Businesses are strongly advised by Yulia Levashova, Assistant Professor at Nyenrode Business University, to promptly incorporate human rights policies into their operations. Levashova emphasizes that this step is not only a moral imperative but also a logical move to comply with increasingly stringent international regulations, mitigate the risk of human rights-related lawsuits by NGOs that can tarnish reputation, and maintain a competitive advantage.
Levashova recommends that business leaders develop a comprehensive understanding of key issues falling under the ESG and human rights umbrella. These include due diligence, human risks associated with foreign direct investment, and regulatory risks linked to climate change.
To stay ahead of new European corporate social responsibility (CSR) enforcement measures and preserve their competitive edge, organizations should initiate the implementation of human rights due diligence in their supply chains as soon as possible, Levashova asserts.
Levashova highlights the value that business leaders can gain from lifelong learning opportunities at higher education institutions. Nyenrode Business University, for instance, offers specialized short courses designed to assist leaders in integrating human rights standards into their business operations.
Levashova emphasizes, “Compliance with human rights in the business world is no longer an optional endeavor. Authoritative international codes and guidelines, such as the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises and the UN Global Compact, specify CSR obligations for companies. The increasing prominence of mandatory compliance necessitates swift action from companies to remain competitive and socially responsible in a dynamic market.”