Environmental Due Diligence: Key Takeaways from Multistakeholder Workshop

08-06-2021

On 11 May, AIM, AmCham EU, amfori, Business Europe, FESI and JBCE organised a workshop to collect different perspectives from industry practitioners, policymakers, academia and civil society on what environmental due diligence means and how it should be framed as part of an overall legal framework on human rights and environmental due diligence (HREDD). 

The workshop emphasised that international normative standards like the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises play an important role in providing global guidance on responsible business conduct. The forthcoming legislation should draw on such standards as well as on the industry’s best practices to ensure that the new rules are possible in practice.  

The workshop also stressed that due diligence is not the responsibility of companies alone. International law applies to the States’ obligation to regulate private actors to ensure they implement due diligence. Hence, governments also have a role to play and need to create an enabling environment for companies. They must implement measures and ensure policy coherence for example.   

The Science-Based Targets (SBT) initiative is the golden standard to measure due diligence on climate and performance expectations for operations. 

While biodiversity is a key environmental issue, there is no one-size-fits all approach on how to operationalise due diligence in this space; the key is to be pragmatic and to engage in nature-positive actions that are locally meaningful. 

All in all, HRDD and EDD often require different handling. EDD needs large amounts of data and scientific evidence as products and environmental standards are not the same everywhere. Complexity exists when navigating through different standards and legislation. HRDD, on the contrary, builds on an internationally backed reference framework. Some identified similarities were the need for education and capacity building.  

Different EU Member States are preparing their own domestic laws, nevertheless it is crucial that a harmonised approach be adopted and identical mandatory requirements be set across the EU. 

  

For further information, please contact Valentina Bolognesi, Senior Social Policy Advisor