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The Need For Due Diligence Legislation

In the past 30 years the voluntary approach to sustainability has seen an increase in more sustainable practices being adopted by producers, traders, companies and governments. The work of the Rainforest Alliance is based on the voluntary commitment to sustainability of our partners throughout the supply chain.

However, voluntary measures alone are not enough to make our vision a reality. A smart mix of complementary approaches is needed, in which governments, companies, NGOs, producers and communities all take their respective responsibilities, while constantly assessing and, if neces- sary, fine-tuning their policies and approaches.

We believe that legislation on corporate due diligence is an essential part of this smart mix in order to protect human and environmental rights.

Due diligence legislation can ensure companies identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for potential negative im- pacts their business processes may have on people and nature. It fulfills part of a government’s responsibility under the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), to protect people and nature against adverse im- pacts from business activities. It can create a level playing field for companies already taking their responsibility and helps create an environment for voluntary commitments to be effectively implemented.




Forest canopy - photo by Sergio Izquierdo

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