Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely - October 2017

by Foley Hoag LLP - Corporate Social Responsibility
Contact

Foley Hoag LLP - Corporate Social Responsibility

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring.

This week’s post includes: a paper from on the proposed draft elements for an international treaty on business and human rights; new guidance from the United Kingdom with regard to compliance with the Modern Slavery Act; and a review of corporate responsibility reporting.

  • On September 29, the Intergovernmental Working Group on Business and Human Rights released a paper reflecting proposed elements for a potential international treaty on business and human rights. The paper is intended to support discussions at the Working Group’s third session, which will be held in Geneva from October 23-27. Key elements reflected in the paper include: an intent to reaffirm the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; language stating that companies should respect internationally recognized human rights; and language stating that governments “shall adopt legislative and other measures…to establish and apply the legal liability” of companies for violations or abuses of human rights resulting from their operations.
  • On October 2, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) published its Exposure Draft Standards for 79 different industries. The Exposure Draft Standards will be open for comment through December 31, 2017. The SASB Standards are intended to provide guidance to companies seeking to incorporate sustainability information into their financial disclosures. The Standards provide guidance on how companies can assess and report on the sustainability topics most likely to be material given the nature of their operations. The Standards are expected to be finalized in 2018.
  • On October 4, the Government of the United Kingdom released updated guidance for companies seeking to comply with the U.K. Modern Slavery Act. The guidance does not change formal compliance requirements but rather clarifies the government’s expectations with regard to “best practices” in corporate reporting pursuant to the Act. Notably, while the Act itself states that companies “may” include information on six specified subjects, including corporate policies and due diligence processes, the new guidance states that corporate statements “should aim” to include this information.
  • On October 6, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued a notice confirming that the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations would be officially revoked as of October 12. On January 2017, President Obama had issued an Executive Order stating that certain trade sanctions on Sudan would be lifted as of July 12, 2017, if the Government of Sudan “sustains positive actions it has taken over the last 6 months.”  In July 2017, President Trump extended the review period from July 12 to October 12. Notably, certain sanctions remain in place and Sudan has not been removed from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Companies should consult counsel before exploring commercial opportunities.
  • On October 13, KPMG released the 10th edition its report, The KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility ReportingThe report address topics and trends ranging from the disclosure of financial risks associated with climate change to reporting on corporate human rights performance. With regard to human rights performance, KPMG observed that “human rights is firmly on the agenda as a global business issue” with 90% of the world’s 250 largest companies by revenue explicitly referencing human rights in their reports. KPMG found that companies in Western Europe, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific region are most likely to discuss human rights, while companies in Eastern Europe and the United States are less likely to acknowledge human rights as a business issue.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Foley Hoag LLP - Corporate Social Responsibility | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Foley Hoag LLP - Corporate Social Responsibility
Contact
more
less

Foley Hoag LLP - Corporate Social Responsibility on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.