagement with stakeholders in general and with rights-holders in particular. It also pinpoints areas for improvement in the current draft and makes recommendations for strengthening the provisions on stakeholder engagement, proposing specific language for amendments in the final text of the directive.
NGOs including the European Coalition for Corporate Justice welcomed the vote as the position includes important improvements compared to previous drafts. Remaining weaknesses must be addressed in trilogue negotiations between Parliament, Council and Commission over the coming months.
GNI supports "key improvements" proposed by the JURI Committee. The multistakeholder initiative recommends that the Directive: (i) take a comprehensive approach to the scope of due diligence; (ii) adopt a risk-based approach across the full value chain, (iii) clarify key concepts such as meaningful stakeholder engagement, (iv) take a consistent and holistic approach to the scope of rights and sectors covered in line with international frameworks and existing expectations; and (v) help identify and incentivize participation in meaningful, credible multistakeholder initiatives.
The report has two key aims. The first is to express concern over the current trajectory
of HRDD legislation and its capacity to effect meaningful change for workers and trade unions. The second key aim of the report is to offer guidance on how HRDD could be legislated in such a way as to drive meaningful change for workers in transnational supply chains.
Briefing from Shift offering recommendations for the EU's Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive based upon interviews with businesses and other stakeholders in Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania and Thailand.
This briefing outlines Amnesty International’s key concerns for the CSDDD, detailing where the proposals from the European Commission and the Council fail to live up to international human rights standards and what these gaps could mean for the victims of corporate harm. It also presents Amnesty’s key recommendations to address those gaps.
As the Parliament goes on to finalise its position and the trilogue process begins, the institutions must improve the text, ensuring that the role of human rights defenders and the risks they face are fully taken into account, says UN Special Rapporteur Mary Lawlor
MEPs are set to decide how to include the financial sector in the corporate due diligence directive on 1 June. Their decision could either strengthen or distort the European financial market and enable corporate abuses of people and the planet, Uku Lilleväli writes.
In this policy paper, FIAN outlines through examples in Guinea, Brazil and Cambodia why the CSDDD should apply to the financial sector, and the specific requirements that must be guaranteed to ensure its effective application.
MEPs agreed on the rules to be applied from the production to the sale, distribution and waste management of products or services provided by a company, leaving out due diligence and liability provisions regarding the use of products or services.
Polling reveals majority of Europeans across Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Spain want companies operating in the EU to be compelled to reduce emissions
EU lawmakers in the leading legal affairs committee of the European Parliament are expected to vote on their position on the proposed corporate accountability rules towards the end of April, although some key points remain open.
Reacting to reports that proposed EU business legislation will exempt companies from addressing the human rights risks linked to how their products are used, including arms, tools of torture or surveillance equipment, Amnesty International calls for the exemption on use to be reversed.
"A proposed EU law to prevent environmental and human rights abuses by multinationals has been cautiously welcomed by global Indigenous leaders seeking to highlight the damage done by extractive industries. However they say the text needs to go further if it is to protect Indigenous populations from mining companies."
The EU corporate sustainability due diligence directive represents a key opportunity to advance women’s rights and gender equality in companies’ international value chains. However, the draft text fails to integrate a gender lens and risks leaving women behind.
Even though the Chilean Andina mine is exacerbating the water shortage in the region, numerous European manufacturers of mining machines and mining equipment had business relationships with the mine. The case study shows why the legal regulation of due diligence obligations in downstream value chains is necessary within the framework of the currently discussed Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.
This report by the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) provides key questions for companies to ask when establishing downstream human rights due diligence, and offers an overview of the expectations contained in international standards. Companies are already conducting due diligence in downstream contexts. Yet, in current policy debates at the EU and OECD, the scope of human rights due diligence is being contested
The European Parliament’s environment committee has voted to include an obligation for large companies and SMEs in certain risky sectors to risk-assess their global value chains for abuses like oil spills and pollution, but the improvements are not yet sufficient to prevent and end the vast impacts of companies on climate change, said the European Coalition for Corporate Justice.
