Brussels, 23 February 2022
Today, the European Commission has finally presented its long-awaited initiative on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, setting out mandatory due diligence obligations for companies. Based on its members’ long-term experience in supply chain compliance management systems, the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) is taking this opportunity to reaffirm the need for a fully harmonised approach at EU level on due diligence.
“FESI supports the European Commission’s intention to promote human and labour rights in global supply chains, as well as environmental standards. Today’s proposal is a good step to advance harmonization and convergence on due diligence across Europe”, commented Jérôme Pero, FESI Secretary-General. “To be fully effective, the new EU framework should remain consistent with existing and recognised global standards, such as the OECD guidelines. Imposing disproportionate burdens on companies would risk undermining the overall EU recovery process”.
A large number of FESI member companies have been operating supply chain compliance management systems for several years. This has contributed to drive significant social and environmental improvement in their respective supply chains through regular reporting, public disclosures, and external verification exercises. Hence, FESI warns against any attempt to reinvent the wheel, which would create a duplicate workload for companies. Priority should be given on aligning the EU framework with internationally recognised standards enshrined in the OECD guidelines for responsible business conduct and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as incentives instead of penalties.
FESI and its members now look forward to an open dialogue and collaboration with the European Parliament and the Council to build a clear and proportionate proposal on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence.
Contact: Ariane Gatti, FESI Communication Manager / [email protected] / +32 274 08 94