The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct provides practical support to enterprises on the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by providing plain-language explanations of its due diligence recommendations and associated provisions.
Implementing these recommendations can help enterprises avoid and address adverse impacts related to workers, human rights, the environment, bribery, consumers and corporate governance that may be associated with their operations, supply chains and other business relationships. The Guidance includes additional explanations, tips and illustrative examples of due diligence.
This Guidance also seeks to promote a common understanding among governments and stakeholders on due diligence for responsible business conduct. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, also contain due diligence recommendations, and this Guidance can help enterprises implement them.
This Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct (Guidance) is based on the OECD
Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines for MNEs). The OECD Guidelines for
MNEs are non-binding recommendations addressed to multinational enterprises by governments on responsible business conduct (RBC). They acknowledge and encourage the positive
contributions that business can make to economic, environmental and social progress, and also
recognise that business activities can result in adverse impacts related to workers, human rights,
the environment, bribery, consumers and corporate governance. The OECD Guidelines for MNEs
therefore recommend that businesses carry out risk-based due diligence to avoid and address
such adverse impacts associated with their operations, their supply chains and other business
This Guidance helps businesses (enterprises) to understand and implement due diligence for RBC
as foreseen in the OECD Guidelines for MNEs (due diligence). This Guidance also seeks to promote
a common understanding amongst governments and stakeholders on due diligence for RBC.
The OECD Guidelines for MNEs provide enterprises with the flexibility to adapt the characteristics, specific measures and processes of due diligence to their own circumstances. Enterprises
should use this Guidance as a framework for developing and strengthening their own tailored
due diligence systems and processes, and then seek out additional resources for further in-depth
learning as needed.
The OECD Guidelines for MNEs have a unique promotion and grievance mechanism – the
National Contact Points (NCPs). This Guidance is a useful resource for NCPs in understan
The primary audience of the Guidance is practitioners tasked with implementing due diligence
within an enterprise. Given the wide range of topics covered by the OECD Guidelines for MNEs
and the cross-functional nature of implementing due diligence across an enterprise’s varied
operations and business relationships, there are likely to be a number of different business units,
functional areas and individuals responsible for implementing due diligence. This Guidance
may also be useful for other parties, such as sector-wide and multi-stakeholder initiatives that
facilitate collaboration on due diligence activities, and for workers, trade unions and workers’
representatives and civil society organisations.
The Guidance begins with a brief summary of each chapter of the OECD Guidelines for MNEs. It then
provides an overview of due diligence, including some key concepts and characteristics, so readers
can easily understand the due diligence approach recommended in the OECD Guidelines for MNEs.
The main body of this Guidance describes the due diligence process and supporting measures in a
step-by-step fashion, although in practice the process of due diligence is ongoing, iterative and not
necessarily sequential, as several steps may be carried out simultaneously with results feeding into
each other. “Practical actions” are included in each step to further illustrate ways to implement, or adapt as needed, the supporting measures and due diligence process. The practical actions are not meant
to represent an exhaustive “tick box” list for due diligence. Not every practical action will be appropriate
for every situation. Likewise, enterprises may find additional actions or implementation measures useful in
Additional explanations, tips and illustrative examples of due diligence are referenced and crosslinked
throughout this Guidance. These are presented in a “question and answer” format and associated with
specific sections of the Guidance.
- Embed responsible business conduct into policies and management systems
- Identify and assess actual and potential adverse impacts associated with the nterprise’s operations, products or services
- Cease, prevent and mitigate adverse impacts
- Track implementation and results from
- Communicate how impacts are addressed
- Provide for or cooperate in remediation when appropriate