The OECD Guidelines
The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises is the most comprehensive and only multilateral adopted recommendations for responsible business conduct backed by a total of 49 governments.
A main goal of the OECD Guidelines is that the business sector should contribute to sustainable development. The Guidelines clearly express expectations in ares such as human rights, including labor rights, the environment, anti-corruption and transparency. A core element of the OECD Guidelines is that companies are expected to perform due diligence to avoid causing harm to people, society and the environment.
All OECD countries are obliged to establish national contact points for promoting the the Guidelines as well as establishing a complaint mechanism.
Norway NCP handles complaints against Norwegian enterprises related to the OECD Guidelines. In line with Norway NCP’s mandate of 2018 the NCP will also handle specific instances related to the ILO Declaration concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy.
Enterprises should operate in accordance with domestic laws and regulations. They should assess, prevent and mitigate adverse impacts on human rights, workers’ rights and the environment, and fight corruption. This applies to companies’ own activities and to the supply chain.
Enterprises are expected to regularly disclose information on operations and results, and demonstrate that they are taking responsibility for the themes in the OECD Guidelines in line with the most advanced standards for transparency and reporting.
States have the duty to protect and realise human rights. Enterprises should respect human rights and seek ways to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts on human rights through due diligence and remediation processes.
Enterprises should respect the rights of workers, cooperate with employee representatives, fight discrimination and contribute to the abolition of child labour and forced labour.
Enterprises should prevent, mitigate and reduce adverse environmental impacts, for instance through environmental management systems. This is a duty, but also a business opportunity.
Enterprises play an important role in combating corruption and bribery through internal controls, ethics and compliance programmes.
Enterprises should act in accordance with fair marketing and advertising practices, and ensure the quality and reliability of the goods and services they provide.
Through the transfer of new technologies between countries, enterprises contribute to economic and social progress. Enterprises play an important role in developing national innovative capacities.
Enterprises should operate in a manner consistent with all applicable competition laws and regulations, and refrain from anti-competitive activities. This contributes to functioning markets that promote welfare and economic growth.
Enterprises should contribute to the public finances of host countries by making timely payment of taxes and avoid inappropriate shifting of profits or losses to reduce the tax burden.