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17 Apr 2024

Stéphane Brabant, Senior Partner at Trinity International AARPi,
Eugénie Denat, Doctor of Law

Demystifying the CSDDD: practical approach for businesses

[...] There appear to be many expectations and the companies concerned are discovering new obligations which, if not explained, can seem complex to implement. It therefore appears necessary, in simple terms, to demystify some of the most essential provisions in order to reassure businesses about the application of the directive and its content.

1- [...] The CSDDD (i) thus responds to the “fragmentation” of regulations, which is always complex for companies that have activities in several countries, (ii) ensures, through fairly high precision and its more global application, better legal certainty for companies and (iii) ) allows as much as possible competition on an equal footing not only on a European level but also on a global level (level playing field). [...]

2- The CSDDD is based, including for its possible interpretation, on the 2011 United Nations Guiding Principles (UNDP) and those of the OECD on multinationals, so-called soft law principles, moreover, often already largely voluntarily endorsed by the companies, particularly French ones, which have made this “their hard law” through self-regulation. [...]

3- Companies must, and especially in conjunction with stakeholders (populations, workers, etc.), demonstrate vigilance - the basic obligation of the CSDDD - on all possible risks of negative impacts that their activities and those of their business relationships (subsidiaries, subcontractors, suppliers) may have on human rights and the environment (lists attached to the Directive), draw up a “mapping” of them and evaluate them in particular in terms of seriousness. [...]

The CSDDD is therefore, for companies, a legal tool for sustainable profitability. By Stéphane Brabant, Paris Bar - Senior Partner at Trinity International AARPi and Eugénie Denat, Doctor of Law.