Conference: Responsibility of businesses towards environment

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How can businesses contribute to a sustainable development? This is the subject of the international conference „Responsibility towards society and the environment: businesses and their due diligence obligations“ on September 19th 2019 in Berlin, hosted by the Federal Environment Ministry, the German Environment Agency and the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.

As a result of globalisation, businesses worldwide are playing an increasingly important role in the context of politics, the environment and society. Their actions impact the environment as well as people's living and working conditions. It is therefore imperative that businesses recognise this responsibility and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Since the publication of the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, due diligence has found its way into various national strategies, industry initiatives and legal provisions such as the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation. In addition to the protection of human rights, the environmental impact of business activities is also addressed.

It is against this background that Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the German Environment Agency and the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection host the to the conference: “Responsibility towards society and the environment: businesses and their due diligence obligations”.

Together with experts from politics, business and civil society, we will discuss the following questions in workshops and other formats:

  • How are human rights violations linked to environmental harm?
  • Can the concept of due diligence be extended or transferred to environmental concerns? What requirements do businesses have to meet in order to conduct environmental due diligence?
  • How can existing instruments and management approaches be further developed and better coordinated with regard to human rights and environmental due diligence? What role can established instruments like environmental management systems or new instruments like the EU certification mark play? 
  • How can policymakers create a consistent policy framework and set uniform expectations for businesses?