Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
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- OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct
- 2023 update of OECD Guidelines
- OECD Due Diligence Guidance
OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct
Canada is 1 of 51 countries that recommend observance of the OECD Guidelines to multinational enterprises operating in or from their territories.
Canada is committed to promoting and furthering the effectiveness of the Guidelines.
The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct (PDF):
- provide recommendations on voluntary principles and standards for responsible business conduct, consistent with domestic and international laws
- address public concerns about the social, economic and environmental impacts of business activities on the societies in which multinational enterprises operate (including and beyond OECD countries)
- offer a framework for multinational enterprises to advance responsible business conduct
- cover key areas of responsible business conduct, including: human rights; employment and industrial relations; environment and climate change; bribery and other forms of corruption; consumer interests; disclosure; science, technology and innovation; competition; and taxation
The OECD Guidelines:
- are an integral part of the OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises
- reflect good practices for all businesses, no matter the size, wherever they operate
2023 update of OECD Guidelines
The OECD Guidelines have been periodically updated since their introduction in 1976. The 2023 update, released on 8 June, reflects the first update of the Guidelines since 2011.
The 2023 updates aim to ensure the Guidelines remain relevant and fit-for-purpose as businesses and societies navigate an evolving range of social, environmental, and technological priorities and challenges.
- recommendations for enterprises implement to align with internationally agreed-upon goals on climate change and biodiversity
- updated recommendations on conducting due diligence around impacts and business relationships related to the use of enterprise’s products and services
- enhanced calls for the protection of at-risk persons and groups
- greater recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples
- updated recommendations on disclosure of responsible business conduct information
- expanded due diligence recommendations to address all forms of corruption
- updates to the Science, Technology and Innovation Chapter, including expectations on due diligence related to the development and use of technology
- updated procedures to promote an effective global network of National Contact Points
OECD Due Diligence Guidance
Due diligence is a process businesses undertake to identify and respond to real and potential negative impacts related to their own operations as well as throughout their supply chains.
The OECD has developed five Guidances to inform and assist enterprises in implementing effective due diligence and RBC practices:
- OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct (2018)
- OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector (2017)
- OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains (2016)
- Due Diligence Guidance for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in the Extractive Sector (2016)
- Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (2011)
The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct:
- provides support to multinational enterprises on the implementation of the OECD Guidelines, through plain language explanations of its due diligence recommendations and associated provisions.
- can also be used by businesses to respond to due diligence expectations of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy
The due diligence framework set out in the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct indicates that:
- Effective due diligence should be supported by efforts to embed RBC into policies and management systems.
- Enterprises should undertake due diligence by:
- identifying actual or potential adverse impacts on RBC issues;
- ceasing, preventing or mitigating them;
- tracking implementation and results; and,
- communicating how impacts are addressed.
- The due diligence process aims to enable enterprises to remediate adverse impacts that they cause or to which they contribute.
The OECD has also developed guidance for specific contexts:
- financial sector
- mineral supply chains, including conflict minerals
- agricultural supply chains
- garment and footwear sector
- stakeholder engagement in the extractive sector
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