June 2022 marked the beginning of a brand new stage in the IMPA ACT initiative’s lifecycle. Not only is the initiative now turning into a comprehensive solution for companies wanting to meet the minimum standard for RBC (or CSR), but it also brings members updated materials, better alignment with international guidance on CSR, a new CSR due diligence platform, and extra support.
The short read
- IMPA ACT has now become a 360° solution for companies who want to implement Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) standards - both internally and in their value chain - and ensures that member companies are all-the-more ready for up-and-coming legislation on mandatory CSR due diligence.
- Member companies now get access to a brand-new cloud-based platform for conducting operational-level due diligence covering their social, environmental and economic impacts, as well as new resources and guidance.
- Help is at hand! We partnered with Alexony Consulting to ensure that IMPA ACT members can now get the support they need in their journey; this includes a new onboarding process that consists of learning and implementing the minimum standard for Responsible Business Conduct!
First thing's first. What is IMPA ACT?
IMPA ACT is an initiative offering state-of-the-art support to ship-owners, ship-managers and maritime suppliers and manufacturers wanting to meet the globally-agreed minimum standard for social, environmental and economic sustainability (the UNGPs and the OECD Guidelines). Established in 2013 under IMPA's umbrella, IMPA ACT has been assisting its member companies (ship-owners, ship-operators and maritime suppliers and manufacturers) with implementing Responsible Business Conduct standards within their own operations and extending these requirements to and collaborating with their business relationships (primarily suppliers) through Responsible Supply Chain Management. What are the minimum UN-endorsed standards for Responsible Business Conduct, you ask?
- A statement of policy committing your company to manage its operational impacts on social, environmental and economic development;
- A continuous process of due diligence across all internationally-recognised human and labour rights, environmental and climate principles and economic areas; and
- A fair and accessible grievance mechanism or remediation system.
Companies involved in the programme benefit from increased transparency in their value chain, a greater awareness of any issues in their companies' policies, better safeguarding against reputational risks and much-improved collaboration with their business relationships.
Now here is what is new with the IMPA ACT initiative and why you should jump on the bandwagon as soon as possible to ensure you are among the industry's sustainability frontrunners.
1. IMPA ACT is now a 360° sustainability solution
In meeting the globally-endorsed minimum standard for Responsible Business Conduct (the UNGPs and the OECD Guidelines), companies must ensure that they not only ask their business relationships to adhere to these standards, but that they also comply with the standards themselves internally. While IMPA ACT 1.0 mainly catered and enabled the former, IMPA ACT 2.0 will also be encouraging, facilitating and helping all companies to do the required work internally too (i.e. set up a statement of policy committing the company to do the work, conduct regular operational-level social, environmental and economic due diligence, and enable or participate in a grievance mechanism).
2. From suppliers to business relationships
A company’s supply chain is usually understood to be limited to its suppliers, but the UNGPs and OECD-GME extend the responsibility to respect internationally-endorsed principles for human rights, environment and anti-corruption to all business relationships established by a company (suppliers and customers). IMPA ACT 2.0 encourages members to extend the IMPA ACT Code of Conduct to all their business relationships in order to make sure that everyone in their value chain is operating responsibly. While IMPA ACT 2.0 will continue to facilitate collaboration around CSR between companies operating in the shipping industry and their suppliers, members will be encouraged - going forward - to begin extending our Code to all their business relationships.
3. The IMPA ACT Code of Conduct has just got wider
The IMPA ACT Code of Conduct has expanded and the environmental areas have now been aligned with the EU Taxonomy Areas. This ensures that going forward, companies managing impacts on all of the new areas will automatically meet both second and third criterion from the EU Regulation on Sustainable Investments.
4. csrCloud is members' new CSR due diligence platform
csrCloud is our new platform of choice that allows IMPA ACT member companies to conduct CSR due diligence on their operational impacts on human rights, environment and anti-corruption , collaborate with colleagues from different departments towards doing so and share external results with their business relationships. All part of our efforts to ensure that members can work towards meeting the minimum standard for Responsible Business Conduct within their own company too on a secure platform under a fully-guided process.
5. A new IMPA ACT Members' Area is active
IMPA ACT company members now have access to a new IMPA ACT Members' Area with new resources, including guidance for conducting their first impact assessment, as well as links to our guides, discussion forum and the csrCloud.
6. Knowledge exchange is now easier
We have created a brand-new group - now available on LinkedIn - for IMPA ACT members who would like to share experience and best practice around their implementation of Responsible Business Conduct standards. A great way to see how others are working with CSR and get some insight and inspiration!
7. New certification scheme to ensure proper alignment with the minimum standard
A new certification scheme is now in place for all IMPA ACT member companies, allowing our IMPA ACT team to certify members once they have set up the systems and processes required under IMPA ACT, and then - annually - ensure they continue to abide by the standards. Current 'Preferred' companies are invited to join the IMPA ACT initiative and go through the certification process before 2023 in order to maintain their status as Active. This way, you can rest assured companies that are "certified" meet the minimum standard for Responsible Business Conduct and regularly document their operational impacts in a comprehensive way.
8. New third-party consultancy services available
We have been asked time and time again to offer consultancy services for our member companies. So we have worked hard to ensure we are able to do just that. Through Alexony Consulting, our newest undertaking, we will now be able to offer IMPA ACT members a 360° onboarding process, helping them create their first compliant policy commitment, conduct their first impact assessment and ensure their remediation system is efficient. Through a combination of desk research, interviews and calls, Alexony will work with your company towards capacity-building around CSR, creating a compliant policy commitment and offering a walk-through your company's first impact assessment on csrCloud. You can read more on this offering here.
Curious to find out more about IMPA ACT 2.0 and see how it would help your company?
Why not attend our next IMPA ACT Webinar on Thursday, 30 June 2022, at 10am CET? Find out more here.
You could also register for our next workshop on Responsible Business Conduct, taking place in London, UK, on Thursday, 15 September 2022. Find out more here.