Key guidelines on CSR

The following internationally recognised guidelines and principles make up the backbone of corporate social responsibility:

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (published in 1976, latest update in 2023)

  • The Guidelines are recommendations from states for multinational enterprises. The goal of the guidelines is to ensure that enterprises’ operation is in line with government policies, to reinforce trust between various parties and to promote foreign investments and sustainable development.
  • The only international guideline promoted by the governments of 51 countries that has a system for monitoring its implementation (so called National Contact Points, NCPs).
  • The NCPs raise awareness of the Guidelines and when asked will comment on whether a multinational enterprise has operated according to the Guidelines. In Finland, the National Contact Point consists of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment together with the Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Guideline themes: employment and industrial relations, human rights, reporting business information on enterprises, the environment, preventing bribery and extortion, consumer protection, competition, taxation, and science and technology.
  • The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in Finnish, English and French.
  • You can find more information on the Guidelines, various National Contact Points and a database on the cases handled by the NCPs at the OECD Guidelines page.
  • The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct provides practical support to enterprises on the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The Guidance includes additional explanations, tips and illustrative examples of due diligence on workers, human rights, the environment, bribery, consumers and corporate governance. Links to the Guidance in Finnish and English.
  • The Finnish NCP has published a guide on the OECD Guidelines and the procedures of the NCP.
  • OECD has published sectoral guidance which helps enterprises identify and address risks to people, the environment and society associated with business operations, products or services in particular sectors. This guidance is available for institutional investorsextractive sectorgarment and footwear sectoragricultural sector and the mineral sector. Furthermore the OECD has published guidance on how to tackle the worst forms of child labour in mineral supply chains.
  • The Annual Report covers the activities undertaken to promote the effective implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by the OECD secretariat, adhering governments and their National Contact Points for RBC.
  • The OECD is currently updating the Guidelines and the new targeted update is planned to be published in June 2023.

UN Global Compact (published in 2000)

  • Enterprises that have signed the Global Compact commit their operation and strategies to follow 10 principles concerning human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. The commitment includes reporting progress (Communication on Progress, COP).
  • Global Compact’s Human Rights and Business Dilemmas Forum gathers challenges related to business and human rights by themes. The web site also provides case studies on how to respond to these challenges.

ISO 26000

  • Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility (published in 2010)
  • Themes in the guidance standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) include organisational governance, human rights, labour practices, the environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues and community involvement and development.
  • an additional document has been published on using the standard for self-declaration (NPR 9026). In practice, this document is a tool for communicating that an organisation is following the principles and guidelines of ISO 26000 in its operation.
  • The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has published a guide on how to use the GRI Guidelines in conjunction with the ISO 26000 Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility.

Tripartite declaration of principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy by the International Labour Organization (ILO)(published in 1977, updated in 2017)

  • universal principles providing conventions and policies for multinational enterprises, governments and employer and employee organisations on questions concerning employment, training, conditions of work and life as well as industrial relations
  • the principles are supported by certain Conventions and recommendations, including ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
  • support service from ILO Helpdesk that answers questions about the application of the principles.

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights (published in 2011)

  • 1st international guide on business and human rights.
  • Built on three pillars: state duty to protect human rights, corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and the need for greater access to effective remedy.
  • Guiding Principles in Finnish and English.
  • UN has also published an interpretive guide for business on the Guiding Principles.
  • OHCHR’s web site on business and human rights.
  • A national implementation plan for the UN Guiding Principles was approved on 17 September 2014 in Finland.