On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted to request that companies by law conduct environmental and human rights due diligence along their full value chains. Enhanced civil liability and fines would be in store for companies that don’t take their impacts on the environment and human rights across their full value chain seriously. We are seeing the responsibility for companies to undertake human rights due diligence starting to transform into a legal duty under EU law – and bringing environmental due diligence along with it. The European Parliament’s draft is about lawmakers conveying to the European Commission (the EU’s executive) what they would envision this law to contain. This in turn feeds into the European Commission’s proposal for a directive on sustainable corporate governance – likely to be published in June 2021.
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