Are you looking for inspiration to develop practices that promote responsible business conduct?
The following is a non-exhaustive list of recommendations and practical guides aimed directly at entrepreneurs.
UNIZO’s Code of Good Governance
UNIZO’s Code of Good Governance came into force on 1 May 2019. It is aimed at all self-employed entrepreneurs and unlisted companies.
This new code has been designed as a practical manual. It contains specific recommendations that can be flexibly applied by each business, depending on the phase of its life cycle, its size, its ambitions and its features.
This code provides you with:
- a checklist with 10 practical sheets including advice and concrete steps to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations in your business.
- video lessons explaining the recommendations of the Code of Good Governance (in Dutch).
UCM joined the efforts of UNIZO by publishing this code in French in March 2021.
The ISO 26000 standard was updated in 2017.
This standard does not lead to certification. It consists of a list of guidelines for every business wishing to translate its responsible conduct into concrete actions.
Any company can follow this path, regardless of its size, sector of activity or location.
The ISO 26000 standard aims at:
- integrating responsible conduct into the company's strategy in an operational manner;
- identifying and engaging with stakeholders;
- communicating about commitments and performances following the implementation of practices of responsible conduct.
ISO 26000 also encourages compliance with the content of the instruments and other ISO standards that complement it.
The ISO 26000 standard addresses seven areas of attention for responsible business conduct:
- governance of the organisation;
- human rights;
- work relations and conditions;
- loyal practices;
- consumer issues;
- local development.
In applying ISO 26000, the company must take into consideration “societal, environmental, legal, cultural, political and organisational diversity, as well as differences in economic conditions, while being consistent with international norms of behaviour.”
One tab specifically focuses on the use of the standard in management systems.
The Buysse Code III, named after its initiator, was revised in 2017. It was developed in partnership with representatives from the world of academia and practitioners from the world of entrepreneurship (employers' federations, company auditors, representatives of the self-employed, experts).
This Code consists of recommendations directed at all unlisted companies. It offers practical guidelines and concrete advice on good governance, that can help you develop your business and create long-term value. The adoption of these recommendations is voluntary. You can adjust them to the specific features of your company. In this context, interaction between shareholders, the board of directors and the company's management is recommended.
The Buysse Code includes a specific chapter on "Corporate Social Responsibility”
Belgian Corporate Governance Code
Updated in 2020, the Belgian Corporate Governance Code was developed by FEB. It applies to listed companies as of 1 January 2020 and the following financial years. It consists of 10 principles, considered to be the essential pillars of good governance.
This new “Code 2020” aims to reflect prioritisation of the creation of sustainable value and to focus on the long term, on responsible behaviour at all levels of the company and on taking into account the legitimate interests of stakeholders at all times.
Explicit expectations are set in terms of diversity, talent development, succession planning, and the inclusion of non-financial issues in the company's annual report.
This updated code takes into account the evolution of the Belgian and European regulatory framework. It also intends to “better respond to the expectations of its main users and take into account international practices reflected in particular by recent changes to the corporate governance codes of various countries.”