UN Global Compact

In Brief

2000; asks companies to embrace 10 principles; 12,000 signees

Description

Encourages private sector operations “to do business in a way that aligns their strategies and operations with human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption principles, and that take strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the forthcoming UN Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation.” It now has 12,000 signatories in 170 countries. Compact Principles: 1) Human Rights (businesses should support and respect protection of internationally proclaimed human rights, and make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses; 2) Labor (businesses should uphold freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor, effective abolition of child labor, and elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation; 3) Environment (businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges, undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility, and encourage development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies; 4) Anti-Corruption (businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

Topics and issues addressed: Supply Chain Sustainability; Sustainable Development; Financial Markets; Business and Industry Associations; Governance; Anti-Corruption; Peace; Rule of Law; Environment; Climate Change; Water and Sanitation; Human Rights; Labor; Children; Gender Equality; Indigenous Peoples, Education; Corporate Goal Setting; General Counsel; and Board of Directors. Each topic/issue has a chief manager, publications, events calendar, webinars and press releases. The Compact as a whole has a Twitter feed. The Compact’s Local Networks support local firms and subsidiaries of multinational corporations in implementing the principles and meeting the annual reporting requirement. Activities are based on local priorities and needs. They include corporate sustainability seminars, reporting trainings, issue-specific workshops, country-based consultations, policy dialogue, collective action projects, partnerships, networking events, local newsletters, and awards. A directory details network members and who to contact to inquire about membership. 5,400 downloadable “Communications of Progress” that demonstrate a commitment to the Compact’s sustainability principles were filed for 2014. 32,700 public reports are available. Board headed by the UN Secretary General with membership from Business, Civil Society, Labor, and other ex-officios; Executive staff: 13; Executive Director: Georg Kell

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