Strengthening Sustainable Global Supply Chains

Renate Hornung-Draus, BDA © BDA

At their summit in July 2017, the governments of the G20 were able to agree not only on a joint statement in favour of free trade and against protectionism but also on important announcements about sustainable global supply chains.

The Group of 20 leading economies (G20) expressly acknowledges that global supply chains harbour significant potential for the creation of jobs and balanced economic growth. At its summit meeting in Hamburg in July 2017, it pointed to the challenges with regard to equitable and sustainable globalisation. The G20 committed themselves to promoting the implementation of labour standards, social standards, and environmental standards as well as to the enforcement of human rights in accordance with internationally recognised requirements. Further contributions to the “Vision Zero Fund”, whose aim is to prevent severe and fatal accidents at the workplace, were promised. At the same time, the G20 emphasised the responsibility of companies and encouraged them to conclude international framework agreements.

The G20’s commitment to promote the enforcement of human rights and social standards is to be welcomed. However, the responsibility for the implementation of standards must not be shifted onto companies.

Within the framework of the B20 process, the BDA has actively advocated for this position, together with other leading associations of German business, in the G20 discussions. German employers will continue to campaign at the international level – at the G20, at the International Labour Organization (ILO), and within the framework of international trade policy – for the development of the regulatory framework conditions for global supply chains.

Renate Hornung-Draus is Managing Director of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA) and Director European and International Affairs at the BDA.