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About RCP

The Responsible Contracting Project (RCP) was co-founded in 2022 by Sarah Dadush and Olivia Windham Stewart, leading members of the American Bar Association Business Law Section Working Group to Draft Model Contract Clauses to Protect Human Rights in International Supply Chains (the ABA Working Group). The ABA Working Group published the Model Contract Clauses 2.0 (the MCCs 2.0) and the Responsible Purchasing Code of Conduct (the Buyer Code) in Spring 2021. These tools now form the basis of the RCP Toolkit.

RCP's work is grant-funded and available free of charge. Our Team can advise your organization on the implementation of the core RCP Principles, whatever role you play in the supply chain – buyer, supplier, investor, policymaker, etc.

Our network of funders includes Laudes Foundation, Open Society Foundation, and GIZ, as well as the pro bono contributions of various individuals and law firms, including Linklaters and Goodwin Procter.

RCP is housed within Rutgers Law School’s Center for Corporate Law and Governance.

    • In 2021, apparel brand Ganni published a Responsible Purchasing Practices Policy that references the Buyer Code, stating: “Ganni shares responsibility with our suppliers and in order to truly reflect our own social and environmental commitments and standards, we strengthened our Mutual Business Agreement with the underlying principle of Responsible Purchasing Code of Conduct published by the American Bar Association” Working Group, also known as the Buyer Code. 

    • RCP is collaborating with the Sustainable Terms of Trade Initiative, a global manufacturer-driven initiative focused on creating fairer purchasing practices in the textile and garment sector, to expand and adapt the RCP Toolkit to support better contracting practices between garment manufacturers and global buyers. The collaboration is supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German Development Agency. 

    • The RCP Team provided comments on the proposed amendments to the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Draft Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) put forth by EU Parliament Member Lara Wolters in November of 2022. Aspects of the amendments, including that the European Commission provides guidance on model contract clauses, were accepted and passed by the European Parliament in June of 2023.

    • The RCP Team advised New York lawmakers on the New York Fashioning Sustainability and Social Accountability Act (The Fashion Act | S7428A), which, if passed, would require large apparel brands and retailers operating in New York State to incentivize “improved supplier performance on workers' rights and environmental impact by embedding responsible purchasing practices in its supply chain relationships and contracts.”

    • In March 2023, activist shareholder platform Tulipshare submitted a shareholder proposal at Nike asking the retail giant to implement the MCCs 2.0 for the 2023 proxy season. Read about the campaign here

    • In partnership with the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), Know the Chain, and other groups, the RCP team is working to educate investors on responsible contracting by developing guidance for investors on how to engage their portfolio companies on responsible contracting.

      With generous pro bono support from Danielle Reyes, and as part of an initiative led by the ABA’s CSR Committee, RCP is developing model contract clauses for investors to include in their financing agreements with companies. These responsible investor model clauses (RIMCs) seek to translate the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the UN Principles for Responsible Investing into contractual obligations. The RIMCs and the investor engagement guidance is expected to be published by late 2023.

    • Know the Chain, a multistakeholder benchmarking resource, makes specific recommendations for companies to adopt the MCCs 2.0.

    • Remake, a nonprofit advocating for fair pay and climate justice in fashion, tracks the adoption of the MCCs 2.0 and the Buyer Code by large fashion brands and retailers in its Remake Fashion Accountability Report.

    • In its May 2023 report on aligning the EU Corporative Sustainability Draft Due Diligence Directive with the principles of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), Shift–the NGO dedicated to the dissemination of the UNGPs–has identified one-sided contract terms as a roadblock to effective implementation of human rights due diligence and advocates for the MCCs 2.0 as an approach to contracts that takes into consideration both buyer and supplier responsibilities in upholding human rights.

  •      A complete list of press mentions can be found here

Do you have questions or want to learn more about RCP?

Uptake of the Responsible Contracting Toolkit

The RCP Toolkit is a public good that is designed to be freely shared, modified, and adapted.* The Toolkit can therefore be adopted by stakeholders that we consult with directly, as well as those who come across RCP through our collaborators or by other means.


Below is a partial list of stakeholders that have adopted aspects of the RCP Toolkit:

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The Principles

An overview of the Responsible Contracting Principles for upholding human rights throughout supply chains

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The Toolkit

An overview of the Model Contract Clauses (the MCCs) and the Responsible Purchaser Code of Conduct (the Buyer Code)

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Where you can learn about our past and upcoming events, publications, and podcasts

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