PARIS - At the 2023 Meeting of the OECD Council at Ministerial Level, Ministers adopted newly updated Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct designed to respond to urgent social, environmental and technological priorities facing business and society.
The Guidelines, last updated in 2011, are the leading global standard on responsible business conduct and are widely applied in business practice and public policy. They are recommendations jointly addressed by governments to multinational enterprises in order to enhance business’ contribution to sustainable development and address the adverse impacts of business on people, planet and society.
Key changes include:
- Recommendations for enterprises to align with internationally agreed goals on climate change and biodiversity; and to ensure lobbying activities are consistent with the Guidelines;
- Due diligence expectations on the development, financing, sale, licensing, trade and use of technology, including gathering and using data;
- Better protection for at-risk persons and groups, including those who raise concerns regarding the conduct of businesses;
- Recommendations on how enterprises are expected to conduct due diligence on impacts and business relationships related to the use of their products and services;
- Updated recommendations on disclosure of responsible business conduct information;
- Inclusion of due diligence recommendations to all forms of corruption;
- Strengthened procedures to ensure the visibility, effectiveness, and functional equivalence of National Contact Points on Responsible Business Conduct.
The update of the Guidelines was conducted by the 51 countries that adhere to the Guidelines, including both OECD members and non-members accounting for two-thirds of global trade. The update benefitted from close involvement of the OECD institutional stakeholders Business at OECD, the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, and OECD Watch, representing the views of millions of businesses, workers, and civil society members globally. The process also included two public consultations that were open to interested stakeholders from all countries.