Joint NGO letter calls on the Commission to close sustainability gaps in corporate governance
December 21st, 2021
On Monday, 20 December, a number of European NGOs, including ECCJ, sent an open letter to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen asking her to support an effective proposal to close sustainability gaps in due diligence and corporate governance.

The signatories express strong concerns about the delay in the publication of the legislative proposal on sustainable corporate governance, as well as the lack of transparent information on the reasons for the delay.

We are concerned that the delay may indicate that the Commission is parting from its initial ambition to tackle sustainability gaps in corporate governance.

The shift towards a more sustainable economy — a commitment in the EU Green Deal and the Sustainable Finance Agenda — must also be implemented at corporate level. The climate, environmental and social crises require immediate action from all actors, and the role of the private sector is pivotal.

Delaying the sustainable corporate governance initiative hampers the urgent action needed.

The inclusion of director’s duties in the the Commission’s initiative is critical to ensuring that companies properly evaluate and take necessary strategic decisions on the management and oversight of due diligence, sustainability risks and impacts, both from the perspective of their own success as well as their responsibilities to society.

To that end, directors should be required to oversee a corporate strategy fully integrating sustainability considerations, including measurable, specific, time-bound and science-based targets, as well as transition plans aligned with the EU’s international environmental and climate commitments.

The bloc’s inaction puts at risk the much-needed transformation of its unsustainable economic and development model towards a more just, equal and environmentally responsible model.

We, therefore, urge the Commission to support an effective proposal to close the gaps in due diligence and corporate governance.