Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

In 2013, a study issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) drew attention to the relevance of Responsible Business Conduct (RBC). Cross-border economic activity of multinational enterprises (MNEs) involves a wide range of cultural, legal and regulatory environments, which coupled with intense competition from international businesses, forms a highly complex and competitive system where MNEs, stakeholders and business partners have to face specific and compound challenges. Although many companies strive to comply with RBC standards and take direct steps to achieve them, there are businesses that ignore these due diligence guidances in order to gain an undue competitive advantage. In particular, this is true in those economic environments where legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks are underdeveloped or flawed. Nonetheless, more and more companies are shaping their business practices in the spirit of Responsible Business Conduct, recognizing that addressing societal problems and promoting corporate interests can be mutually supportive.

It is the duty and responsibility of governments to protect the internationally recognized fundamental rights and to improve the functioning of markets along the lines of good governance, fair regulation and transparency. Whereas companies hold the responsibility for adopting responsible business practices that take into account the impact of their economic activities on society. In their accountability, it is the role of trade unions and civil society to play an active part, while forums of international organizations, peer learning and policy recommendations are in charge of enhancing and promoting the dialogue. The economic crisis of 2008 has clarified the need for market integration.

Today, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (the Guidelines) is one of the most comprehensive set of recommendations on Responsible Business Conduct supported by governments.

For the brief summary of the Guidelines, please visit: https://mneguidelines.oecd.org/mneguidelines_rbcmatters.pdf

Website of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: http://mneguidelines.oecd.org/mneguidelines/