Governance - Risk - Compliance

ESG Compliance

Compliance issues are becoming increasingly important in the context of responsible corporate governance. The corporate culture must be (further) developed with a particular awareness of the importance of ESG and the significant consideration of social, ethical and ecological considerations must be proactively incorporated into decision-making and action. The relevance of compliance from a social responsibility and sustainability perspective will increase considerably.

It is the­re­fore es­sen­tial that a com­pli­ance ma­nage­ment sys­tem (CMS) is alig­ned with sus­tai­na­bi­lity re­por­ting and ESG le­gis­la­tion. SMEs in par­ti­cu­lar are un­der great pres­sure in this re­gard, as they are in­cre­asin­gly the fo­cus of Eu­ro­pean and na­tio­nal le­gis­la­tors and in­ves­ti­ga­tive aut­ho­ri­ties. Howe­ver, an ap­pro­priate com­pli­ance ma­nage­ment sys­tem can en­sure le­gally com­pli­ant con­duct in the area of ESG in a struc­tu­red man­ner. To this end, it is im­port­ant that the ma­nage­ment com­mu­ni­ca­tes its com­mit­ment to com­pli­ance cle­arly and com­pre­hen­si­vely wi­thin the com­pany. Ta­king le­gal chan­ges into ac­count crea­tes the ba­sis for a suc­cess­ful com­pli­ance ma­nage­ment sys­tem.

Le­gis­la­tion in the ESG area has in­crea­sed si­gni­fi­cantly both in Ger­many and in the EU in re­cent years and fur­ther tigh­te­ning can be ex­pec­ted in the fu­ture. In par­ti­cu­lar, an ex­pan­sion of en­viron­men­tal cri­mi­nal law, ad­di­ti­ons to cli­mate-spe­ci­fic re­gu­la­ti­ons, a stron­ger fo­cus on cor­po­rate re­spon­si­bi­lity and an ex­pan­sion of the Supply Chain Due Di­li­gence Act as a re­sult of the EU Di­rec­tive are to be ex­pec­ted. It should also be no­ted that the Supply Chain Due Di­li­gence Act af­fects not only a com­pany's purchasing de­part­ment, but the ent­ire or­ga­niza­tion, ma­king it a ques­tion of cor­po­rate go­ver­nance. Last but not least, the pre­ven­tion of cor­rup­tion plays an im­port­ant role here. There is a con­crete need for ac­tion, es­pe­cially if no anti-cor­rup­tion in­stru­ments have yet been in­te­gra­ted into the com­pli­ance struc­ture. There is the­re­fore a need for a com­pre­hen­sive risk ana­ly­sis, a re­view of cur­rent le­gal de­ve­lop­ments and ap­pro­priate com­pli­ance ad­vice. This ma­kes it clear that sus­tai­na­bi­lity and com­pli­ance go "hand in hand".