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Slovenia – Environment & climate change

Slovenia’s priorities

The preparation of the Action Plan revealed that the most common human rights violations in business involve discrimination various forms of abuse in the workplace, and negative environmental impacts. (pg. 5)

State’s expectations of business enterprises

Several new legal provisions proactively ensure the strengthening of respect for human rights in business, which involves non-financial reporting on the environmental and social impacts of major business enterprises, measures to promote equality, and considering environmental, social and labour law aspects in public procurement. (pg. 7)

Principle 1 – State’s duty to protect human rights

In accordance with its international commitments and national legislation, Slovenia will strive for the effective implementation of policies and measures… protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development. (pg. 9)

Principle 2 – State’s expectations of business enterprises

The Constitution stipulates citizen, political, social, and economic rights, as well as the rights to a healthy living environment and to drinking water. (pg. 10)

In accordance with the constitutional right to a healthy living environment, the conditions and way economic and other activities are pursued are established by law (Constitution, Article 72). (pg. 10)

Specific expectations concerning human rights protection in business are defined in the relevant legislation governing employment relationships, health protection, environmental protection… (pg. 10)

An example is the Act Amending the Companies Act of April 2017, which introduces non-financial reporting on the environmental and social impacts of major enterprises and measures to promote equality. (pg. 10)

Such amendments introduce principles relating to the environment and social integration, as well as ensuring respect for rights arising from the legislation in force, thus promoting, in the context of public procurement, the social and environmental responsibility of enterprises and helping them to consolidate their standing in the market. (pg. 10)

Principle 3d – Consumer Rights

Consumer protection also extends to environmental protection, which is focused on the consumers’ right to a healthy environment, and on sustainable consumption. (pg.15)

Principle 3d – Environment

The Slovenian Constitution enshrines the right to a healthy living environment, and laws are in place that impose the requirements for, and methods of, implementing economic and other activities that protect human rights while also ensuring adequate protection and preservation of the environment. The Environmental Protection Act defines the basic principles which, on the one hand, ensure the protection of human rights… (pg. 20)

Environmental labelling includes the product lifecycle approach, ensuring that products are manufactured, used and disposed of in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Slovenia will promote environmental labelling, particularly based on verified and independent criteria, as part of drafting policies and measures for restructuring and the transition to a circular economy. Slovenia applies economic instruments of environmental policy, e.g. environmental tax, to reduce the environmental burden according to the ‘polluter pays’ principle. The environmental tax includes the fields of energy, transport, pollution and the use of resources. (pg. 21)

In accordance with the Framework Programme for the Transition to a Green Economy, the Slovenian Government will focus on further activities for developing and interconnecting green economy policies. The focus will be placed on the following areas: sustainable management of resources; green growth of the economy, promoting green jobs and providing training for people on the labour market for the requirements of green economy; fostering demand for green products and services; green public procurement and green budget reform; sustainable urban development; public sector activities that may serve as models; education and training for the green economy; and green practice in agriculture. (pg. 22)

Principle 3d – Non-financial reporting

As part of drafting policies and measures for restructuring and the transition to a circular economy, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, in cooperation with other relevant ministries, will actively promote the use of voluntary environmental labelling instruments at the EU level, such as Ecolabel and EMAS. (pg. 23)

Principle 4 – Businesses receiving State support

Slovenia is bound by OECD recommendations… aimed at promoting policy coherence of OECD member countries for officially supported export credits relating to the environment, climate change, social and human rights, obligations to respect relevant international agreements and conventions and to contribute to sustainable development. These recommendations are aimed at promoting policy coherence of OECD member countries for officially supported export credits relating to the environment, climate change, social and human rights, obligations to respect relevant international agreements and conventions and to contribute to sustainable development. (pg. 24)

Principle 6 – Commercial Transactions

[T]he Public Procurement Act…puts special emphasis on the various aspects of social and environmental policies. (pg. 26)

[T]he Act includes the horizontal social clause, which requires economic operators, when implementing public contracts, to observe obligations under EU environmental, social and labour law, regulations in force in Member States, collective agreements and international law. (pg. 26)

Principle 9 – Domestic policy

Channelling development cooperation towards ensuring human rights is also indirectly reflected in providing assistance to partner countries in ensuring the right to a clean environment and safe drinking water. (pg. 31)

Principle 10 – Basic Orientations

Through its activities in the World Bank Group committees, Slovenia will support the effective implementation of the Environmental and Social Framework, including the environmental and social policies, which are integral parts of it. (pg. 32)

The core document, the EIB Statement on Environmental and Social Standards, determines the framework of the environmental protection policy, and lays the foundations for prosperity. (pg. 33)

Annex I – Human Rights Due Diligence in Practice

Protection of human rights is also directly and indirectly connected to environmental protection and preservation. (pg. 45)

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