SMART scholar part of new committee on business disclosure of social and environmental risk

A new committee appointed by the Norwegian government will look at whether an ethics information law is necessary to improve business’ disclosures about corporate social responsibility (CSR), including in their supply chains.

Mark Taylor from SMART part of new committee on CSR disclosure.

- Right now companies hold all the cards. Markets need information to evaluate ethical performance of companies and stakeholders need information to be able to seek remedy for harms, but today markets and stakeholders are kept largely in the dark about the risks of company involvement in impacts on people and the planet and about the way companies are responding to those risks. Even companies who want to do the right thing may be penalized for talking about the risks they face, says Mark Taylor, SMART scholar at University of Oslo and Fafo Research Foundation and now also committee member.

- The committee’s mandate is to assess whether an ethics information law can help increase business owners' efforts to ensure fundamental rights and decent working conditions for workers in the supply chains. Better access to information can also make it easier for consumers to take more informed consumer choices, Minister of Children and Equality Linda Hofstad Helleland, says in a press release from the government.

The Minister also says that the committee's mandate is to provide a basis for assessing whether a statutory duty can contribute to meeting the identified challenges in value chains. The committee is expected to suggest the scope of a possible law reform whereby the obligation to provide ethics information would become Norwegian law.

-I hope the commission will be able to find innovative ways to overcome the obstacles to concrete disclosures by companies and to do so in a way that can be useful for the rest of society. The idea of a commission like this is a good one and I am honoured to be asked to be a part of it, Taylor concludes.

Click here for press release from the Norwegian government (in Norwegian).

By Tiina Ruohonen
Published June 11, 2018 11:42 AM - Last modified June 11, 2018 1:13 PM