How business is done has significant impacts on people’s lives, society, the environment and economies. Being a Responsible Business means taking steps to prevent and reduce negative impacts on these areas and promote the positive outcomes.
The public, consumers, shareholders and governments also have increasing expectations of businesses to operate in a responsible manner.
To that end business owners need to be aware that there are both mandatory and voluntary initiatives, which guide and regulate different aspects of responsible business.
What businesses must know
There is a range of Responsible Business obligations in development or underway that business must take heed of:
EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)
The EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive sets mandatory standards for how large businesses and listed companies report on the environmental, social and human rights impacts of their activities.
Proposed EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD)
The proposed EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive will create legally binding obligations on companies to address the adverse environmental and human rights impacts arising from their own operations, their subsidiaries' operations and their chain of activities.
EU Ecodesign for Sustainable Product Regulation
The proposed EU Ecodesign for Sustainable Product Regulation will introduce new product regulations to reduce the negative life cycle environmental impacts of products, increase re-use, repairability, and product circularity, while improving the functioning of the internal market.
EU proposal on prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market
The EU proposal on prohibiting products made with forced labour, when enacted aims to keep the EU market free from products made, extracted or harvested with forced labour, whether they are made in the EU or elsewhere in the world.
More about building Responsible Business
OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct are guidelines which multinational enterprises are expected to maintain, and which OECD member countries have committed to uphold. In Ireland, we uphold the Guidelines through the OECD National Contact Point.
Trade and sustainable development
Trade is increasingly intertwined with the agenda of responsible and sustainable development. Information on the European Union’s trade and sustainable development policy is available at Trade - sustainable development.
Climate Toolkit 4 Business
Tackling our carbon emissions is good for our planet, our economy and your business. The Climate Toolkit 4 Business provides your business with practical ways to start taking action.
Other national and international initiatives
Other important national and international initiatives relating to Responsible Business include: