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BSCI welcomes the new EU Communication on CSR

On 25 October, the European Commission published its long awaited new Communication on corporate social responsibility. The Communication sets out the priorities and actions planned for the next three years on CSR in the EU. The BSCI welcomes the recognition by the European Commission of the positive contribution of companies involved in “self-regulation processes” in respecting human/labor rights and the environment. We are particularly pleased that the growth of our initiative, BSCI, is seen by the European Commission as an indicator of the progress made in recent years.
 
The Communication of the Commission builds on the experience and knowledge gained by companies and public entities in this area over the past few years and reflects the further development of the international discussion on CSR. It recognises the role of CSR to reinforce European companies` competitiveness, while considering the specific restraints and resource limits of SMEs.
 
The Communication focuses on human rights and renews the definition of CSR to integrate recently developed or updated international guidelines and principles, such as ISO 26000, UN Global Compact, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights also known as John Ruggie framework, the ILO tri-partite Declaration on Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises. According to the Communication, these should serve as a basis for companies’ CSR strategies and activities, and will help the Commission to drive policy coherence, at European and national level. The Communication also puts emphasis on CSR reporting and intends to rebuild trust in business through increased transparency and disclosure on CSR issues. The Commission will propose legislation on CSR reporting in 2012.
 
As a next step, the BSCI will analyse the Communication and the potential impacts of further developments for its member companies and develop a response to the Communication. We invite you to contact us if you have any questions or would like to share comments and suggestions.
 
The Communication can be downloaded from the European Commission website, here.
26 October 2011