OECD Recommendation on the Role of Government in Promoting Responsible Business Conduct
The past decade has seen an increased demand that businesses meet international standards on RBC to contribute to sustainable development and prevent and avoid harm to people, the planet, and society. OECD RBC instruments, including the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, have captured this demand, focussing on business actions.
In recent years, however, there has been a growing recognition that governments play a key role in supporting the effective implementation of RBC standards by providing an enabling policy environment, creating incentives, and exemplifying RBC in their own activities.
To address this need, the OECD Council adopted the Recommendation on the Role of Government in Promoting Responsible Business Conduct on 12 December 2022, followed by a public launch at the OECD Ministerial Meeting on Responsible Business Conduct on 14-15 February 2023.
The Recommendation lays out a set of 21 principles and policy recommendations to assist governments, other public authorities, and relevant stakeholders in their efforts to design and implement policies that enable and promote responsible business conduct. A total of 51 countries have adhered to the Recommendation.
Developing this Recommendation involved an iterative process with OECD and non-OECD countries and representatives from businesses, trade unions and civil society, including an online public consultation.
OECD Work on Public Policy for RBC
In the context of the implementation of the Recommendation on the Role of Government in Promoting Responsible Business Conduct, the OECD helps policymakers promote responsible business practices through research and technical advice in different thematic areas. It also facilitates the exchange of experience and good practices among governments at the national and regional levels to support capacity-building in these areas.