McDonald’s France, Yves Rocher, Nestlé France, France Télévisions, Primark France… 27% of companies would have failed to comply with the French Law on the Duty of Vigilance

On 27 March 2017, the French Law on the duty of vigilance was enacted. This law is unprecedented and has a clear ambition: to impose a duty of vigilance on large French companies and hold them into account before French courts for human rights violations and serious environmental violations resulting from the activities of their subsidiaries, suppliers and subcontractors in France and abroad.

Exposing corporate opacity

However, this law only applies to companies whose number of employees, including in their subsidiaries, exceeds a certain threshold: 5,000 employees in France or 10,000 abroad. Over the past three years, members of parliament, NGOs, trade unions and the media have made numerous requests to find out which French companies meet these thresholds. To date, however, no official list has been published. Furthermore, the government has not put in place any monitoring mechanism to ensure that these companies meet their legal obligations.

The duty of vigilance radar, a civil society tool

In the absence of any public monitoring, CCFD-Terre Solidaire and Sherpa, with the help of Datactivist, set up in June 2019 a civil society tool. This tool, the Duty of Vigilance Radar, is available online at vigilance-plan.org

The 2020 Edition : 265 companies listed, 72 without any identified vigilance plan

Based on public and financial reference databases (Infogreffe, Sirene, Orbis) and by studying the available financial statements of certain non-transparent companies not included in these databases, we have now identified 265 companies that would be subject to the duty of vigilance. According to our research, 72 of these companies, i.e. 27%, have not published any vigilance plan over the last three years despite their legal obligation to do so. Among them are giants of the French economy such as McDonald’s France, Yves Rocher, Avril, Castorama, EuroDisney, Bigard, France Télévisions, KPMG, Picard…

State aids must be made conditional on the publication of a vigilance plan

Today, French MEPS are expected to debate on the Projet de Loi de Finance Rectificative. We ask that State aids paid to large companies be made conditional on the publication of a vigilance plan in compliance with legal requirements. The companies concerned must also effectively implement the measures published in their vigilance plan in order to identify risks and prevent serious harm that may occur in their value chains.

Read our study (in French) :