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 Due Diligence Policy Hub brings together the OECD's inputs and analysis on key policy developments relating to RBC due diligence. It sets out technical advice provided by the OECD to policy makers on how to align legal and other policy expectations with OECD due diligence standards. 
  • The OECD Alignment Assessments evaluate the alignment of industry or multi-stakeholder programmes with the recommendations of OECD due diligence guidance.

Public consultation - open for submissions until 29 July 2022

The OECD and FAO are launching a public consultation to ensure that the development of the OECD-FAO Handbook on Deforestation, Forest Degradation and Due Diligence in Agricultural Supply Chains benefits from the views and experiences of all stakeholders.

Stakeholders from all countries, including businesses, industry groups, civil society organisations, trade unions, as well as academia, interested citizens, international organisations and governmental experts are invited to participate.

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Stocktaking exercise on the OECD Guidelines for MNEs

The Stocktaking report on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises assesses the key developments, achievements and challenges related to the MNE Guidelines and their unique grievance mechanism, the National Contact Points for RBC, as well as the ecosystem in which the OECD Guidelines are implemented. 

The report was developed based on inputs from the National Contact Points for RBC; Institutional Stakeholders BIAC, TUAC and OECD Watch; consultations with OECD Committees; and inputs received during an online public consultation.

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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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  Business and Finance at the OECD

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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