The MVO Platform is a network of Dutch civil society organisations and trade unions that work together to promote Corporate Accountability. Click here for an overview of all participating organisations.

Objective

Corporate Accountability is the responsibility of companies, but governments should play a major role in ensuring this. The MVO Platform strives for government policies that promote ambitious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and that hold companies to account if they are involved in violations. The emphasis of the MVO Platform lies on the Dutch government and on issues related to Corporate Accountability in developing countries.

Furthermore, the Dutch MVO Platform stimulates, facilitates and coordinates activities carried out by different participating organisations in order to reinforce each other’s efforts.

History of MVO Platform

Corporate Accountability has been on the agenda since the 1990s. This is partly in response to rapid globalisation following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the growth of the internet. Some examples of corporate social irresponsibility involving Dutch companies over the few decades include the Brent Spar/Shell, Shell/Nigeria and Heineken/Burma scandals.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the Netherlands have been striving to put corporate accountability on the agendas of both the governments and companies involved in such scandals through lobbying, dialogue and campaigns.

NGOs and trade unions working on international Corporate Social Responsibility from their own specific perspectives (environment, human rights, development, working conditions) joined forces:

  • to develop knowledge
  • to ensure that they did not play off against one another
  • to jointly prevail upon the Dutch government to play its role in the area of CSR and
  • to increase the impact of lobbying and other activities through strength in numbers.

In 2000, 12 Dutch NGOs jointly sent letters to the then Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr Ypema, and to the Lower House, calling on them to develop a standard code of conduct and an information and policy centre for Corporate Accountability.

A number of organisations also became involved in the debate surrounding the SER (Social and Economic Council) advice in the area of Corporate Accountability (‘the profit of values’), as this advice largely ignored in the international dimension of Corporate Accountability.

At the start of 2001, a number of NGOs published the manifesto Profit from Principles, which was adopted by an increasing number of social organisations and used in joint lobbying to the Dutch government.

This collaboration was further consolidated in 2002, when the MVO Platform was formally created. The cooperation has grown since then to a coalition with 24 participating organisations.