EU Due Diligence Directive a major step in advancing responsible business conduct
Published date: 14 December 2023
GRI welcomes agreement reached on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive
GRI has welcomed the outcome of the final negotiations between the European Parliament and the European Council to set new rules to integrate human rights and environmental impacts into companies’ governance. Last night, the parties agreed on ambitious rules for responsible business conduct on environmental impacts and human rights.
One year after the adoption of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which sets mandatory disclosure requirements for companies on their due diligence processes (an obligation to tell), the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) sets behavioural obligations to identify, prevent, mitigate, communicate and remedy adverse impacts in their value chain (the obligation to act).
Eelco van der Enden, CEO of GRI, said:
“The EU is to be commended for treating the behavioural expectations as laid out in the CSDDD as complementary to the reporting requirements from the CSRD. I congratulate MEP Lara Wolters, Commissioner Didier Reynders and EU2023ES for reaching this agreement.
“The internationally agreed principles for responsible business conduct, due diligence and respect for human rights are at the very heart of the GRI Standards, laying the foundation for all GRI reporting. Consequently, we have worked with EFRAG to integrate this also in the ESRS.
We were pleased to see that the requirements related to climate plans were not minimized. This deal recognizes the challenges for financial institutions of implementing ambitious regulations. Our hope is that, as we move forward, the review clause will offer an opportunity to include both upstream and downstream activities of financial institutions within the scope of the CSDDD.
Finally, we understand that companies outside of the EU also fall under the CSDDD. The good news there is that since the GRI Standards are fully aligned with the OECD requirements for due diligence, companies that report with GRI are already well prepared.”
The GRI Universal Standards were significantly updated in 2021, with changes that meant they are first reporting standards to fully reflect due diligence expectations for organizations to manage their sustainability impacts, including on human rights, as set in intergovernmental instruments by the UN and OECD.