Sitemap

Responsible Business Conduct Abroad: Canada’s Strategy For The Future (2022 To 2027)

Guiding Canadian Companies Positive Impact Abroad

Global Affairs Canada, through the Trade Commissioner Service, aims to work with other institutions to support Canadian companies in incorporating responsible business practices abroad

Responsible Business Conduct Abroad: Canada’s Strategy for the Future (2022 to 2027) builds upon two previous strategies, namely Canada’s enhanced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy, “Doing Business the Canadian Way: A Strategy to Advance Corporate Social Responsibility in Canada’s Extractive Sector Abroad”, which was enacted in 2014, and Canada’s first CSR strategy, “Building the Canadian Advantage: A Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy for the Canadian Extractive Sector Abroad,” which was adopted in 2009.

The core idea of “Doing Business the Canadian Way” revolves around the values of responsibility, sustainability and building a better future for all. It thus places a strong emphasis on respecting human rights, including advancing the rights of under-represented groups, protecting the environment, advocating for gender equality, combatting discrimination and furthering diversity and inclusion.

The aim of the Government of Canada is to encourage Canadian companies, both operating at home and abroad, to satisfy high standards of responsible business conduct. Many Canadian businesses are already widely recognized as leaders in responsible business practices that are integrated throughout every facet of their operations.

This Strategy envisions governmental support to Canadian companies for starting up, scaling up, and accessing new global markets, by providing them the tools, guidance, and support necessary to operate according to high ethical and environment standards while remaining competitive. This line of action is consistent with the government’s approach to inclusive trade, and the effort to ensure Canadian companies make a positive impact on the local communities in which they operate, improving the lives and livelihoods of people both at home and abroad.

Responsible Business Conduct Abroad: Canada’s Strategy for The Future is a fiveyear strategy (2022–2027) that sets out priorities for the Government of Canada to support Canadian companies that are active abroad. “It recognizes a culture shift, whereby responsible business conduct (RBC) is increasingly seen as central to business success, and it recognizes the role that the Government of Canada, through the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) and partners, can play in helping Canadian companies achieve world-leading responsible business practices”, says The Honourable Mary Ng, P.C., M.P., Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development.

This Strategy accordingly provides a framework and new innovative tools, such as digital resources, the development of a standard and a requirement for all TCS clients to complete a Digital RBC Attestation. These efforts will assist all Canadian companies in integrating leading responsible business practices into their operations regardless of their size, sector of industry, or scope of activities.

These policies are closely connected to other values embraced by the Government: a rules-based trading system, which recognizes, respects, protects and fulfills the rights of Indigenous peoples, and children, eradicating poverty, combatting discrimination, promoting gender equality and inclusion and diversity—including digital inclusion.

There are three interconnected elements guiding the implementation of the Responsible Business Conduct Abroad Strategy: Building awareness and championing action through the Trade Commissioner Service; increasing uptake of RBC via a focus on due diligence and accountability; strengthening the global RBC ecosystem by contributing to the rulesbased international system

Furthermore, these policies are aligned with the Government of Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy, including its Feminist International Assistance Policy.

At the global level, Canada supports further improvements of the RBC policies through the ratifying of several international treaties and adherence to various guidelines that promote RBC, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Guiding Principles), the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines) and, as it relates to respect for and recognition of the human rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Such an approach has important positive effects on Canadian businesses.

The first relates to combatting risks. As Canadian companies continue operating abroad and expanding to new markets, they may face increased risks. Integrating RBC helps companies evaluate operations through a broader lens, ultimately enhancing their reputation and competitiveness. The second aims to build resilience, the need for which was emphasized by the Covid-19 pandemic. Specifically, throughout the pandemic, companies with strong responsible business policies and practices were better able to assess their production and supply chain risks, allowing them to address potential problems and have mitigation strategies in place.

Equally important are the competitive advantages of RBC that can lead to investment attraction, increased brand value, and customer attraction and retention, as more consumers seek to buy ethically produced goods, and partners (including financial partners) strive to meet Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) requirements. This can also lead to the creation of greater potential for increased access to capital.

Legislative changes reflect these efforts. July 2020 saw the introduction of an amendment to the Customs Tariff prohibiting imports of goods that are mined, manufactured or produced, wholly or in part, by forced labor. In the next step, the Government is committed to enacting legislation to eradicate forced labor from Canadian supply chains and ensure that Canadian businesses operating abroad do not contribute to human rights abuses. The aforementioned legislative activities were much-needed, as some international jurisdictions introduce mandatory measures related to labor, the environment and due diligence. Canadian companies will consequently also need to comply with these regulations in order to maintain or gain market access.

Further in the past, several new pieces of legislative have been adopted in support of these causes. The Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA), passed in 1998, criminalizes bribery of a foreign public official. In September 2018, a Remediation Agreement (RA) regime came into force, which is a tool available to prosecutorial authorities—at their discretion, in the public interest and in appropriate circumstances—to address corporate criminal wrongdoing.

