The OECD Guidelines
The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are recommendations addressed by governments to multinational enterprises operating in or from adhering countries. They provide non-binding principles and standards for responsible business conduct in a global context consistent with applicable laws and internationally recognised standards. The Guidelines are the only multilaterally agreed and comprehensive code of responsible business conduct that governments have committed to promoting.
SMEs are also encouraged to observe the Guidelines’ recommendations to the fullest extent possible.
The enterprises are called, as far as possible, to encourage their business partners, including suppliers and subcontractors, to apply principles of responsible business conduct compliant with the Guidelines.
The Guidelines describe the responsible conduct in relation to the main social and environmental risks that the business activity involves in the global market.
Part I contains the description of the behaviors expected by the companies and is divided into the following chapters: Concepts and principles. General principles. Disclosure of information, Human Rights, Employment and Industrial Relations, Environment, Fight against Corruption and Concussion, Consumer Interests, Science and Technology, Competition, Taxation.
The description of expected behaviors is accompanied by an indication of the instruments, both regulatory and non-regulatory, to which the company can refer in the various areas.
Part II is dedicated to the nature, activities and institutional relations of the NCP. In particular, we describe the mechanism of specific instances, the remedial instrument that represents a peculiarity of the system.
The Guidelines are characterized by the implementation mechanism, consisting of an international network of National Contact Points (NCPs) dedicated to the promotion of the Guidelines and a remedial tool (the mechanism of specific instances) that offers the mediation of the NCP to resolve disputes between stakeholders and companies, based on the Guidelines.
The official versions of the Guidelines are those in English and French. The Italian version, however, received the approval of the OECD.
The promotion and practical diffusion of this standard in Italy represents the mission of the NCP.