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New Standards Development Work Underway

Responsible Business Conduct and Due Diligence Reporting for Canadian Companies Active Abroad

The Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) has recently formed a technical committee to undertake the development of a new National Standard of Canada related to Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) and due diligence reporting for Canadian companies active abroad.

This standard will play an important role in a keystone initiative of Canada’s new RBC Strategy, Responsible Business Conduct Abroad: Canada’s Strategy for the Future. As the Strategy notes, "…due diligence is the process enterprises are expected to carry out to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address actual and potential adverse impacts of their operations, supply chains and relationships."

While Canadian companies active abroad have always been encouraged to address their environmental, social, and economic impacts in a responsible manner, this new standard will provide them with a roadmap to do so. It will assist companies in taking action and reporting on how they are mitigating risks in a range of areas related to RBC, including but not limited to the respect for human rights, combatting discrimination and inequality, taking action on climate change, inclusive trade, and upholding the rights of Indigenous peoples.  While the standard is expected to apply to all Canadian companies operating abroad, it will have a particular focus on the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises.

An information session for interested stakeholders was held by CGSB in September 2022, with the inaugural technical committee meeting following at the end of October 2022. Key positions have now been appointed with the Chair, Dr. Kernaghan Webb (Professor - non-ex officio), and Vice-Chair, Mr. Geoff Smith (The Mining Association of Canada) assuming leadership roles.

The intention is to have the standard published in 2024. Once published, the standard will be made available to the public via the CGSB website at no cost.

For more information contact:

Dr. Kernaghan Webb (Chair):
Mr. Geoff Smith (Vice-Chair):
Ms. Jennifer Jimenez (Manager, Standards Division, CGSB):

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