In 2016, the Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres was killed trying to protect her ancestral lands against the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project, bankrolled by European financial institutions. The CSDDD could stop companies profiting from projects linked to the repression and murder of environmental defenders - but not if it lets investors off the hook, says Global Witness
In an interview with EURACTIV Lara Wolters highlighted that due diligence is also about downstream activities. According to her, this aspect has become even more relevant after the recent accusations that allege Qatar bribed European lawmakers. The rapporteur asserts that good governance, bribery and corruption should be part of due diligence discussions.
The study commissioned by The Left in the European Parliament sets out the various ways that subcontracting undermines labour laws in the EU and enables exploitation of workers. It among other things calls for a new European Regulation on decent work in the subcontracting chain and amending the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.
ShareAction, Accountancy Europe, Eurosif, Frank Bold, Finance Watch and WWF, as members of the Informal Group on Sustainable Finance, have released a joint statement on the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD).
After the adoption of a position by the Council, Amnesty International criticises that the exclusion of banks and financial institutions and waivers for companies that sell high-risk security equipment and surveillance technologies undermine the directive.
Ahead of Thursday’s (1 December) meeting of EU industry ministers, the fight over whether to include the financial sector in the scope of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) is still ongoing with France, Italy, and Spain threatening to block a common member state position.
The statement outlines four key areas which need particular attention if the Directive is to effectively aid in transforming the tech sector: scope of companies subject to the law; scope of rights; value chains and business relationships; and stakeholder engagement & access to justice and remedy
The letter calls for a General Approach that covers the full value chain including downstream impacts and the full coverage of the financial sector; expands the scope of rights and impacts covered; and strengthens access to justice provisions and addresses barriers to justice often faced by claimants in business-related human rights and environmental cases.
The European Commission’s proposal for a directive on corporate sustainability due diligence includes a dangerous overreliance on industry schemes, multi-stakeholder initiatives, and third-party auditing, a briefing paper by SOMO concludes.
On 24 November, Eurosif, the Investor Alliance for Human Rights and the PRI, supported by 142 signatories, released a statement of support for an ambitious and effective EU directive on corporate sustainability due diligence (CSDDD)
As EU member states close in on a common negotiating position on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), they are fighting over whether companies should do due diligence for their entire value chain or just the supply chain.
Luxembourg, Ireland and Germany have indicated they want to exclude asset managers and institutional investors from scope, with France and Italy going further and calling for the entire financial sector to be left out, an EU diplomat familiar with the negotiations said.
The EU’s long anticipated Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence is set to fail to hold ICT companies to account for human rights abuses and environmental damage if key shortcomings including on scope and stakeholder consultation are not addressed.
EU-based financiers and their subsidiaries have played central roles in financing projects that have caused human rights violations and environmental damage, and have been linked to land grabbing, deforestation, and violence against communities and land and environmental defenders.
UN Human Rights is concerned about the proposition being advanced by some stakeholders that the requirements of CS3D should not apply to downstream impacts on human rights that a company may be involved in. Such an exclusion would not align with the UNGPs and could undermine the international consensus about the scope of the Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights.
On this page, you will find selected responses in support of effective legislation aligned with international standards from companies and business associations/initiatives who submitted feedback along with other respondents.
This piece argues that for legislation to succeed in advancing the rights of the most affected and to lead to better human rights outcomes for rights-holders, it is crucial to anchor such laws and regulations with not only the perspective of rights-holders but their ongoing involvement.
The in-depth analysis requested by the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights compares the Draft Directive proposed by the European Commission with the positions adopted by the European Parliament and by the Foreign Affairs Committee. It recommends various changes to the Draft Directive, for example in regards to the scope of human rights and environmental standards and the corporate due diligence duty and process.
OHCHR highlights five areas where they believe further attention and discussion are needed in
order to improve alignment with the UNGPs, and to create an EU regulatory framework that is capable of meeting the EU’s stated goals, including: company scope; subject-matter scope; taking action; compliance, enforcement and remedy; and stakeholder engagement.
An alliance of over 60 companies and initiatives are calling on the European Parliament, Commission and EU member states to ensure that living wages and incomes are included in the final corporate sustainability due diligence directive (EU CSDDD) and that their definitions should not be compromised.
