The OECD Guidelines

About the Guidelines

The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises – Recommendations for responsible business conduct in a global context are recommendations by governments to enterprises in all industries. Norwegian authorities are obliged by public international law to promote the Guidelines.

The OECD Guidelines were launched in 1976 and last updated in May 2011. The human rights chapter is drawn from the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights of 2011. The Guidelines are also compatible with other corporate responsibility standards such as the UN Global Compact and ISO 26000.

The OECD Guidelines in brief

The OECD Guidelines (unabridged): NorwegianEnglish (official)French (official)GermanSpanishPortuguese
General policies. Enterprises should operate in accordance with domestic laws and regulations. They should assess, prevent and mitigate adverse impacts on human rights, workers’ rights and the environment, and fight corruption. This applies to companies’ own activities and to the supply chain.
Disclosure. Enterprises are expected to regularly disclose information on operations and results, and demonstrate that they are taking responsibility for the themes in the OECD Guidelines in line with the most advanced standards for transparency and reporting.
Human rights. States have the duty to protect and realise human rights. Enterprises should respect human rights and seek ways to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts on human rights through due diligence and remediation processes.
Workers’ rights. Enterprises should respect the rights of workers, cooperate with employee representatives, fight discrimination and contribute to the abolition of child labour and forced labour.
Environment. Enterprises should prevent, mitigate and reduce adverse environmental impacts, for instance through environmental management systems. This is a duty, but also a business opportunity.
Bribery and extortion. Enterprises play an important role in combating corruption and bribery through internal controls, ethics and compliance programmes.
Consumer interests. Enterprises should act in accordance with fair marketing and advertising practices, and ensure the quality and reliability of the goods and services they provide.
Science and technology. Through the transfer of new technologies between countries, enterprises contribute to economic and social progress. Enterprises play an important role in developing national innovative capacities.
Competition. Enterprises should operate in a manner consistent with all applicable competition laws and regulations, and refrain from anti-competitive activities. This contributes to functioning markets that promote welfare and economic growth.
Taxation. Enterprises should contribute to the public finances of host countries by making timely payment of taxes and avoid inappropriate shifting of profits or losses to reduce the tax burden.

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