Document your entire supply chain

Stay ahead of the game and start your process of complying with the Supply Chain Due Diligence law today.

Supply chain tree diagram

The Supply Chain Due Diligence Act is here

Learn more about what you have to take into account when making sure that your entire supply chain is sustainable.

Human rights risks

1. Minimum age for work 
2. Worst forms of child labor
3. Forced labor
4. All forms of slavery
5. Work-place safety at production facility, especially: 
          a. Production facility or production means are obviously unsafe; 
          b. Lack of appropriate protection from chemical, physical or biological materials;
          c. No prevention of excessive physical and mental fatigue; 
          d. Training and instructions of employees is unsatisfactory.
6. Freedom of Association (forming, joining and acting in labor unions)
7. Equality in Employment, independent of descent, origin, health status, disability, sexual orientation, age, sex, political opinion, religion or world view, including equal pay
8. Fair wages (possibly more than the minimum wage at the production location)
9. Damaging environmental changes (including excessive use of water) which cause considerable harm to people
10. Illegal deprivation of land, forests and bodies of water which serve the livelihood of people
11. Use of security forces who use excessive violence, especially against union members
Any other behavior in breach of a duty to act which is likely to cause human rights injuries in a particularly serious manner and which is obviously illegal in light of the circumstances

Environmental risks

1.– 3. Production or use of mercury and the handling of mercury waste
4.–5. Production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and the handling, collection, storage and recycling of POPs
6.– 8. Export and Import of hazardous waste

What does the act expect from your company?

Here is a list of to-do's that have to be done in order to comply with the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act

Risk management system

- Set up a „Supply Chain Act Roundtable“ to allocate and define long-term responsibilities.

- Track the responsibilities/monitoring measures in writing (in your compliance management system).

- As the management, define the financial and human resources for appropriate monitoring of the supply chain (= own business as well as direct supplier, in case of substantiated knowledge, also indirect suppliers).

- The Act recommends the creation of the position of a human rights officer reporting directly to the management.

- At least once a year and on an occasion-related basis, the management must be informed about the current status of the work.

Appropriate risk analysis

- Determine whether there is a risk that your own business actions or business actions of your direct (or indirect in the case of indications) supplier violate human rights.

- Take stock of all of your company‘s business activities and business relationships via internal and external sources

- Present the results in a risk map: e.g. according to business areas, locations, products, countries of origin.

- Prioritize the identified risks (according to „appropriateness criteria“ = (i) the nature and scope of the business, (ii) the company‘s ability to influence the immediate violator, (iii) the expected severity of the violation, (iv) the reversibility of the violation, (v) the likelihood of the violation occurring, (vi) the nature of the contribution to causation), especially if you cannot address everything at the same time.

- Communicate the results of the risk analysis to the relevant decision-makers in the company.

A policy statement

The enterprise must issue a policy statement on its human rights strategy. Senior management must adopt the policy statement. The policy statement must contain at least the following elements of a human rights strategy of the enterprise:

1. the description of the procedure by which the enterprise fulfils its obligations

2. the enterprise’s priority human rights and environment-related risks identified on the basis of the risk analysis and

3. the definition, based on the risk analysis, of the human rights-related and environment related expectations placed by the enterprise on its employees and suppliers in the supply chain.

Preventive measures

- Develop/update your codes of conduct for your own business, based on the policy statement. Make regular updates.

- Integrate sustainability into your purchasing practices. When concluding contracts in high-risk areas, make sure that the overall design of the contract does not increase the risk of human rights violations

- Procurement guideline: For individual procurement steps determine which precautions are to be taken to minimize or prevent the identified risks.

- Conduct employee training/education on the relevant codes of conduct and guidelines (especially in purchasing), e.g. during on-boarding of new employees.

- Make careful supplier selection and supplier assessment. Note: Certifications such as SMETA (SEDEX), SA8000, BSCI or industry-specific seals are only an initial guide, as their content varies.

Remedial action

- In your own business, you must take remedial action leading to the cessation of the violation.

- In the case of (imminent) violations in the business of your direct (in case you have “substantiated knowledge” also your indirect) supplier, if you are not in a position to stop the violation yourself, you must immediately prepare, together with the supplier, a corrective action (time) plan to minimize and prevent the violation. Make your requirements clear and offer concrete support.

- Breaking off business relations with a supplier is only envisaged as a last resort in the Act.

- The effectiveness of the preventive measures mentioned must be reviewed once a year and on an occasion-related basis.

Complaints procedure

- The complaints procedure serves to enable (i) (potentially) affected persons in their own business and
in and around the supply chain and (ii) persons who have knowledge of possible violations to point out
human rights and environmental risks and violations.

- The procedure must be set out in writing, in particular:
       - Who are the target groups?
       - What happens when a complaint is made?
       - What procedural steps follow?
       - What is the time schedule?

Users do not suffer any disadvantages by using the complaints procedure! Confidentiality and data protection are guaranteed!
- To ensure that people are aware of the respective complaint channels, you must provide public (website) and regular targeted information about the complaints procedure. The procedure must also be
made transparent.

- The effectiveness of the complaints procedure must be reviewed at least once a year or on an occasion related basis and updated immediately if necessary

- The complaints procedure under the Supply Chain Act is more far-reaching than the whistleblowing system according to Whistleblowing Directive/Whistleblower Protection Act in that it must also be accessible to persons outside the own company.

Documentation on the fulfillment of due diligence

- The Act requires that companies document the fulfillment of duty of care obligations and report on it once a year.

- Report once a year (no later than 4 months after the end of the business year) on the previous year’s fulfillment of your duty of care obligations, in particular on the risks identified and the measures taken.

- Make your report publicly accessible on your website free of charge for a period of 7 years.

Annual report about identified risks

Preparation of an annual report about identified risks,measures taken and an assessment of the effectiveness of the measures taken to be published within fourmonths of the end of the business year