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".