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February 2022: Investors and companies call for timely and effective mandated European due diligence

In February 2022 over 100 investors and companies signed on to a statement in support of Making EU legislation on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence effective. Coordinated by the Business and Human Rights Resource Center, the Investor Alliance circulated the statement to its members and networks. Over 40 investors backed the statement which urged the European Commission to move swiftly to publish the proposal for mandated human rights and environmental due diligence (mHREDD) in light of repeated delays.

The statement called for robust mHREDD measures including:

  • Anchoring mHREDD in international frameworks like the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and ensuring that all businesses established in the EU and/or active on the internal market, including financial actors, are covered.

  • Obligating businesses to carry out ongoing due diligence proactively and across all their operations and the full value chain.

  • Mandating requirements which go beyond tick-box compliance and address irresponsible purchasing practices, as well as being embedded in appropriate governance structures at the board level.

  • Requiring meaningful stakeholder engagement throughout the due diligence process.

  • Including strong administrative and civil liability provisions to enable access to remedy for those harmed.

Currently the European Commission is expected to release the legislative proposal for sustainable corporate governance, including mandated due diligence, on February 23.