While this strategy continues Canada’s balanced approach to RBC, featuring prevention measures and access to remedies, underpinned by legislation covering critical areas like forced labor, transparency and corruption, there are several strategic shifts from previous strategies: it firstly focuses on RBC actions rather than specific industry sectors (extraction sector in particular); it secondly introduces new tools, as well as enhancing existing ones, to help Canadian companies achieve leading responsible business practices; while it thirdly offers broader coherence with the priorities of the Government of Canada and, fourthly, is accompanied by an action plan and associated monitoring and evaluation framework.

Related Articles

Canada Day Marked In Belgrade

On the occasion of Canada Day, Amb­assador of Canada to Serbia H.E. Giles Norman hosted a reception at the official resi­dence in Užička street...

Comment

Caring Counts

Companies must know—and show—that they respect human rights in all their operations. With the new Responsible Business Conduct Strategy, the Canadian Government is calling...

Zorana Mihajlović Ph.D., Serbian Deputy Prime Minister And Minister Of Mining & Energy

We Urge Responsible Business Conduct

If we want Serbia to have modern, green mining, we must have the highest standards in the field of environmental protection, and that’s something...

H.E. Giles Norman, Ambassador Of Canada To Serbia

Leading By Example

The Government of Canada is adamant that the protection of human rights, both in Canada and globally, has to be high on the agenda...

Sheri Meyerhoffer, Canadian Ombudsperson For Responsible Enterprise

Encouraging Strides

We currently have three bills before our Parliament that seek to strengthen due diligence and ensure that human rights are respected throughout Canadian company...

Dušan Simić, Jantar Grupa Founder And CEO

No Progress Without Geology

The experience of company Jantar grupa, a leading exploration and consulting firm in the fields of geology, mining and environmental protection, shows that every...

Dundee Precious Metals

Thriving And Growing Together With The Local Communities

Dundee Precious Metals is a Canadian-based international mining company with a proven track record of responsible mining. DPM continuously invests in upgrading and modernizing...

Mirjana Dončić Beaton, Managing Director Of The Canadian-Serbian Business Association

Responsible To Society, People, And Planet

The Canadian-Serbian Business Association (CANSEE) has operated in a socially responsible manner from the start and strongly supports Canada’s new Responsible Business Conduct Abroad...

More...

Simon Taylor, HYCU, Inc. CEO

Providing Easy Ways To Protect Data

HYCU is a multinational company with offices around the world, but much of its European operation is located right here in Belgrade, an important...

Luštica Bay

Authentic Adriatic In Luštica Bay A Place To Belong

Authentic residences, The Chedi five-star hotel, beautiful beaches with a crystal blue sea, a unique gastronomic and shopping experience and an intense calendar of...

Vladimir Živanović, Director Of The Zlatibor Tourism Organisation

Foreigners Also Flock To Zlatibor

It is thanks to magical nature and the air spa status that Zlatibor has enjoyed for 129 years, coupled with major investments, excellent infrastructure...

Porto Montenegro

The Adventure Continues On The Adriatic

Summer is in full swing at Porto Montenegro, with yachts lining the marina, a range of new and well-loved shops and restaurants in the...

News

William Ruto Declared President Of Kenya

The Electoral Commission of Kenya has declared William Ruto as the country's new president. Ruto defeated his opponent, opposition leader...

Celebration Of Independence Day Of India

India celebrated the 75th anniversary of its independence on 15 August 2022. To celebrate and commemorate these 75 years...

US-China: Tensions in Taiwan

A delegation of the US Congress arrived on an unannounced visit to Taiwan, less than two weeks after the...

Belgrade Gets New Protected Sites

The Secretariat for Environmental Protection has announced that the process of placing under protection two new sites in Belgrade,...

US Senator Jeanne Shaheen: We Must Ensure That Serbia Continues Towards The West Path

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who together with several colleagues recently presented a bipartisan bill on American support to the Western...

William Ruto Declared President Of Kenya

The Electoral Commission of Kenya has declared William Ruto as the country's new president. Ruto defeated his opponent, opposition leader...

Celebration Of Independence Day Of India

India celebrated the 75th anniversary of its independence on 15 August 2022. To celebrate and commemorate these 75 years...

US-China: Tensions in Taiwan

A delegation of the US Congress arrived on an unannounced visit to Taiwan, less than two weeks after the...

Belgrade Gets New Protected Sites

The Secretariat for Environmental Protection has announced that the process of placing under protection two new sites in Belgrade,...

US Senator Jeanne Shaheen: We Must Ensure That Serbia Continues Towards The West Path

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who together with several colleagues recently presented a bipartisan bill on American support to the Western...

William Ruto Declared President Of Kenya

The Electoral Commission of Kenya has declared William Ruto as the country's new president. Ruto defeated his opponent, opposition leader...

Celebration Of Independence Day Of India

India celebrated the 75th anniversary of its independence on 15 August 2022. To celebrate and commemorate these 75 years...

US-China: Tensions in Taiwan

A delegation of the US Congress arrived on an unannounced visit to Taiwan, less than two weeks after the...

Belgrade Gets New Protected Sites

The Secretariat for Environmental Protection has announced that the process of placing under protection two new sites in Belgrade,...

US Senator Jeanne Shaheen: We Must Ensure That Serbia Continues Towards The West Path

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who together with several colleagues recently presented a bipartisan bill on American support to the Western...