Possible solutions to the German Supply Chain Law: Train your employees in sustainability management

Authors:


Stefan Schmierer (Managing Partner, Ravenscroft &Schmierer)

Karl Borgschulze (Managing Director, Sustainable Management at Consulting Service International Ltd.)

Jennifer Kang (Legal Intern, Ravenscroft & Schmierer)


With the complex requirements of the new German supply chain due diligence law, an innovative new approach between experienced partners is needed to develop practical solutions. The new law has an impact on all involved parties in global trade. Joint efforts will be needed to fulfil these requirements.

In cooperation with our partner CSI-Consulting Service International Ltd., we are working on solutions regarding the new requirements. CSI has developed a course in Sustainability Management that relates to section 4 paragraph 3 of the law – assigning a responsible person for sustainability management. The practice-oriented and relevant course is accredited by a German University and can be taught in English, in-person and online. The course trains and certifies professionals in sustainability management, compliance requirements, and risk assessment in various supply chains, making them invaluable assets to their company as qualified Sustainability Managers. Companies with global operations further benefit from training key staff in the headquarters and international offices using the same course to establish an equal baseline for communication.


Secondly, the establishment and maintenance of effective grievance mechanisms require joint solutions for grievance management, complaint hotlines, and training of key personnel to manage and document grievance processes – internally and along global supply chains. Grievance management can only be successful when responsible managers on the ground understand the requirements as well. By training and certifying grievance managers at key suppliers, the requirements of the German Due Diligence Law can be implemented at factories.

In order to manage the due diligence requirements long term, risks associated with different products and supply chains need to be assessed and evaluated. Suitable management systems should be established in the German or European headquarters, that do not just manage risks associated with the German Due Diligence Law, but also plan for upcoming requirements on the EU level. In this area, innovative software solutions are currently being developed by our partner. They are already performing well in test runs and will soon be available to the market.