Realising responsible business conduct

Exploring the role of regulation in advancing human rights and environmental due diligence in a Danish and EU context

Denmark has for years been regarded a frontrunning country when it comes to responsible business conduct. For example, Denmark was among the countries that through Danish legislation paved the way for the later EU level non-financial reporting directive. At the same time, an EU level 2019 study of non-financial reports that included 34 Danish companies showed that only app. 40% of the included Danish companies shared information around their human rights due diligence processes and only 15 % referred to a commitment to provide remedy for harmed people.

Going beyond regulating the area of non-financial reporting to advance responsible business conduct the EU as well as members states such as France and the Netherlands have introduced different types of due diligence legislation. In addition, the EU has recently committed to put forward in 2021 an EU level legislative proposal including to ensure that companies implement human rights and environmental due diligence.

This conference will explore the role of regulation in particular mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation in the ‘smart mix’ of measures that the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights call on governments to design and implement. The objective of the event is to facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue on what constitutes a ‘smart mix’ in the Danish and EU context.

Registration: Due to Covid-19 participation is limited. To stimulate discussions, the conference prioritises representation of participants across stakeholder categories.  The conference will also be online accesible through livestreaming. Registration is organised by the Danish Ethical Trading Initiative. After registration you will receive a confirmation. Please note that due to the prioritisation of participants from different stakeholder groups, this confirmation is just a preliminary registration.

Timeline

Date: Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Time: 8.30 – 13.15

Venue:  Online via Livestreaming

Programme

08.30-08.35: Introduction to the agenda and welcome by moderators of the day, Eva Grambye, Deputy Executive Director, Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) and Mikkel Stenbæk Hansen, Director, Danish Ethical Trading Initiative (DIEH) (Danish)

08.35-08.45: Opening remarks from Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod, The Social Democratic Party (Danish)

08.45-08.50: Online statement from Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice

08.50-08.55: Online statement from Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director, UN Global Compact

08.55-09.10: State of play – introduction to the notion of a ‘smart mix’, selected recent international and Danish developments as well as key aspects of relevance in a Danish context by Signe Andreasen Lysgaard, Strategic Advisor, The Danish Institute for Human Rights (Danish)

09.10-10.15 (ONLINE PARTICIPATION): Emerging approaches: developments at EU level & learning from Germany, France, the Netherlands and Norway. Moderator: Elin Wrzoncki, Department Director, The Danish Institute for Human Rights.

  • Heidi Hautala, Vice President and Chair of the Responsible Business Conduct Working Group, European Parliament
  • Bärbel Kofler, Federal Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance, Germany
  • Dominique Potier, Member of Parliament, France
  • Cees van Dam, Professor of International Business and Human Rights at the Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University Rotterdam), the Netherlands,
  • Heidi Furustøl, Excecutive Director of Ethical Trade, Norway

10.15-10.30: Coffee

10.30-11.00: Initial reflections from Danish stakeholders, Moderator: Eva Grambye, Deputy Executive Director, The Danish Institute for Human Rights (Danish)

  •  Trine Christensen, Secretary General, Amnesty International Denmark
  • Susanne Stormer, Chief Sustainability Advisor, Vice President, Novo Nordisk
  • Thomas Bustrup, Deputy Director General and COO, Confederation of Danish Industries
  • Stine Pilegaard Jespersen, Vice President, The Danish Chamber of Commerce
  • Peter Ahrenfeldt Schrøder, Industrial Policy Adviser, The Danish Trade Union Confederation
  • Vibeke Myrtue Jensen, Policy Advisor, Sustainability and Transport, The Danish Consumer Council

11.00-11.30: Political perspectives on the role of regulation in a Danish ‘smart mix’ and the role of Denmark in advancing human rights and environmental due diligence at the EU level. Moderator: Mikkel Stenbæk Hansen, Director, The Danish Ethical Trading Initiative (DIEH) (Danish)

  • Torsten Schack Pedersen (MP), Spokesman on Trade and Industry, The Liberal Party
  • Katrine Robsøe (MP), Spokeswoman on Trade and Industry, The Social Liberal Party
  • Rasmus Nordqvist (MP), Spokesman on International Development, The Socialist People’s Party
  • Eva Flyvholm (MP), Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, The Red-Green Alliance

11.30-11.45: Light refreshment and networking

11.45-13.00: Stakeholder dialogue (Danish) Danish stakeholders explore selected aspects of potential regulatory measures on human rights and environmental due diligence as part of the “smart mix” of approaches for Denmark and the EU, drawing on the international experiences.

Moderator: Mikkel Stenbæk Hansen, Director, The Danish Ethical Trading Initiative (DIEH).

  • Thomas Bustrup, Deputy Director General and COO, Confederation of Danish Industry
  • Stine Pilegaard Jespersen, Vice President, The Danish Chamber of Commerce
  • Peter Ahrenfeldt Schrøder, Industrial Policy Adviser, The Danish Trade Union Confederation
  • Irene Quist Mortensen, Head of CSR & Sustainability, Arla International
  • Troels Børrild, Head of ESG, Senior Vice President, Akademikerpension
  • Trine Christensen, Secretary General, Amnesty International Denmark
  • Jakob Kronik, Vice Chair 92-group and International Director, Forests of the World
  • Flemming Nør-Pedersen, Executive Director, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council

 13.00-13.15: Closing remarks, Eva Grambye, Deputy Executive Director, Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) and Mikkel Stenbæk Hansen, Director, Danish Ethical Trading Initiative (DIEH) (Danish)

Cecilie Münster

Network Manager, Menneskerettigheder og arbejdstagerrettigheder