With the 2011 update of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, an important instrument for corporate responsibility has been strengthened with input from the business community via BIAC, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, part of USCIB’s global network.
The Guidelines are the most comprehensive non-binding code of responsible business conduct, and cover the areas of disclosure, human rights, employment and industrial relations, environment, bribery, consumer interest, science and technology, competition and taxation. The success of the update will depend on shifting the Guidelines process away from an almost exclusive focus on its complaint mechanism to a more solution-oriented approach modeled on multi-stakeholder initiatives.
The Confederation of German Employers and the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers, both BIAC members, developed a brochure in order to familiarize enterprises with the Guidelines’ recommendations and the National Contact Point procedure.
The brochure addresses major issues, including due diligence and avoiding adverse impacts, in Q&A format and can be downloaded from the BIAC website at www.biac.org/mne_guidelines.htm.
The German and Dutch federations also co-organized and hosted a Conference on Responsible Business Conduct in a Global Context in The Hague on December 12, 2011. The conference focused on two significant developments in the field of corporate responsibility, namely the OECD MNE Guidelines and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The success of the Guidelines will also depend on their ability to contribute to a global level playing field for business. BIAC and USCIB will continue to urge OECD to undertake determined efforts to encourage emerging markets to adhere to the Guidelines.
Staff Contact: Adam Greene