The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are recommendations for responsible business conduct from the governments represented in the OECD to companies operating in the global marketplace.
More than 40 countries, together representing 85% of foreign direct investment, have endorsed the OECD guidelines.
Where does the responsibility of the individual company begin, in a global context, and where does it end? The OECD Guidelines help companies to gain a clear definition of their responsibility. The Guidelines state how companies can minimise the adverse impacts that may be a consequence of their activities and otherwise describe how companies can contribute to economic, social and environmental progress.
The Guidelines were updated for the fifth time in 2011 and were adopted for the first time in 1976. The most recent update incorporates a number of new corporate conduct recommendations. These include the incorporation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Another new aspect is expectations of the national contact points that each country is responsible for establishing, in accordance with the guidelines.
In June 2012, the Danish Parliament adopted an Act on the Mediation and Complaints-Handling Institution for Responsible Business Conduct. The Institution, which was launched on 1 November 2012, is the Danish national contact point. Besides consideration of concrete cases, it must also disseminate knowledge of the OECD Guidelines. The Danish institution is the first national contact point in the world to be able to consider cases concerning organisations', public enterprises' and authorities' adverse impacts on the OECD Guidelines.