A public statement on the Supply Chain Act in Germany

A public statement by EOG General Secretary Arne Strate:

The European Outdoor Group is supporting the action taken in Germany to make it law that companies are responsible for ensuring that human rights and minimum social standards are maintained throughout the supply chain, we hope that this legislation will be adopted across Europe.

“The EOG has been closely following the progress of the planned Supply Chain Act in Germany, both in the context of the work of our own members in the country, and due to the wider relevance and implications of the proposed legislation. The requirements outlined in the draft act are closely aligned with our own principles and approach to responsibility, which are clearly captured in our three pillars of work, and our commitment to doing business in the right way.

“As an industry association, we have always focused on helping our members – and the wider outdoor sector – to prepare for and indeed embrace change. In fact, we have encouraged organisations to proactively seek change that positively impacts areas such as responsible business practices, sustainability and conservation. This is a better strategy than waiting for change to be imposed. It is also our view, and that of our membership, that it is fundamentally the right course of action to take. On every level, associations that try to slow down change or focus mainly on protecting their members from it, are putting them in a worse longer-term position when legislation starts to take effect. In this context, and in terms of sustainability and responsibility, it is very encouraging that a major industrial nation such as Germany is taking the lead on this topic, which should be a catalyst for broader movement in both debate and action.

“The EOG believes that any business or association that opposes the Supply Chain Act will ultimately be doing themselves and their sector a disservice. The legislation is now rapidly taking shape and parallel activities are underway at a European level. Legal regulation is very probable, so it is wise to be prepared. Notwithstanding that, companies should take responsibility for all stages of their supply chains, and the European outdoor sector aspires to be an exemplar for its approach to sustainability, social and welfare standards, and protection of the natural world. At every EOG gathering, we talk about these issues and our actions must reflect those words. We expect this of ourselves, our consumers increasingly demand it, and national and international law is likely to require it soon.

“Associations or firms that endeavour to delay or block the Supply Chain Act will not only be seeking to prevent an improvement in environmental protections and the human rights circumstances for many workers in the supply chain, but they will also be sending a message to businesses that those issues can be ignored and will go away. That is wrong. It is the EOG’s view that proactively taking responsibility and making positive change is the correct approach, and for this reason, we support the progress of the Supply Chain Act in Germany. Furthermore, we hope that the legislation covered in the act will become adopted throughout Europe in due course.”

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