Centering Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence in the US National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct
In-person event at Keough School Washington Office. Please RSVP here for details.
In June 2021, to mark the tenth anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States would update its National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct (NAP). On August 31, the Keough School, in partnership with the World Benchmarking Alliance, Rights CoLab, BSR, and the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, will host a roundtable discussion to provide input into this plan, focusing on how to center human rights and environmental due diligence in public policy, regulation, and guidance.
The NAP draws on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. These standards recognize human rights and environmental due diligence as the core of responsible business conduct. By conducting due diligence, companies can identify, prevent, and mitigate negative impacts, account for how they address them, and operate more sustainably.
This approach has gained global momentum. Earlier this year, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on corporate sustainability due diligence, and Japan’s Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry has issued its own set of guidelines. Yet while other countries are making progress, the United States lags in this area. A recent assessment by the World Benchmarking Alliance found that 84% of US companies scored zero on human rights due diligence, compared with 59% of companies from other G7 countries.
How can the US government encourage companies to take more systemic approaches to human rights and environmental due diligence? What can US companies learn from the experiences of businesses around the world who have made progress in this area? And what role can policymakers, as well as other stakeholders play in this process?
Join us for a roundtable discussion to hear recommendations from civil society, government, business, and finance experts. This conversation is part of the consultation process for updating the United States’ National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct.
A networking reception will follow this discussion. Light refreshments will be provided.