Contact

T. Markus Funk

PHONE: 303.291.2371
PHONE: 312.324.8681
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Jean-Jacques (J) Cabou

PHONE: 602.351.8003
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Corporate Social Responsibility & Supply Chain Compliance

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Overview


New legal requirements, such as those found in the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, the Executive Order Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts, the European Union's Directive on Transparency and its amendments, and the proposed federal Business Transparency in Trafficking and Slavery Act, impose unique compliance and third-party due diligence obligations on the global business community. Class actions and consumer claims brought against companies selling products featuring allegedly false or misleading corporate social responsibility (CSR) attributes (such as “fair trade,” “slavery free,” “sustainable,” and “cruelty free”), as well as related Federal Trade Commission actions, present very real threats to today’s companies.

Perkins Coie is the first AmLaw 100 law firm to develop a specialized practice area addressing supply chain and CSR compliance. With an experienced team of compliance leaders, experts, and investigators we stand ready to help clients find common-sense solutions to emerging compliance challenges.

Our team includes former officials from the Justice Department, State Department, SEC, and state attorneys’ offices, as well as subject matter experts in the fields of international, labor and employment, environmental, corporate, retail and consumer products, franchising and distribution, marketing and advertising, e-commerce, and privacy and security law. We are able to draw on this unique experience to provide industry-leading responses to our clients’ varied needs.

Our Services

Today’s companies must be (1) compliant with these new laws and (2) ready to answer potential claims and challenges brought by U.S. and foreign authorities, stakeholders, and plaintiffs’ lawyers. To this end, we work hand in hand with our clients’ management, compliance, and legal teams to address the full spectrum of challenges they face in the United States and abroad.

Ensure Business-Wide CSR Compliance with Applicable Legal and Social Compliance Auditing Standards

  • Work with the client to conduct an initial mapping and risk-based analysis of its supply chain

  • Identify and rank discrete areas posing the greatest subject-specific vulnerability

  • Devise practical steps to reduce or eliminate the identified CSR and supply chain risks: 

    • Revise policies and procedures 

    • Devise CSR standards of conduct and incorporate them into existing policies and procedures 

    • Implement CSR standards throughout the supply chain 

    • Provide subject-specific training

    • Set up effective reporting hotlines and introduce criteria for escalating reports

    • Identify and mitigate the greatest supply chain and third-party “risk aggregators”

    • Prepare tailored supplier/transaction-partner certifications

  • Conduct targeted due diligence on, and vetting of, potential suppliers and transaction partners

  • Harmonize business, social, and compliance objectives

  • Help incorporate the client’s values and culture into its business model and compliance regime

  • Develop a “CSR toolkit” for executives and managers in key functional areas

  • Help the client meet third-party CSR compliance objectives, such as Social Accountability International (SAI) SA8000 accreditation or Verite auditing standards

Address Problems

  • Be available 24/7 to answer questions and address time-sensitive issues

  • Represent companies against claims that they are misleading consumers and violating federal regulations

  • Develop integrated crisis response approach

  • Perform phased internal and external investigations

  • Develop and implement sound crisis responses

The new laws and regulations that fall under the broad CSR headline are clearly here to stay. We have made it our mission to help our clients achieve practical compliance and meaningful risk minimization.

Corporate Social Responsibility Is Today's Business Norm

A thoughtful CSR approach is truly a new industry-wide business standard:

  • More than 80% of US and 98% of European, Japanese, and Australian companies report their CSR efforts via their websites

  • 40% of US companies and 80% of European, Japanese, and Australian companies release annual CSR reports

  • Of the S&P 100, 93 provide regular CSR reports

  • More than 52% of Fortune 100 companies include CSR statements on operations, supply chain, and product offerings in their annual reports and 10-Ks

  • Investment tools such as the NASDAQ OMX CRD Global Sustainability Index, which require CSR reporting, are increasingly popular