February 28, 2020
A recent study by the European Commission found that only 1 in 3 businesses in the EU are currently undertaking “due diligence” (as defined by the Commission) on human rights and environmental impacts through their supply chains.
Due diligence, says the Commission, “in this context, means that for example a company checks their suppliers and operations to be sure it 'does no harm.' It could imply that a company needs to check if their suppliers are not using child labour, or that they do not pour waste products into the rivers.”
70% of the 334 business survey respondents agreed that EU-level regulation on a general due diligence requirement for human rights and environmental impacts could provide beneficial for business, per the BEERG Global Labor Newsletter.
Didier Reynders, EU Commissioner for Justice, said: “Companies told us they believe that EU rules would here provide legal certainty and a harmonized standard for businesses' duty to respect people and the planet. As working towards climate neutrality is among the top priorities of this Commission, I will make sure the results of this important study are taken into account for future work.”