As many as 84% of respondents to a Vitafoods Insights survey are in favour of governments establishing a minimum legal standard for corporate sustainability and due diligence, while 76% say companies should be penalised for non-compliance.
However, although many of our readers value the idea of a corporate sustainability standard, they acknowledged that change might not come easily.
Three-quarters (75%) of survey respondents said they believed that the initiative would impact their supply chains, with almost the same proportion – 76% – saying they thought companies should be penalised if they failed to adhere to the minimum legal standard for corporate sustainability and due diligence.
Survey reveals widespread support for government intervention
It comes after the European Commission adopted a proposed regulation to ensure sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) throughout global value chains.
The Commission says the aim of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive is to “foster sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour, and to anchor human rights and environmental considerations in companies’ operations and corporate governance”.
The measures, adopted in February 2022, are part of the EU’s efforts to become climate-neutral by 2050.
Concerns raised over directive’s consumer impact
In December 2022, we asked industry stakeholders what they thought of the proposed regulation. Maria Pavlidou, partner and senior strategy consultant at the Healthy Marketing Team (HMT), questioned whether how meaningful it would be for consumers.
“Is there an education component or is it just a legal [or] regulatory obligation that companies will have?” she asked. “It will depend so much on the execution.
“Ideally, the new directive should be implemented in a way that is meaningful to consumers. They will need to be explicitly told why it is important. If they don’t know about it, they will not get it.
“It can end up being a ‘silent’ change and really miss an opportunity to advance sustainability topics and bring them forward, closer to the mass market.”
To learn more about the Vitafoods Insights Sustainability Survey Results 2023, follow this link or click on the image below.