Communication for Sustainable Development

European Commission - policy on corporate social responsibility

European Commission states that to fully meet their social responsibility, enterprises “should have in place a process to integrate social, environmental, ethical and human rights concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close collaboration with their stakeholders”.
The aim is both to enhance positive impacts – for example through the innovation of new products and services that are beneficial to society and enterprises themselves – and to minimize and prevent negative impacts.

The new policy puts forward an action agenda for the period 2011-2014 covering 8 areas

Enhancing the visibility of CSR and disseminating good practices: this includes the creation of a European award, and the establishment of sector-based platforms for enterprises and stakeholders to make commitments and jointly monitor progress.

Improving and tracking levels of trust in business: the Commission will launch a public debate on the role and potential of enterprises, and organise surveys on citizen trust in business.

Improving self- and co-regulation processes: the Commission proposes to develop a short protocol to guide the development of future self- and co-regulation initiatives.

Enhancing market reward for CSR: this means leveraging EU policies in the fields of consumption, investment and public procurement in order to promote market reward for responsible business conduct.

Improving company disclosure of social and environmental information: the new policy confirms the Commission’s intention to bring forward a new legislative proposal on this issue.

Further integrating CSR into education, training and research: the Commission will provide further support for education and training in the field of CSR, and explore opportunities for funding more research.

Emphasising the importance of national and sub-national CSR policies: the Commission invites EU Member States to present or update their own plans for the promotion of CSR by mid 2012.

Better aligning European and global approaches to CSR:
the Commission highlights the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises,
the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact,
the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,
the ILO Tri-partite Declaration of Principles on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy,
the ISO 26000 Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility.

A report on the implementation of this action agenda should be published in time for a review meeting scheduled for mid 2014. 

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