On 21 April, the European Commission released its proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive which, if adopted, would reinforce the obligations made to companies to inform about environmental, social and governance matters on the basis of common European reporting rules. A proposal for an EU instrument on Sustainable Corporate Governance, which would include human rights due diligence duties, is also expected in the coming weeks.
IndustriAll Europe welcomes these steps, which are going into the right direction, as long as they promote a vision of responsible business conduct that encompasses accountability, transparency, and a definition of companies being run in the interest of the many, not the few.
Last week, industriAll Europe’s Executive Committee adopted a clear position(i) detailing the specific demands European industry trade unions have regarding:
- mandatory due diligence
- a stakeholder-oriented approach of corporate governance, and
- mandatory corporate reporting
These are the three essential components of genuine sustainable companies that over half a million people around the globe have demanded to the EU during the public consultation run by the European Commission on sustainable corporate governance. This consultation attracted unprecedent attention. Expectations of the EU to deliver the long-awaited mandatory instruments that workers, trade unions and citizens have been claiming for run very high.
Judith Kirton-Darling, industriAll Europe Deputy General Secretary stressed:
“IndustriAll Europe will make sure that the voice of industry workers is heard throughout the legislative debates so that each of our demands are reflected in the future EU instruments on due diligence, corporate governance and sustainable reporting. We will not depart from our main objectives which are to achieve:
- legally-binding rules,
- applicable to all companies and their supply chains,
- with the full involvement of trade unions all along the reporting, due diligence and corporate governance processes.
The recently published proposal for Corporate Sustainability reporting already falls sort on those points, as SMEs are excluded from mandatory reporting, and consultation rights of trade unions and worker representatives in companies are overlooked. There is still a long way to go to reach EU instruments which are up to our standards, but the journey has only started and industriAll Europe and its member organisations are ready to embrace it”.