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10 October 2019
88 NGOs and trade unions launch an appeal for a European regulation making human rights and environmental due diligence mandatory
On 03 October 2019 a coalition of 88 NGOs and European trade union organizations (ETUC, Uni Europa, EFBWW, EPSU, EFFAT, ETF, and IndustriAll Europe) called for the adoption of a regulation that would establish a mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence framework for business, companies and financial institutions operating, or offering a product or service, within the EU. These more binding rules address the prevention and mitigation of risks that these rights may be breached as a result of...
11 September 2019
Germany: new ‘Green Button’ label created for textiles produced in line with social and environmental standards
In Berlin on 09 September, German Economic and Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU), officially launched his key project creating the ‘Grüner Knopf’ (Green Button). The Federal Economic and Development Ministry will award the Green Button certificate to textile-based products that comply with a series of environmental and social production standards, thereby providing a layer of guarantees to consumers seeking equitable and sustainable production processes. The Green Button’s overriding characteristic is...
6 September 2019
Great Britain : SME punishes staff for bringing single-use plastic into the office in bid to reduce environmental impact
This unprecedented case was initially flagged by the HR-focused press in the UK. Intelligent Hand Dryers, based in Sheffield, in northern England, has attracted attention for having banned its dozen or so employees from bringing single-use plastic into the office. Whether it’s a coffee cup, plastic bottle or a sandwich pack, employees that bring in any single-use items containing plastic will get a warning from the company’s management. After three warnings, repeat offenders will be fired. The measure was...
4 September 2019
Australia: companies are encouraging staff to participate in the Global Climate Strike
Some forty companies across the tech, health, and finance sectors have joined the ‘Not Business as Usual’ alliance in a bid to voice their support for the global climate strike. In concrete terms the business leaders are encouraging their staff to participate in the global climate strike set for 20 September 2019 and they are also encouraging other Australian companies to join them because, “Businesses and individuals must also play their part and this responsibility is even more urgent when governments...
30 August 2019
CSR : pilot programme launched to combat gender violence at sub-contractor of big clothing brands in Lesotho
Three trade unions – the IDUL, UNITE and NACTWU – and two women’s rights organisations – FIDA and WLSA – based in Lesotho have joined forces with the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), the US independent labour rights organisation, to reach a series of agreements with the brands Levi Strauss, The Children’s Place and Kontoor Brands, as well as their international clothing supplier Nien Hsing Textile, based in Taiwan. The agreements cover a comprehensive pilot programme intended to prevent gender-based...
22 July 2019
France: Teleperformance called on to comply with duty of vigilance legislation
In a statement on 18 July, international trade union federation UNI Global Union, together with the well-known French legal activist NGO, Sherpa (for the protection and defense of victims of economic crimes) announced they were putting the French outsourcing giant, Teleperformance (best known for its call center business), on formal notice to comply with the French Law on Duty of Vigilance regarding human rights by ‘strengthening its plan and implementation procedures.’ If the warning is not followed...
22 July 2019
France: Samsung indicted for misleading business practices violating labor rights
On 03 July 2019, two French activist groups — Sherpa and ActionAid France signaled that the he French subsidiary of the Korean electronics giant Samsung was indicted. According to their statements (Sherpa statement, ActionAid statement), this stage means ‘that the investigating magistrate recognizes that Samsung’s ethical commitments may indeed constitute business practices in which the company, or issuer, is engaged.’ Indeed article L121-1 of the national Consumer Code explains that a business practice is...
19 July 2019
ING: three NGOs file complaint with Dutch contact point for the OECD, demanding that the bank ceases investment in the palm oil sector
On 5 July, environment-focused NGOs from three different countries – Milieudefensie (Netherlands), Sustainable Development Institute (Liberia) and Wahana lingkungan Hidup Indonesia – announced that they have filed a complaint with the Netherlands’ contact point for the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) against the Dutch banking group ING. The complaint regards the bank’s funding of three palm oil companies: Noble Group, Bolloré Group/Socfin and Wilmar International. The NGOs...
12 July 2019
Great Britain: employers brace themselves for the Global Climate Strike
With the Global Climate Strike, founded following the movement propelled by the emblematic Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, having called for a global strike to protect the planet on 20 September, some employers are taking the lead on the matter, the Financial Times revealed in recent days. The British newspaper asked major employers what they plan to do when the day of the strike comes around. Patagonia, the US clothing brand, said that it always encourages its employees to campaign for the environment and even...
11 July 2019
Great Britain: government looking to stamp out modern slavery
After the recent scandal surrounding the discovery of UK’s largest modern slavery network, where a gang in the West Midlands was found to have been busing over victims (400) from Poland, on 09 July the UK government announced it would be cracking down harder on corporates over the issue of slavery. Since 2015 large companies in the UK have to publish an annual report detailing their efforts to counter modern slavery, forced labor and human trafficking (c.f. article No. 9173). However the Interior Minister stated...