OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: Overview of Selected Initiatives and Instruments Relevant to Corporate Social Responsibility

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),

Author +
Ran Goel

Year: 2005

The last fifteen years have witnessed a remarkable proliferation of corporate responsibility tools ­ ethics codes, principles, guidelines, standards and other instruments. Over 300 currently exist worldwide. These tools of corporate responsibility serve two primary purposes. First, they seek to promote corporate practice that is more responsible and accountable. Second, these tools strive to establish a clear and common understanding of central concepts such as sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. While the use of these tools is mostly voluntary, several could emerge as industry standards that supply the legitimacy, consistency and comparability demanded by corporations and its stakeholders. For many corporate executives, the question is no longer whether to use these tools, but which ones to use and how. There is much confusion and uncertainty regarding the role, function and quality of many corporate responsibility tools. This dilemma is similarly faced by institutional investors pursuing improved corporate responsibility practice in their equity holdings. This guidebook provides an overview of today’s leading corporate responsibility instruments, principles, codes and standards for pension fund trustees.

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Download the Full OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises report

This report provides an overview of the unique status and characteristics of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy and the UN Global Compact. These instruments complement privately-developed corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and are key expressions of the broader systems of public and private governance from which the private initiatives emerge