On 17 August 2022, the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle, “BAFA”) has issued its first handout to provide guidance to companies currently implementing a risk management system to comply with the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (“SCDDA”). The document is aptly titled
A company’s ability and commitment to include environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in its strategy becomes more and more important to investors, consumers, policy makers, civil society organizations and other stakeholders. There is a fundamental societal shift towards sustainability and responsibility. Managers are held accountable for ESG compliance. While environmental and governance aspects have…
On June 11, 2021, the German parliament passed the “Law on corporate due diligence in supply chains” (“Supply Chain Law”) (“Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz”). It requires companies to take steps to prevent human rights violations in their supply chains. This builds on the growing momentum for mandatory human rights due diligence (see our previous blog posts here and here).
Continue Reading Business and Human Rights – Germany passes Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence Law
On 29 April 2021, the German Federal Constitutional Court published its groundbreaking ruling following several constitutional complaints against provisions of the German Federal Climate Change Act of 2019. In its order, the First Senate of the Constitutional Court held that the provisions determining national climate targets and the annual emission amounts allowed until 2030 are incompatible with fundamental rights insofar as they lack sufficient specifications for further emission reductions from 2031 onwards. The German legislator is now obliged to enact provisions by 31 December 2022 that specify in greater detail how the reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions are to be adjusted after 2030.
Continue Reading ESG litigation: German Federal Constitutional Court rules that the German Federal Climate Change Act is partially unconstitutional
On March 3, 2021, the German government adopted a draft bill which obliges companies to ensure that human rights are observed throughout their entire supply chain. The aim of the “draft legislation on corporate due diligence in supply chains” (“Draft Bill”) (“Sorgfaltspflichtengesetz”) is to require companies to take steps to prevent human rights violations in their supply chains. This builds on the growing momentum for mandatory human rights due diligence (see our previous Blog Post).
Under the Draft Bill:
- companies must ensure that human rights are being respected throughout their entire supply chain;
- companies must establish complaint mechanisms and report on their due diligence activities;
- companies with more than 3,000 employees must meet their due diligence obligations as of January 1, 2023 (and companies with more than 1,000 employees as of 2024);
- violations of the obligations set forth in the Draft Bill will be sanctioned with fines, which can amount to up to 2% of the average annual turnover for large companies with more than 400 million euros annual turnover.