The purpose of the new study was to analyze how well the NAP UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and where there are still deficits. It should also be developed which important new topics in the field of human rights have meanwhile been added. Regarding the latter point, it is noticeable that in 2015 audits and certifications still had no role in the Report played. In contrast, the new study from 2022 makes some suggestions for the classification and further development of audits and certifications.
This is due to the fact that audits are playing an increasingly important role in the implementation of supply chain laws such as the LkSG. On the one hand, this is good news, but on the other hand, it also makes it clear that the legislature must pay more attention to the quality and reliability of certifications. Among other things, it proposes:
- The federal government should define binding quality criteria that make it possible to measure the validity of audits and certifications and to establish comparability between different providers.
- There should be an independent quality check and monitoring of sustainability labels and certifications.
- Seals should be awarded by independent third parties and not by the manufacturing companies themselves.
- In the context of the implementation of the LkSG, seals/certifications should only have a supporting function and should not be approved as “safe harbour” solutions for companies.
XertifiX would expressly welcome it if the government would take more action in this area in order to achieve quality assurance for the audits and certifications offered and used on the market. Especially with a view to smaller companies (“SMEs”), it must be emphasized that reliable seals/certifications can take on a significant relieving function, which should not be underestimated. But even in these cases, it goes without saying that the “ultimate responsibility” and liability for their own supply chains must always lie with the companies themselves.
bzw.: pdf (German)