Aligning the CS3D with the core concepts in the international standards

The EU is currently in the process of negotiating a legal instrument that will establish new corporate human rights and environmental due diligence duties across the single market – the draft Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CS3D). At the heart of the negotiations is how to ensure the CS3D is meaningful in driving better human rights and environmental outcomes while also being manageable for companies.

This crucial phase of negotiations is a vital opportunity to align the CS3D with the core concepts in the international standards. The international standards on sustainability due diligence – the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines) – help answer precisely that question, so it’s not surprising that the negotiators’ positions have increasingly built on the core concepts in these standards. Not only have they been shown to work in practice – diverging from them in the CS3D would risk creating a fragmented and confused approach, especially for the many companies that have already been working to implement them.

In this report, Shift takes stock of where progress has been made – and where work still remains – to ensure greater alignment between the positions of the three EU political institutions – the Commission, Council and Parliament – and the international due diligence standards.