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Harm to the environment cannot be part of global supply chains

The European Parliament is paving the way for a new law that requires companies to address human rights and environmental standards within their value chains.

The legislative initiative report is calling for the urgent adoption of a binding EU law that ensures companies are held accountable and liable when they harm – or contribute to harming – human rights, the environment and good governance.

“We refuse to accept that deforestation or forced labour are part of global supply chains,” said rapporteur Lara Wolters (pictured above). “Companies will have to avoid and address the harm done to people and the planet in their supply chains.”

Binding EU due diligence rules would oblige companies to identify, address and remedy aspects of their value chain (all operations, direct or indirect business relations, investment chains) that could or do infringe on human rights (including social, trade union and labour rights), the environment (contributing to climate change or deforestation, for example) and good governance (such as corruption and bribery).

Also, companies that want to access the EU internal market, including those established outside the EU, would have to prove that they comply with environmental and human rights due diligence obligations.

Photo: European Parliament/Alexis Haulot

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