Human rights, disclosure, employment and industrial relations, the environment, bribery and extortion, consumer interests, science and technology, competition and taxation—there’s a whole lot of important factors businesses need to take head of when it comes to practising good, responsible corporate behaviour. Good thing then that the OECD has just released its updated OCED Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: Recommendations for responsible business conduct in a global context. The Guidelines, which set out an expected code of conduct for multinational enterprises (including New Zealand of course) have been endorsed by the 12 OECD member countries and this time round place an even greater focus on human rights. The hefty piece of documentation aims to help to create a global level playing field for multinational enterprises by:
• ensuring that the operations of enterprises are consistent with local law
• strengthening mutual confidence between enterprises and the societies in which they operate
• improving the foreign investment climate, and
• encouraging multinationals to contribute to sustainable development.
Multinational enterprises have the ability to exert influence on all points of their supply chain and the potential to really promote good corporate behaviour and social responsibility.
New Zealand’s contact point for the OECD, the Ministry of Economic Development, encourages all businesses to follow the guidelines as much as possible—including companies whose immediate operations are domestic, but who participate in an international supply chain, as well as those with international operations.
You can download the document in full HERE or scroll below to see the major changes to the updated guideline.