Press Release - CSR Europe, sectors and companies deliver strong policy message on shared responsibility for human rights and global value chains

Brussels, 17th March 2016

Yesterday, CSR Europe gathered actors from its network, EU Institutions and sector supply chain platforms to deliver a strong policy message on shared Responsibility for Human Rights and Global Value Chains. This came at the Open Forum, which was held in Brussels. 

The morning session was hosted by Richard Howitt, MEP and Rapporteur on CSR. It featured a range of experts on business and human rights such as Giulia Genuardi from Enel, Peter Buijze from Coca-Cola Europe, and Dante Pesce, Chairperson of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights.

The session concentrated on embedding human rights across company functions as well as how to leverage Stakeholder relations and ensure the use of coherent policies across Europe. CSR Europe’s latest publication ‘Blueprint for Embedding Human Rights in Key Company Functions’ was also launched.

During his opening speech, Richard Howitt made the following comment:

It is no longer sufficient for the Company Executive to say "I didn't know." The concept of 'due diligence' says: "You should know." Or perhaps even better: "You should have a method in place to find out, so that you do know." I hope this is an area which the next CSR Action Plan will do some work on at the European level”

The afternoon session explored the notion of shared responsibility for global value chains in more detail and delivered a strong policy message to the EU institutions

To achieve more sustainable supply chains, more collaboration is required. Not only between companies, but between companies and stakeholders, and with governments. In light of this, three concrete policy suggestions were delivered:

  • Focus development efforts on local capacity building for suppliers
  • Support the creation of local sustainable development networks
  • Support for sectoral and cross-sectoral initiatives

Silvia Magnoni, Head of Civil Society Communities at The World Economic Forum/Global Agenda Council on Human Rights stated that:

“There are a few reasons to remain positive, and one of them is the creation of platforms that act as a forum for collaboration.”

Stefan Crets, Executive Director of CSR Europe also stressed that:

 “Competitiveness in itself can be enhanced through more sustainable supply chains. Collaboration between development agencies, NGO’s, local supplier networks, companies and also governments can achieve the impact of enhanced shared value that is required.”

The full agenda of the event can be found here.


About CSR Europe

CSR Europe is the leading European business network for Corporate Social Responsibility. Through its network of around 50 corporate members and 45 National CSR organisations, it gathers over 10,000 companies, and acts as a platform for those businesses looking to enhance sustainable growth and positively contribute to society. In its mission to bring the CSR agenda forward, CSR Europe goes beyond European borders and cooperates with CSR organisations in other regions across the world.

CSR Europe's mission is to connect companies to share best practices on CSR and innovate with peers to shape the business and political agenda on sustainability and competitiveness in Europe.

Practically, through the Enterprise 2020 initiative, CSR Europe fosters collaboration and innovative practical action to shape the business contribution to the European Union’s Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.


More information

Press contact:

Lucinda Pearson ( +32 (0) 2 541 1613


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