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European Environment Initiative (EURENI)

Funding Call
Two young people in front of a mountain panorama hold an EU flag

European civil society action for sustainable and resilient supply chains

Grantee

Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V. (BUND)

Duration

completed

2021-09-15 till 2023-12-31

Location

France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain; EU-level/Brussels

Funding Amount

203,800.00 €

The Dawros River in Connemara in western Ireland.

Project background

Recent crises have unveiled the fragility of global supply chains. In order to strengthen their resilience, restoring economic functionality is not enough. In the last decades, European civil society has been raising awareness for human rights violations and environmental destruction within global supply chains, which often go unnoticed due to the obscurity of streams of goods and services. In many instances, customer companies in the EU also contribute to such incidents with their rigid pricing policies, delivery timetables and limited monitoring of their value chains. In their own activities, companies may also cause human rights abuses and environmental pollution. Labour and union rights violations, the undercutting of incomes, environmental pollution and degradation and an acceleration of the climate crisis are among the most prevalent negative corporate human rights and environmental impacts. 

It is for this reason – and often as a result of rigorous pressure by civil society – that some States, like France and Germany, have adopted mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation, requiring companies of a certain size to monitor their value chains and their own operations, minimise environmental and human rights risks, and bring to an end actual harms.

Critics argue that these efforts have, in certain respects, proven inadequate, the reason being the (partial) omission of effective environmental and climate provisions in due diligence legislations. In fact, companies should be obliged to carry out due diligence with respect to harms to the climate and the environment in the same manner as human rights due diligence. 

In February 2022, the EU Commission released its proposal for the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive. Ensuring the ambitiousness of its environmental and climate obligations as well as strengthening civil society action in Europe with regard to sustainable supply chains is at the heart of this project.

Project goals and measures

The project consists of measures focusing on civil society action, building civil society knowledge and capabilities, the mobilization of the European public as well as informing and raising the awareness of relevant policy makers. A variety of activities such as regular coordination meetings, workshops on different aspects of environmental due diligence, as well as the production of campaigning and advocacy material all contribute to galvanizing civil society, policy makers, and the general public.

In doing so, the project enables the exchange between environmental and social groups in Europa, and between decision-makers and the European public, strengthening cooperation in and across the EU. Ultimately, the goal is the enshrinement of bold environmental and climate obligations both in EU and national due diligence legislation.