BIICL-led due diligence study basis for European legislative initiative
European Commission will launch a legislative initiative to consider the introduction of mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence
Yesterday, on 29 April, EC Commissioner Didier Reynders (DG Justice and Consumers) presented the BIICL-led study on due diligence requirements through the supply chain. During the presentation, it was announced that the European Commission will launch a legislative initiative to consider the introduction of mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence regulation. The announcement took place during a fully-booked webinar of 500 attendees plus a waitlist, organised by the European Parliament Responsible Business Conduct Working Group and chaired by the Vice-President of the European Parliament, MEP Heidi Hautala.
The study, which BIICL undertook in consortium with Civic Consulting (Berlin) and LSE Consulting, was published on 24 February. It sets out regulatory options and sub-options around mandatory due diligence for human rights and environmental impacts. Described by MEP Hautala as "possibly the largest study of its kind", it included results from over 631 survey responses, 50 interviews and informational calls, 10 company case studies and 12 country reports, as well as a regulatory review and preliminary impact assessment.
Following the announcement, MEP Hautala tweeted a response from a business stakeholder which called this a "milestone moment for the business & human rights movement" and stated that "[t]he impact of this webinar cannot be underestimated, it sounds the start of a new time".
In line with the findings of the study, Commissioner Reynders noted the importance of a legislative mechanism which is cross-sectoral and accompanied by sanctions.