The Advisory Board for Environment and Sport at the BMUV welcomes the corporate due diligence requirement planned by the EU. The current draft seeks to legally obligate companies operating in the EU to respect the environment and human rights in global value chains. Together with existing legislation and other regulatory initiatives such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the EU Taxonomy Regulation, this draft is a further step towards sustainable business practices under uniform European conditions.
To date, voluntary analyses of their own impacts on humans and nature, voluntary measures or assumption of responsibility by companies have not led to reliable or adequate efforts from European industry to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement or to compliance with the ILO Core Labour Standards.
For that reason, we need ambitious, legally binding standards that are quickly effective. In its area of competence, the Advisory Board supports the Commission proposal to create a legal due diligence requirement for companies in order to identify, limit, eliminate or remedy their negative impacts on the environment and human rights. At the same time, the Advisory Board considers it important that a company’s human rights due diligence takes the views of those affected into particular account, especially when designing due diligence obligations and remedial action. This will ensure that those adversely impacted are comprehensively and effectively protected.
The Advisory Board sees the specific risk potential of a company as a key parameter for the scope of the CSDDD, irrespective of the size of the company. Even very small enterprises below the minimum size currently proposed can have substantial impacts on sensitive natural spaces or vulnerable groups. In the view of the Advisory Board, therefore, the provisions of the CSDDD should also cover small businesses in risk sectors.
The Advisory Board calls for companies in risk sectors to integrate science-based climate goals in their corporate strategies and asks that climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation and protection of drinking water be included as comprehensively as possible in corporate due diligence.
The Advisory Board for Environment and Sport has been based at the Federal Environment Ministry since 1994 as an advisory body to the German government. Its tasks include evaluating new trends in leisure sports in nature and landscape, developing recommendations for action on restructuring urban spaces to be more exercise-friendly, generally promoting more exercise in people’s daily life and leisure time and developing ideas and initiatives for sustainable sports venues and sustainable (major) sporting events. The Advisory Board has 14 honorary members who are experts in sustainable sport and exercise development from environmental agencies, sporting bodies, local government, urban development, science, business, nature conservation, environmental protection and organised sport in Germany.