Responsible Business Conduct, the new normal for a sustainable future

Responsible business conduct (RBC) sets out an expectation that all businesses – regardless of their legal status, size, ownership or sector – avoid and address negative impacts of their operations, while contributing to sustainable development in the countries where they operate.

The OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct uses RBC standards and recommendations to shape government policies and help businesses minimise the adverse impacts of their operations and supply chains, while providing a venue for the resolution of alleged corporate, social, environmental, labour or human rights abuses. Through RBC, businesses can make a positive contribution to economic growth and development and become a powerful driver for achieving the SDGs.


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OECD standards and tools on RBC

  • The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines) are the most comprehensive international standard on RBC. The OECD Guidelines reflect the expectation from governments to businesses on how to act responsibly. They cover all key areas of business responsibility, including human rights, labour rights, environment, bribery, consumer interests, as well as information disclosure, science and technology, competition, and taxation. 
  • The National Contact Points for RBC (NCPs)are established by governments to promote the OECD Guidelines and to handle cases against companies when the OECD Guidelines are not observed as a non-judicial grievance mechanism. NCPs are a unique implementation mechanism on RBC and have supported access to remedy on a global scale by providing a platform for mediation and conciliation. 
  • Risk-based due diligence, a key element of RBC, is a process through which businesses identify, prevent and mitigate their actual and potential negative impacts and account for how those impacts are addressed.
  • The OECD Alignment Assessments evaluate the alignment of industry or multi-stakeholder programmes with the recommendations of OECD due diligence guidance.

RBC e-learning Academy

The OECD e-learning Academy on Responsible Business Conduct provides learners with a unique opportunity to advance their knowledge on responsible business conduct and OECD risk-based due diligence. 

Register now and accelerate learning in the world of supply chain due diligence and contribute to our shared efforts to build responsible global supply chains!

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RBC and trade

New report Building more resilient and sustainable global value chains through responsible business conduct explores the links between RBC and global value chains (GVCs) resilience in the context of COVID-19 and other threats such as climate change. It shines a light on the relationship between business practices, GVC disruptions, and environmental and social impacts, and identifies practical RBC-based options to build resilience to a broad range of salient risks.

This paper also proposes priority actions for businesses and governments to further integrate trade, investment and RBC policies and practices, and develop partnerships to foster trust in global markets, resilience and sustainability.

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2021 Global Forum on RBC

The 9th OECD Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct held virtually on 15-17 June and bringing together governments, businesses, trade unions and civil society to promote international dialogue on RBC and contribute to the effective implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Discussions at the Forum explore what business conduct we need today in order to solve the challenges of tomorrow and whether we have the right standards and tools to make RBC the new normal in an interconnected world.

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COVID-19 and RBC

The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically disrupted business and exposed major vulnerabilities in the economy and global supply chains. Responsible business conduct can serve governments and business in shaping responses to the crisis that ultimately create short-term and long-term benefits.

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