Multi-stakeholder sustainability initiatives are crucial in providing solutions to tackle human rights and environmental problems in supply chains. The sustainable value chain legislation of the EU is important, but legislation alone will not be able to solve these problems.
IDH, in its paper The role of multi-stakeholder sustainability initiatives in reaching the goals of the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive examines the synergies between the proposed directive and four IDH-led initiatives: Beyond Chocolate, the Dutch Initiative for Sustainable Cocoa, Sustainable Initiative Fruit and Vegetables, and the generic model of a landscape program linked to SourceUp.
The paper shows how multi-stakeholder sustainability initiatives (MSIs) can facilitate the achievement of positive impact on the people and the planet.Not only they complement and go beyond establishing due diligence processes as required by the legislation, but they also help mitigate the risks that the directive brings up.
Companies bear the responsibility for complying with the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CS3D) and organizing proper due diligence processes.
On the other hand, MSIs can offer them several measures, tools and guidelines adapted to a particular sector. They can also provide the space to share lessons learned and collaboratively work to tackle bigger challenges.
The added value of the Multi-stakeholder sustainability initiatives
The multistakeholder sustainability initiatives have developed a broad inventory of measures and tools. These can be instrumental in performing the due diligence process, while striving to raise the ambition of the sectors.
The initiatives analysed are the strongest in:
- identifying adverse impacts for companies in the sector (step1);
- prioritizing them collectively (step 2); and
- translating those into the commitments that companies will undertake (step 3).
The objective of the MSIs reviewed here is to reduce the negative social and environmental impacts of companies in the supply chain.
While CS3D and other due diligence laws can be seen as “setting the floor” on minimum standards, the MSIs are designed to “raise the ceiling” for the sector over time focusing on collaborative work in a pre-competitive setting.