Responsible business conduct will be one of the most discussed topics at the G20 summit in Germany.
From the Panama Papers to anti-corruption protests in Brazil, South Korea, and Russia, public perception of white-collar crime has increased dramatically. Responsible business conduct will be one of the most discussed topics at the G20 summit in Germany. As a Knowledge Partner for the “Responsible Business Conduct & Anti-Corruption” task force, KPMG in Germany coordinated the Business 20 (B20) group in the run-up to the G20 conference in Hamburg.
B20 is an integral part of the G20 process. With its consolidated representation of interests, concrete policy recommendations, practical experience, and expertise, the B20 group supports the 20 leading economies in the world. Under the leadership of German firm Partner Alexander Geschonneck, KPMG professionals advised the anti-corruption task force with a cross-thematic team in forensics, compliance and sustainability.
Coordinating the world powers of the Group 20 is like “herding cats.” This is how Angela Merkel summarized G20 preparations when B20 taskforce ceremoniously handed her this year’s recommendations. The same could be said about the challenges faced by B20. In this process, the group had the complex task of combining the interests of business representatives and experts from 20 different countries. Over the course of 10 months, seven task forces, each with a special focus, prepared policy recommendations for the heads of G20 states. In early May, the groups handed the consolidated strategies over to the chancellor at the final conference in Berlin.
Not only did the team around Geschonneck have the opportunity to discuss its findings with international anti-corruption experts, but it presented them before representatives of OECD, the World Bank and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC). Responsible business conduct and corporate integrity proved to be a recurring topic. For these discussions KPMG professionals (RC) relied on the expertise of their Compliance Assessment as well as the German firm study “Zwischen Wunsch und Wirklichkeit.”
Perhaps the most important conclusion of the talks was the necessity for business, government and civil society cooperation. Businesses must address compliance risks and possibly negative outcomes of their activity. G20 states, on the other hand, must advocate for those that conduct responsible business and implement a legal framework that supports them.
“In the past the discussion about compliance and business leadership was more technocratic: Which regulation applies to which case? Nowadays, the focus lies on the integrity of a business on all levels,” KPMG’s Geschonneck concludes.