Direction de l'Environnement

Environment and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: Corporate Tools and Approaches (2005)


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This book draws the attention of enterprises, governments and members of civil society to the environmental aspects of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. It provides in-depth information and case studies on the tools and approaches available to companies that seek to upgrade their environmental performance by following the recommendations contained in the Environment Chapter of the OECD Guidelines.

The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, revised in 2000, express the shared values of the countries that have adhered to them. This includes all 30 OECD members and, to date, 9 non-member countries. The adhering countries are the source of most of the world’s foreign direct investment and are home to most of the major multinational enterprises. Many codes of responsible business conduct are available. The Guidelines stand out amongst them as the only multilaterally endorsed and comprehensive code that governments are committed to promoting. This makes them one of the world’s foremost corporate responsibility instruments.

Environment figures prominently in the Guidelines and one chapter is specifically dedicated to enterprises’ environmental performance. The Environment Chapter of the Guidelines encourages multinational enterprises to raise their environmental performance by improving internal environmental management practices and seeking continuous environmental improvements. These can be achieved through a range of tools and approaches relating to environmental management, such as engaging in public information and stakeholder consultation; assessing environmental impacts through the whole life cycle of processes; acting with precaution; providing for contingency planning; ensuring environmental training and contributing to the development of environmental policy.

The report is the result of a joint undertaking by the OECD Environment Policy Committee and the OECD Investment Committee.  It serves as a demonstration of the “whole of government” approach to policy making that is being increasingly pursued by countries adhering to the Guidelines.

Table of Contents

Part I. The Guidelines and their Environmental Components
-Introduction to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
-Specific Environmental Provisions: Chapter V
Part II. Available Tools and Corporate Approaches
-1. Environmental Management Systems
-2. Public Information and Stakeholder Consultation
-3. Life Cycle Assessment
-4. Exercising Precaution
-5. Emergency Preparedness, Prevention, and Response
-6. Continuous Improvement in Environmental Performance
-7. Environmental Education and Training
-8. Contributing to the Development of Environmental Policy
Annex I. The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
Annex II. Linkages between the Environment Chapter and Other Parts of the Guidelines

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