While the draft directive has promising elements, we highlight considerable gaps that must be closed to ensure the law can fulfil its historic potential and bring tangible benefits for workers and communities along global value chains (also includes an overview of relevant resources).
The EU's directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence could represent a landmark step forward, but the proposal contains significant flaws which risk preventing its urgently-needed positive impact for people, planet and climate. We join 220+ organisations calling for an effective law.
After a thorough internal analysis of the Directive’s content, as well as external consultations, ASI is now releasing a comprehensive analysis of the proposal for a directive on due diligence, with specific recommendations for the European Parliament and the European Council to strengthen it.
The briefing addresses shortcomings in the parts of the proposal that relate to corporate governance, directors’ obligations and the responsibilities of the financial sector and makes recommendations for appropriate changes.
The coalition successfully campaigned for a supply chain law in Germany. However, due to resistance from the business lobby, this law still has gaps and weaknesses, which is why an even stronger EU supply chain law is needed.
To close women’s month, 82 civil society organizations from across Europe sent an open letter to European Commissioners, Members of Parliament and Permanent Representations involved in the co-legislation of human rights and environmental due diligence legislation, urging them to make sure the gender-responsiveness gap is addressed.
DIHR examines foundational aspects such as personal and material scope, business relationships and the scope of due diligence across the value chain, use of contractual assurances as well as enforcement and liability. It then goes on to consider each element of the due diligence obligation.
This two-part blog explores in detail the EU's draft Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, arguing it provides a strong legal basis to enhance corporate accountability and to create a standard for responsible and sustainable business conduct.
Letter sent to President von der Leyen and Commissioners Breton and Reynders by the International Labour Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
With the right framing, a Directive could advance better outcomes for people and planet. However, for these significant opportunities to be realized, and for the Directive to meet its stated ambition, it is critical that the Directive is firmly grounded in the key international standards on sustainability due diligence adopted by the UN and the OECD.
ActionAid International raises concerns about the European Commission's proposal for a Sustainable Corporate Due Diligence Directive, specifically on the lack of inclusion of any reference to women and other marginalised groups
The newly published Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive falls short on involving workers and trade unions in shaping and monitoring sustainable business due diligence strategies, says the European Trade Union Confederation
Frank Bold argues that the EU's legislative proposal on corporate accountability presents just some elements that foster integration of sustainability and long-term thinking in corporate governance rules, creating the risk of a tick-the-box exercise
The EU's proposal falls short on a number of fronts in its promise to promote sustainable business and investor practices and ensure accountability for harms, says the Investor Alliance for Human Rights
The Escazú Agreement and its principles must be integrated into the list of relevant international conventions that companies must comply with as part of the due diligence measures prescribed in the regulation, the organisations write.
Europe needs a Copernican Revolution in corporate behaviour to tackle the climate crisis and social disparities. To do that, the EU should start with clarifying the fundamentals of corporate law, the authors argue.
This compendium contains the contributions of experts that participated in a series of webinars exploring the topic of due diligence and its connections to civil liability, private international law, and sustainable finance, among other topics
The request, made on the 15th December 2021, asked for all correspondence and (e)meetings with stakeholders and members of the RSB, related to the proposal, as well as the RSB opinion and the Commission Impact Assessment.
14 industry associations and responsible business initiatives express their support for the EU’s objective to ensure respect for human rights and the environment through an EU-harmonised regulatory approach to due diligence.
MEPs Lara Wolters, Heidi Hautala, Manon Aubry and Pascal Durand have sent an access to document request to the Commission, requesting access to the 2 opinions of the Commission’s internal quality control body, the Regulatory Scrutiny Board and communication between interest groups and the RSB on the Commission’s Sustainable Corporate Governance initiative.
The European Commission should keep its promises and uphold corporate human rights obligations according to an open letter sent to President Ursula von der Leyen on 8 December signed by 47 civil society and trade union organisations.
In a debate in Parliament Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation announced that due to the "very disappointing" and "indefinite" delays at the European Commission, the Dutch government will immediately start work on ambitious national binding due diligence legislation.
On International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, over 60 civil society organisations sent an open letter to European Commissioners, Members of Parliament, and Council of the European Union Representatives, urging them to make the forthcoming corporate human rights and environmental due diligence law gender-responsive.
