Copenhagen, Denmark

Introduction to Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence

when 24 June 2024 - 5 July 2024
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 2.5 EC
fee DKK 5750

This course aims to equip current or future managers from companies, including SMEs, to understand, work with, apply and comply with Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDD) demands in their own organisations and in relations to business relationships.

An important aspect of responsible business conduct, Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence is a common element across the current so-called EU ‘tsunami’ of sustainability legislation that is currently being rolled out (including non-financial corporate sustainability reporting, value chain management, sustainable finance and taxonomy, ESG, etc). Several individual countries, such as France, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and Australia, have also adopted their own laws requiring business organisations to undertake and/or report on corporate sustainability due diligence policies, practices and outcomes.

While most of these demands directly mainly apply to larger companies, they are expected to trickle on to the value chain, including SMEs, in Europe as well as in other countries. A basic awareness of corporate sustainability due diligence will therefore be an asset for many organizations, even if they are not subject to direct requirements. Moreover, many organisations of all sizes, around the world, apply corporate sustainability due diligence based on leading international soft-law guidance, in particular the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct, and the United Nations Global Compact.

Corporate sustainability due diligence is also referred to as risk-based due diligence. The risk focus is directed at risks caused by the organization to society. Importantly, this direction differs from that of ‘transactional’ due diligence, such as financial or legal liability due diligence that many companies are already familiar with. This significant difference in risk orientation, too, underscores the relevance for managers and organisations to attain awareness of the relatively new form of due diligence.

Corporate sustainability due diligence was originally conceived as a management process for companies to identify and manage their harmful impacts on society on an ongoing basis. The original objective was solely on developing and implementing effective management processes for that particular purpose, to assist the organization in understanding about and managing its harmful impacts or risks of such impacts, and ensure that affected people and communities were involved meaningfully in processed to identify risks and develop solutions. Transforming CSDD into legal requirements and quantifiable data (that may easily lead to a singular ‘compliance’ focus) without losing the overall and original focus on sustainable and responsible business conduct, will requires solid knowledge in business organisations. That applies whether organization is subject directly or indirectly to the requirements.

Paying attention to the original objectives and novel legal demands, this course introduces managers in SMEs and other organisations to corporate sustainability due diligence in terms of contents, context, demands and implementation.

Paying attention to the original objectives and novel legal demands, this course introduces managers in SMEs and other organisations to corporate sustainability due diligence in terms of contents, context, demands and implementation. We will also look at how corporate sustainability due diligence can support other business functions and be of value to general business practices; how it may support CSR, corporate sustainability and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) objectives of the organization; and how it relates to a fair and just green transition.

The course applies a combination of teaching forms to support participants’ learning: lectures and guest lectures, cases, group discussions and presentations. We may also use role plays and documentary viewing. Blended learning may occur, mainly if ideal for guest lecturing or exercises. Guest lecturers with practical experience will provide insightful thoughts on their own experience and the value and challenges that corporate sustainability due diligence work can entail.

Course leader

Karin Buhmann - Department of Management, Society and Communication

Target group

This is a bachelor level course. CBS Summer University courses at Copenhagen Business School is open to all and welcomes domestic and international students as well as professionals.

Course aim

Be familiar with the normative, management and policy background to corporate sustainability due diligence

Explain key aspects of corporate sustainability due diligence as a management process and its direction to identification and management of risks

Explain differences between corporate sustainability due diligence and transactional (financial or legal liability) due diligence

Be able to analyze demands on corporate sustainability due diligence and reflect upon their application in various business contexts

Be able to reflect upon the managerial implications of corporate due diligence demands in regard to reporting, value chain management and sustainable finance

Be able to explain the implications for functional managerial tasks of the soft and hard law on corporate sustainability due diligence that has been covered in the course

Credits info

2.5 EC
This is an intensive 2-week course. 2-week courses cannot be combined with any other courses.

Fee info

DKK 5750: Tuition fee - Non European students
DKK 2875: Tuition fee - Open University students