• cotance@euroleather.com

COTANCE-industriAll-Europe Due Diligence project featured at the OECD

OECD Paris1The COTANCE-industriAll Europe project focussing on Due Diligence for healthy workplaces in tanneries was prominently featured on the second day at the OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the garment and footwear sector held on 30-31 January 2018 in Paris.

COTANCE Secretary General Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano and industriAll-Europe Deputy Secretary General Sylvain Lefebvre were invited to introduce their joint activities developed as European Social Partners of the leather industry for furthering due diligence and workplace safety. The audience learned about the various initiatives and tools developed by the Social Partners of the leather industry and the relevance of Social Sectoral Dialogue in the context of Due Diligence. COTANCE-industriAll initiatives span among others from the Social Code of Conduct (2000), the Social & Environmental Reporting (2011), Risk Assessment in Tanneries – 1st OiRA (2013), Transparency and Traceability (2015) to the Due Diligence for tannery workplace safety project (2017).

The Due Diligence project of the Social Partners of the European Leather industry aims to implement leather sector specific instruments capable of facilitating both Tanners and Brands responding to the challenges of communicating workplace safety along the value chain.

This is the first time that the Leather value chain is specifically addressed in this context. COTANCE and industriAll-Europe clearly vindicated the leather sector’s specificity and distinct nature to textiles far too often seen as a comparable.

The Leather session included also a presentation by the University of Northampton of preliminary results of the Due Diligence project-survey and a general introduction of the leather value chain brought by UNIDO representative Ferenc Schmél. Other panellists included Chiara Morelli (Kering) on behalf of LWG and Maria-Teresa Pisani (UNECE).

OECD Paris2This two-day encounter of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) brought together some 150-200 high level stakeholders of the textile and leather value chains. The OECD takes stock of developments one year after releasing the OECD Guidance for responsible supply chains in the garment and footwear sector.

The Due Diligence agenda that followed the dramatic Rana Plaza accident in Bangladesh is bound to bring about increased transparency and traceability in supply chains. Operators need to prepare, as legislation is advancing in California (2010 California Transparency in Supply Chains Act), UK (2015 – UK Modern Slavery Act), France (2016 – French Duty of Care Law), the Netherlands (2016- Dutch Covenant on Sustainable Garment and Textile and 2017 – Child Labour Due Diligence Bill), the United States (2017 Update of the US Tariff Act of 1930) and Australia (Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement). On Conflict Minerals the EU ruled mandatory disclosure rules last year.

6 February 2018