While the discussions on sustainable corporate governance and supply chain due diligence continue at EU level and a proposal for a directive has been postponed several times, Germany is sending a strong signal.
The struggle of the Lenca people, of Bertha and her daughter, is only one example of the daily struggle of indigenous and peasant communities to protect land, water sources, forests and our human family from the negative impacts of corporate activities. The upcoming Sustainable Corporate Governance proposal could be a game-changer for communities faced with corporate abuse worldwide.
Campaign calls on Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders and Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton to introduce an ambitious legislative proposal on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence.
In a letter to President von der Leyen, and Commissioners Reynders and Breton, MEPs stressed the importance of addressing barriers to justice for victims of corporate abuse in the upcoming due diligence law proposal
To effectively stop human rights violations and negative environmental impacts in global supply chains, EU policymakers should ensure the upcoming legislation leads to positive impacts for rightsholders and improves the situation and the livelihoods of smallholders.
In her letter to the presidents of EPP, S&D, Renew, GreensEFA and the Left political groups, President Von der Leyen stresses the importance of ensuring consistency in developing a sustainable framework for economic operators, and that the initiative will be adopted in 2021
"By passing world-leading legislation now to ensure transparency, liability for environmental and human rights abuses and remedy for the individuals affected, the EU can point the way to a safer, more sustainable planet, and establish frontrunner status in sustainability and justice" - MEP Toine Manders, European People's Party, and Steve Trent, Environmental Justice Foundation
The note provides recommendations in light of the European Parliament's resolution of 10 March 2021 on corporate due diligence and corporate accountability, focusing in particular on issues connected with the translation of human rights due diligence into a binding legal standard, and on corporate accountability and remedy.
The undersigned Members of the European Parliament sent a letter to President von der Leyen and 13 commissioners reiterating some of the key demands of the European Parliament’s legislative own-initiative resolution regarding the upcoming proposal on Sustainable Corporate Governance.
The briefing follows a public letter sent by NGOs to DG Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders and Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans in support of the EU Commission plans on Sustainable Corporate Governance.
The fate of the proposals on (i) minimising the risk of deforestation and forest degradation associated with products placed on the EU market and (ii) sustainable corporate governance is now unclear, raising concerns among civil society.
Ferrero, Mars Wrigley, Mondelez International, Nestlé, Tony’s Chocolonely & Unilever shared a joint letter to Commissioners Reynders, Breton and Sinkevičius, calling for the adoption of a legislative proposal without further delay.
Eight years on from the Rana Plaza building collapse, many European fashion companies are still linked to human rights abuses on a daily basis. For an EU due diligence law to make a difference, it can’t just be a list of boxes companies must tick.
The organisations call on the EU to ensure that its upcoming legislative measures are effective and fully uphold their rights as set out in international law, and in line with the EU’s own commitments.
EU Financial Stability Commissioner Mairead McGuiness and Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders explain the importance of aligning the due diligence law proposal with reforms to the non-financial reporting directive (NRFD) if companies are to effectively be held to account
Over half a million people around the globe have demanded a strong EU law to hold corporations accountable for their impact on human rights, including trade union and workers’ rights, and the environment. These demands were made as part of the public consultation launched by the EU Commission.
John Ruggie voices three reservations: (1) directors are not the main driver of short-termism; (2) opposition to addressing directors’ duties may jeopardize the initiative; and (3) doing so may be largely unnecessary, as properly designed mandatory due diligence will itself change directors’ duties, he writes.
The European Commission hold a virtual exchange with three business & human rights advocates from the Global South as part of a public consultation for the proposed corporate human rights and environmental due diligence law
The European Commission is considering a new law to hold businesses accountable for their impact on people and the planet. To support people in participating in the EU's consultation on mandatory due diligence, Friends of the Earth, the European Trade Union Confederation, Arbeiterkammer Europa (AK Europa), Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund (OGB) and the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) have launched a new website.
As the European Parliament begins developing proposals for a new – and momentous – law to hold business to account for its impact on people and planet, Richard Gardiner from Global Witness sets out how this process came about and what needs to happen now to ensure this really delivers results.