Fairtrade and B Lab have published a new guide to support small companies in their human rights and environmental due diligence efforts, the organisation said.
‘People and the planet in business – A simple guide to how small and micro companies can start or strengthen their due diligence’ offers tailored guidance on how small and micro companies working across sectors can identify, prevent, mitigate and account for the negative impact of their business on human rights and the environment.
It has become more critical than ever for companies to reduce human rights and environmental risks associated with their operations. Existing due diligence guidance is technical or aimed at large companies, said Fairtrade, so the due diligence standards and regulations can appear daunting and complex, particularly for smaller businesses working with limited resources.
In recognising this gap Fairtrade and B Lab have developed a new guide to support small companies in implementing socially and environmentally responsible business practices.
“We hope that due diligence will soon be regarded as an essential aspect of business operations, much like food safety standards are today,” commented Maija Lumme, Business Development Manager at Fairtrade’s Centre of Excellence for HREDD. “Just as people expect companies to take responsibility for the safety of their food products, regardless of where the company sources its ingredients, we believe that respect for human rights and the environment, throughout value chains, should become the norm for all companies.”
The guide offers accessible and practical answers and step-by-step insights on how to navigate due diligence.
“Fairtrade and B Lab hope to demystify the landscape of due diligence and inspire small companies to leverage their potential in contributing to positive change. With the collective effort of small and large companies alike, the aspiration for all businesses to respect human rights and the planet can become a reality,” said Bernard Gouw, Senior Manager of Social Standards at B Lab.
The publication of the ‘People and Planet in Business’ guide follows the release of three Fairtrade publications offering a guidance to farmer cooperatives, large farms with a hired workforce and traders who buy directly from farmer cooperatives and large farms. This series supports all actors in global value chains to find practical advice for collaborating on due diligence.
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