European Parliament Adopts The Strongest Position on CSDD To Date

On 1 June 2023, The European Parliament voted for an ambitious position for the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), a solid base for trilogue discussions between the Parliament, European Commission and European Council, which kicked off today. This is a landmark move for human rights and the environment, and yet, there is still more that can be done. The Sustainable Textile Initiative: Together for Change (STITCH), of which Fair Wear is a part, have shared key reactions to this move, and what it means for the sector. 

As per the UN Guiding Principles (UNGP) and the OECD guidelines, all companies must conduct human rights and environmental due diligence (HREDD) when doing business. Now that the European Parliament has adopted almost all of the JURI committee’s propositions for the CSDDD, its position is much more closely aligned with these standards compared to the Commission or Council’s. This is welcomed by all STITCH partners, especially as Fair Wear’s human rights due diligence (HRDD) policy and facilitation tool are both in line with these principles.

STITCH has extensive experience working with brands, trade unions (TUs) and TU federations, local and international NGOs, manufacturers and their business associations among many others to implement social standards in the garment and textile industry. Based on this, STITCH and Fair Wear’s support for the European Parliament’s vote is down to the following elements: 

  • A risk-based approach, explicitly listing risk scoping, assessment and prioritisation, mandating appropriate measures, and insisting on a responsible exit;
  • A dedication to stakeholder engagement and the explicit protection of vulnerable groups and whistleblowers;
  • The definition of ‘adverse human rights impact’, which mirrors the UNGPs; and,
  • A central set of joint guidelines to accompany the legislation.

However, STITCH have also outlined how the legislation can be expanded to make a greater impact. The recommendations are to:

  • Broaden the scope to include more companies in specific industries, which acknowledges SMEs’ vital role in building the necessary leverage to advance meaningful long-term change.
  • Incorporate a company’s purchasing practices more explicitly in the core articles on policy, risk assessment and appropriate measures; and,
  • Further elaborate on access to remedy.

Fair Wear and all STITCH partners urge all legislative EU institutions to support the strong points of the European Parliament’s position and address the above recommendations to make the final directive even more impactful for people, the planet and business worldwide.  

To gain deeper insights into this important step towards EU-wide HREDD, please read the full article here.