Corporate Eye

New CSR Regulation Coming Your Way

As has been stated many times, I’m a firm believer that the EU will introduce mandatory CSR regulation in the very near future.

This is not an article of faith (or want), simply a fact which springs from what the EU has said that it’s going to do.  In the timetable for implementing on the Single Market Act (PDF), passed in late 2011, the EU said the Single Market would include a “legislative proposal on the transparency of the social and environmental information provided by businesses”.

You can’t really get much clearer than that, can you?

EU CSR regulation

Now a little more of how the EU is thinking has come to light, thanks to an article entitled Responsible Business: a key to competitiveness in its online Enterprise and Industry magazine.

This article lays out the following points:

  • the EU is embarking upon a strategy up to 2014 with the priorities of enhancing the visibility of CSR and improving the disclosure of social and environmental data
  • the EU will soon publish proposals on how it will monitor the CSR policy commitments of EU based companies with over 1000 employees, regardless of where their operations are
  • one aim of the legislative measures being considered is to “improve accountability and promote sustainable business among multinationals”
  • the expectation is that all businesses should have in place “a process to integrate social, environmental, ethical, human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close collaboration with their stakeholders”
  • however most SMEs wil fall outside the regulatory requirements and changes to EU laws will be made to ensure this.

One of the best tactics when dealing with regulation is to look at what’s not said.  If the EU’s intention can be writ large, it’s in this statement:

for most SMEs the CSR process is likely to remain informal and intuitive

Therefore, for big business, it’s likely to be anything but.  You have been warned.

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A former CTO, Chris has a broad and varied background. He’s been involved with blue chips, consultancies & SMEs across a wide variety of sectors and has worked in Europe, the Middle East and Australia. In 2007 he decided to combine his knowledge of business and IT with his passion for all things sustainable and has been busy writing ever since. However, his greatest ambition remains to brew the perfect cup of coffee.