Press Release


Europe is finally taking responsibility for the responsibility of its businesses with the publication of a new Communication on Corporate Social Responsibility, according to North East Labour MEP Stephen Hughes.

Stephen Hughes MEP welcomed the new Communication for embracing a "smart mix" of voluntary and regulatory initiatives, adopting a new definition which calls on businesses to actively mitigate negative impacts and presages new EU legislation to require businesses to report on the environmental, social and human rights performance.

The British Labour Euro MP who has represented European interests in global Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives on Business and Human rights, at the ILO, the UN  and the OECD, speaking in the North East today said:-

"Public trust in business from banks to oil and mining companies is at an all-time low because for too long irresponsible activity has been hidden behind a 'corporate veil' and a persistent culture of short-termism.

"This Communication is literally re-defining what it means to be a responsible business and committing Europe to be an active player to make it happen.

"Our key focus now is not on the now redundant debate over voluntary versus mandatory approaches but instead on how we can maximise shared value which serves the interest of business and society at one and the same time.

"At this time of economic crisis it is an essential component of achieving sustainable recovery for the long-term."

Responding to the Communication's commitment to bringing in binding sustainability reporting for all businesses, Stephen Hughes said:-

"Whilst it is important to introduce it in the right way with careful protection for small business, I believe that Europe can make a major step towards fulfilling the ambition of achieving worldwide integrated business reporting worldwide by 2020."