OECD guidelines

About guidelines and leadership

On the site of the OECD Investment Committee, documents have been developed that establish standards for doing business in international markets (OECD Guidelines for multinational Enterprises 2011), as well as tools for their implementation by companies and monitoring (OECD Due Diligence Guidelines, OECD  Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct).

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

The Guidelines are a set of guidelines for responsible business actions that governments have addressed to multinational enterprises operating in or from compliant countries.  The Guidelines are supported by representatives of business, workers.organizations and nongovernmenta.organizations through the OECD Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC), the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) and the OECD Watch.

The Guidelines are part of the 1976 OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises, a political commitment taken by acceding states to provide an open and transparent environment for international investment and to stimulate the positive contribution of multinational enterprises to socio-economic progress.

The Guidelines clarify the expectations of the acceding states for responsible business actions and help multinational enterprises to harmonize their activities with government policies.  Balancing the open investment climate with the responsibilities of enterprises is key.

OECD Due Diligence Guide

Businesses can play an important role in promoting economic, environmental and social progress, especially when they minimize the adverse impacts of their operations, supply chains and other business relationships.  The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises recommend enterprises to conduct due diligence to identify, prevent or mitigate impacts and take into account how the actual and potential adverse impacts of their operations are addressed.

The OECD Due Diligence Guide provides practical support for businesses while implementing the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by providing simple explanations for due diligence and related provisions.

The OECD's Due Diligence Guide offers entrepreneurs 3 key steps to implement standards.

As part of the first step, it is proposed to include standards for responsible business conduct in the internal documents of the company, develop internal control systems in accordance with the standards for responsible business conduct, and support the implementation of standards through educational training for employees.  A senior executive should also be appointed as the one responsible for implementing responsible business policy.

At the second stage
, it is proposed to identify the main risks of violating the standards of responsible business action, eliminate such risks and prevent the formation of such risks in the future, carry out regular monitoring, communicate with stakeholders and make the results of work on issues of responsible business conduct publicly available, and conduct an external audit.

At the third stage, it is proposed to implement measures to correct past adverse consequences.

Following these guidelines can help businesses to avoid and address adverse employee, human rights, environmental, bribery, consumer and corporate governance impacts that can be associated with their operations, supply chains, and other business relationships.  The guide contains additional explanations, tips, and illustrative examples of due diligence.

The guidance also aims to promote a common understanding between governments and stakeholders regarding due diligence on responsible business operations.  The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as the ILO's Tripartite Declaration of Principles on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, also provide guidance on due diligence, and this Guide can help businesses implement them.

The guidelines were adopted on 31 May 2018 at the OECD annual ministerial meeting at the Council level.

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