European Commission launches public consultation on sustainable corporate governance: to foster long-term sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour

As indicated in the European Green Deal, sustainability should be further embedded into the corporate governance framework, as many companies still focus too much on short-term financial performance compared to their long-term development and sustainability aspects. As a follow-up, the Commission announced a sustainable corporate governance initiative to foster long-term sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour, as included in the Commission’s Work Programme for 2021. This initiative also builds on existing work in the framework of sustainable finance. The consultation launched today asks how the EU can best go about helping businesses in the way they operate, towards a transformation to a more sustainable economy and to ensure that environmental and social interests are embedded in business strategies. Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, said: “Sustainable corporate governance can be a real game-changer in the way companies operate throughout their supply chains. We are now securing new business standards for future generations. I therefore invite all stakeholders to participate and share their views. The results of this public consultation will help shape the proposal we will put forward in 2021. Sustainable governance is an important contribution to the European Green Deal objectives and will be crucial for the sustainability, competitiveness and resilience of the businesses in the long run as well as for human rights protection and our international commitments, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate.”  The consultation will complement the findings of two studies: on due diligence requirements through the supply chain and on directors’ duties and sustainable corporate governance.