Multinational companies are facing increased pressure to ensure that they have adequate ESG-related policies in place and (more importantly) that they are implementing those policies in practice within both their business and associated supply chains via appropriate systems and controls. Companies that are found not to have implemented or adhered to those policies face increased legal and reputational risk which has the potential to have a materially negative impact on their business.

Although there are various formal legal routes through which a company that is found to have failed to implement or adhere to ESG-related policies can be held to account, National Contact Points (“NCPs“) are increasingly being used as a means of holding companies’ “feet to the fire” regarding their ESG non-compliance.

Companies that are subject to an adverse NCP finding, or publicly known complaint, may expose themselves to additional risks, including reputational damage and follow-on civil litigation. This article will explain what NCPs are, why they are becoming increasingly relevant and what businesses should be doing to minimise their exposure to an NCP complaint.

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