Whether it's Shell in Nigeria, Dow Chemical in Bhopal or fashion brands producing enterprises in low income countries, there are numerous cases of human rights violations and environmental damage caused by businesses. And the Swiss businesses are no exception.
The executives of multinationals are able to identify the possible risks of human rights violations that may arise during their activities. Nevertheless, several companies give more importance to their profits rather than to the protection of humans and the environment. Therefore, the initiative for responsible corporations has become more necessary than ever.
The initiative requires businesses to ensure respect for human rights and environmental standards during their activities. So that careless businesses respect the law, infringements must be followed by consequences. Therefore, in the future, corporations will have to respond to human rights violations and environmental damage in which they are involved.
The responsible business initiative does not require the establishment of new authorities. The extension of the responsibility of companies to their branches and subsidiaries that are controlled abroad, ensures the effective implementation of the duty of due diligence. The company's liability is triggered only in cases where it cannot show that it has properly exercised its due diligence. This will strongly encourage multinational businesses to take necessary measures.
The irresponsible behavior is currently rewarded and can even represent a competitive advantage. The initiative aims to establish more equity between progressive enterprises and those that don't care about their responsibilities, so as to ensure that in future all multinational corporates will respect human rights and environmental standards.