Norwegian Transparency Act (Åpenhetsloven) in the Presserv Group
In the Presserv Group [herein acknowledged as Presserv], we are concerned with being a responsible social actor. We set strict requirements for our suppliers through purchasing agreements and our own Supplier Evaluation Procedure. We are aware that all trade in goods and services involves various types of risk. The larger the business and the more complex the supply chains, the greater this risk. Given this, Presserv welcomes the Norwegian Transparency Act (Åpenhetsloven) and takes the obligations posed by this legislation seriously.
Presserv has worked with responsible procurement practices for over 25 years and has solid experience in selecting suppliers based on criteria such as quality, delivery security, sustainability and labor and human rights.
The Presserv Group consists of 6 subsidiaries located in Norway (head office), UK, USA, Australia, Brunei and Brazil. We have employees who travel around the world on assignments for customers. We have a straightforward and transparent supply chain, where our two main and key manufacturers/suppliers come from the USA and the Netherlands.
In addition, we have raw materials certified in accordance to HOCNOF (Harmonized Offshore Chemicals Notification Format). This is an important risk-reducing measure for Presserv and ensures our customers additional information about both the products we distribute and their production.
The Norwegian Transparency Act motivates us to work even more thoroughly and systematically with information gathering and risk mapping. If we suspect or uncover possible violations of human rights and decent working conditions, we will immediately implement the necessary measures.
Regarding the Transparency Act
The Transparency Act is the short name for the “Act on business transparency and work with basic human rights and decent working conditions” which came into law on 1 July 2022.
The purpose of the Act is to “promote businesses’ respect for basic human rights and decent working conditions in connection with the production of goods and the provision of services, and to ensure the public has access to information about how businesses deal with negative consequences for basic human rights and decent working conditions.”
The law is based on the OECD’s guidelines for multinational companies. The OECD’s guidelines for multinational companies are recommendations from the OECD countries to promote responsible business in all sectors. The guidelines set expectations for businesses in areas such as human rights, employee rights, the environment, tax, anti-corruption, competition law, consumer interests and transparency. The guidelines expect businesses to carry out due diligence assessments (risk assessments), and further that measures be taken to preserve the environment, respect human rights, safeguard employee rights and avoid corruption/smearing.
Presserv is among the 9,000 Norwegian businesses covered by the Transparency Act. As can be seen from the model above, one of the first and most important things is to anchor the work right at the top of the business.
Thereafter, the work with due diligence assessments must follow a clear structure and sequence:
- Anchor accountability in guidelines and management systems
- Analyze existing and potential consequences
- Incorporate the analysis into the company’s operations
- Monitor the company’s results over time
- Report on how consequences are handled
- Provide for, or cooperate with, recovery, compensation and grievance procedures where required
Due diligence assessments are about investigating and managing risks of negative impact on human rights and decent working conditions. The due diligence assessment must cover both our own business activities, but also supply chains and business partners.
Obligation to provide information
From 1 July 2022, the obligation to provide information comes into force. Anyone can demand to receive information about how Presserv and other businesses deal with actual and potential negative consequences. Requests for information must be made in writing.
From 2023, businesses must also publish public reports on how we work with due diligence assessments. This means that we must talk about actual and potential negative consequences of our operations and tell what measures we are putting in place to stop or limit these consequences.