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Best Practices voor een duurzame toekomst
20 december 2008

Dutch Poldermodel backs Corporate Social Responsibility

Bernedine Bos of CSR Netherlands / MVO Nederland, a Dutch government-funded foundation which promotes corporate social responsibility, says this statement "marks where we stand now. A cynic could say "what's new?" We have already known this for years. Looking pragmatically, however, this is an important next step which brings us closer to international supply chain management. The advice shows the time is ripe."

The employers organization VNO-NCW is happy with the statement. "CSR is an important issue", says VNO-NCWs Jan-Willem van den Braak. He thinks the statement can give enterprises "an extra push to get going. Not in a patronizing but facilitating way."

Supply-chain responsibility is a commitment by enterprises to exert a positive influence on the social and environmental policy of their suppliers. According to the statement "that commitment is voluntary but not free of obligation. Enterprises are not legally responsible for what their international suppliers do. An enterprise may have numerous suppliers, after all, and it cannot be held accountable for everything that happens in the supply chain. However, the closer the enterprise's relationship with a supplier, the more contact the two have, and the more familiar the enterprise is with the suppliers situation, the more commitment it can be expected to show."

The declaration advocates a normative framework to identify what can and should be expected of enterprises with respect to the international aspects of CSR and supply-chain responsibility. This framework consists of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998), the ILOs Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (2000), the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (2000) and the recommendations of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on supply-chain responsibility (2007).

Provision for monitoring the effects is included in the statement. The SER will draw up an annual progress report starting in 2009 in which it will review all companies reporting along the lines set out in the statement. The progress report will be discussed in the SER. In 2012 the effects of the statement will be evaluated.

P+ webtip: SER Publication on CSR