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What is RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS?

OEKO-TEX® RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS is a practical assessment tool and third-party certification that supports companies in implementing and transparently communicating their corporate due diligence obligations along their supply chains with regard to human rights and the environment

Based on seven relevant elements, RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS enables a holistic analysis and evaluation of the extent to which a company has already integrated due diligence measures as part of its management system.

Addionally, RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS also allows companies to map the implementation status of a climate strategy to achieve the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement within the company.

Further specifications

OEKO-TEX® RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS has a modular set-up, including an inital self-assessment and the actual certification procedure.

      Self-assessment

      During the self-assessment, companies have to complete an online questionnaire and submit all relevant documents as evidence for the collected data.

      The self-assessment...

      • provides a snapshot of a company's and their suppliers situation with regard to responsible business.
      • helps to analyse and evaluate the extent to which due diligence measures have already been implemented.
      • enables the company to identify potential risks along their supply chains and working areas which need improvement.

      Companies can use the self-assessment as a stand-alone solution. In this case, we will provide an unverified report. Companies will receive valuable insights on the status of their achieved due diligence efforts, but are not allowed to communicate any details from the report to third parties.

      Certification

      If a company wants to communicate the results from their self-assessment, the provided data have to be evaluated by us and will be validated in form of an on-site audit at the company's facility.

      Upon successful completion of the audit, we will issue a verified report together with the RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS certificate to the company. 

      On the certificate, the results of the self-assessment will be shown in a transparent three-level scoring for each of the relevant due diligence elements which have been analysed and evaluated:

      • Level 1:
        Due diligence implementation within all direct suppliers
      • Level 2:
        Level 1 + due diligence implementation until material production
      • Level 3:
        Level 2 + due diligence implementation until raw material production

      How can RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS support you?

      To be prepared for existing or upcoming legal guidelines concerning due diligence, you need to integrate a targeted and transparent plan of action and measures and your public commitment to act responsibly and comply with your duty of care. 

      OEKO-TEX® RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS supports you in this process and enables you a fast and safe option to identify potential risks within your own company and your supply chains. In this way, you are able to avoid or reduce existing and potential negative impacts of your own and your supply chains' business operations as well as your wider business relationships. 

      Basic facts

      Validity

      The OEKO-TEX® RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS certificate is valid for 3 years and can subsequently be extended any number of times. Compliance audits need to be performed on an annual basis.

      Target group

      Brands and brand groups as well as retailers and traders/wholesellers of the textile and leather industries may equally profit from OEKO-TEX® RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by more easily identifiying potential risks along their supply chains and implementing adequate measures to meet their due diligence obligations with regard to human rights and the environment.

      Criteria / Requirements

      A company can get the RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS certificate if they meet the OEKO-TEX® minimum requirements specified for these six due diligence elements:

      1. Business policy
        Embedding responsible business practices into the company’s policy and management systems.
      2. Risk analysis
        Mapping supply chains and identifying risks in the company's supply chains followed by a prioritisation.
      3. Plan of action & measures
        Integration of specified actions and measures to avoid potential risks and to remedy adverse impacts.
      4. Monitoring
        Continuous monitoring of the defined measures and ongoing adjustment where necessary.
      5. Communication
        Transparent communication to all stakeholders on due diligence process, including the risk analysis, complaints and taken measures to address potential and actual adverse impacts.
      6. Access to remedy
        Implementation of a complaint mechanism.
         
      7. Climate
        If a company has already taken adequate measures to support the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement, e.g. by implementing a climate strategy or by specifying environmental goals, this will also be considered in the RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS certificate. 

      Certification process

      • Application
        The applicant completes the application form and sends it to one of our worldwide labs or contact offices.
      • Self-assessment
        The applicant answers all questions of the OEKO-TEX® online questionnaire, providing any necessary documents as proof of the given data. Mapping all relevant suppliers as extensively as possible will create a sound basis for assessing possible risks.
      • Evaluation & audit
        We thoroughly evaluate all data provided by the applicant. Our auditors then verify the compliance with all relevant requirements at the applicant's premises on-site. If necessary, our experts will provide further assistance in understanding the requirements.
      • Certificate & verified report
        We create a detailed and verified report for the applicant and issue the certificate that authorises the certified company to transparently communicate to which extent they already comply with the required due diligence obligations.

      RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS application

      Apply now

      Your benefits at a glance

      • Transparent and easy communication towards B2B stakeholders and B2G parties (such as authorities).
      • Flexible use of the RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS tool - either as stand-alone solution to get internal insights on further improvement of due diligence obligations or as a full third-party certification to address external stakeholders.
      • Credible communication/documentation of your achieved due diligence efforts through a third-party certificate.
      • RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS offers a systematic and guided approach to analyse, implement and continously optimise due diligence measures along your supply chains.
      • Use RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS to ojectively map your supply chains and identify potential risks with regard to human rights and environmental issues.
      • RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS enables you to establish a solid foundation for compliance with existing or future legal requirements.

      Downloads

      Which guidelines and specifications does RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS take into account?

      In developing the OEKO-TEX® RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS standard, the following documents and guidelines have been considered:

      • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs)
      • OECD Guideline for Multinational Enterprises
      • OECD Due Diligence Guidance Textile and Footwear
      • OECD Guideline for Responsible Business Conduct
      • German Supply Chain Act
      • European Proposal – Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence