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3 Mar 2021

Selected quotes on mandatory due diligence from European SMEs

This compilation is part of our Mandatory Due Diligence portal, where we have collected more examples of business support for mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence.

"Modern slavery and illegal child labor are a serious problem in global supply chains. And there’s no way of knowing if it’s hidden in the products we buy. That’s why we fully back the @larawoltersEU report proposing EU law for #duediligence and corporate accountability."

Tony's Chocolonely, Netherlands, chocolate, ~200 employees, via Twitter

"We won't stop until #HumanRights and #environmental due diligence is the default. Thats why we signed a joint statement in Support of the @EU_Commission calling for mandatory legislation."

ARMEDANGELS, Germany, fashion, ~90 employees, tweeting on a joint business statement in support of EU mandatory due diligence

"UnternehmensGrün begrüßt... die politischen Anstrengungen für ein europäisches Lieferkettengesetz... und unterstützt die Bestrebungen, auch in Deutschland ein ambitioniertes Lieferkettengesetz vorzulegen... Aus Perspektive des nachhaltigen Mittelstands sollte das Lieferkettengesetz menschenrechtliche Sorgfaltspflichten nicht auf einzelne Aspekte verkürzen... Der Gesetzgeber muss allgemeine Regeln zur Haftung aufstellen, muss einklagbare Rechte benennen, Anspruchsberechtigte als aktivlegitimiert aufzeigen; Beweislastfragen regeln, die Vertretung durch NGOs und Gewerkschaften vorsehen und Spezialregelungen für einzelne Marktsegmente schaffen."

Unofficial translation: "UnternehmensGrün... welcomes the political efforts for a European supply chain law... and supports the efforts to present an ambitious supply chain law in Germany as well... From the perspective of sustainable 'Mittelstand'/SMEs, the supply chain law should not reduce human rights due diligence obligations to isolated aspects... Legislation must establish general rules on liability, specify enforceable rights, identify stakeholders as having the right to bring claims; regulate questions of burden of proof, provide for representation by NGOs and trade unions, and create special regulations for individual market segments."
Federal Association of Sustainable Business (BNW), Germany, formerly UnternehmensGrün, representing >400 SMEs and 'Mittelstand' companies from Germany and beyond, in a position paper

"Ausbeutung von Mensch und Natur ist kein nachhaltiges Geschäftsmodell. Wir sind Mittelstand und wir befürworten ein Lieferketten- bzw. Sorgfaltspflichtengesetz."

Unofficial translation: "Exploitation of people and nature is not a sustainable business model. We are 'Mittelstand' and we support a supply chain or due diligence law."
DACH Schutzbekleidung, Germany, protective wear, 11-50 employees, in a commentary complementing the joint call for a German law that "paves the way" towards strong EU legislation

"L’engagement pour un cadre légal imposant une chaîne d’approvisionnement respectueuse des droits de l’homme et des normes environnementales est un devoir moral qui ne peut pas être relativisé par des arguments de libre concurrence ou de benchmark européen. Il est de loin préférable de s’intéresser au retombées positives d’une telle démarche auprès des clients et collaborateurs et d’en faire un avantage économique que de s’inquiéter des aspects négatifs respectivement des contraintes. Peintures Robin s’engage depuis de longues années pour un monde plus équitable."

Unofficial translation: "The commitment to a legal framework mandating a supply chain respectful of human rights and environmental standards is a moral duty that cannot be relativised by arguments of free competition or European benchmarking. It is far better to focus on the positive impact of such an approach on customers and employees and to turn it into an economic advantage than to worry about the negative aspects respectively constraints. For many years, Peintures Robin has been committed to a fairer world."
Peintures Robin, Luxembourg, paints & varnishes, ~100 employees, in a commentary complementing the joint call for a "due diligence law in Luxembourg that paves the way for ambitious regulation at the European level"