GRI and UN Global Compact Join Forces in New Alliance

25 June 2010

The world’s two largest corporate social responsibility initiatives forged an alliance to help build a universal standard on corporate sustainability and disclosure. The alliance hopes to transform business practices on a global scale.

Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, GRI, which is subject to due process, will integrate the Global Compact’s 10 principles and issues in its next Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. Similarly, the Global Compact will use the GRI Guidelines as the recommended framework for companies to communicate on progress.

Together, the two initiatives hope to provide companies with clear direction to sustainable performance and transparency.

Read the specific commitments of the alliance here.

Sustainability is in the Investor’s Hands, Says New Study by Global Compact, Accenture

25 June 2010

CEOs believe investors are the key in creating a more sustainable global economy, according to a new study by Accenture and the UN Global Compact.  The results of a survey of more than 766 CEOs found that 86% of CEOs want investors to value sustainability in their long-term investments. 

“The momentum is there from both companies and investors to create a sustainable economy. In particular it is remarkable that in just four years over US$20 trillion of assets have been signed to the Principles for Responsible Investment,” said Gavin Power, deputy director of the UN Global Compact.

Since 2006 the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI) have been encouraging investors to integrate environmental, social and governance issues in their investments.

Download the study here: A New Era of Sustainability: UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study 2010

Read more about the sustainability tipping point here.

UN Secretary-General Opens Proceedings Along with Mayor Bloomberg

24 June 2010

(Photo: UN Global Compact/Paulo Filgueiras)

More than 1,200 corporate leaders from around the world convened today in New York City for the tenth anniversary of The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit. The two-day summit was kicked off by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In his address, The Secretary General urged the business, civil society and government leaders to lead a “race to the top”, embracing openness, anchoring profit-making in social principles and favouring long-term horizons over pursuit of short-term profits.

Mayor Bloomberg – noting that he was speaking as a former CEO as well as an elected official – said that good corporate citizens recognize that support for human rights is in their enlightened self interest.

Watch the live webcast.

Read today’s complete announcement.

Businesses Asked to Help Protect and Promote Children’s Rights

24 June 2010

At the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children called on the business community to work together to build universal principles that will place children’s rights at the top of the global corporate responsibility agenda.

The three organizations are asking business leaders to work with them to develop principles – to be known as the Children’s Principles for Business – so that they can avoid the negative impacts that their activities may have on children, and contribute to a better future for everyone.

Watch the live webcast.

Read today’s complete announcement.

UN Global Compact and Accenture Release Findings of Largest CEO Study on Corporate Sustainability

22 June 2010

In advance of the Leaders Summit to be held this week in New York, the United Nations Global Compact and Accenture have released findings of a survey of over 766 CEOs around the globe – the largest research study of top executives ever conducted on sustainability.

In response to the survey, an overwhelming majority of corporate CEOs – 93 percent – say that sustainability is critical to the future success of their companies—in spite of the recent economic downturn.  CEOs also believe that, within a decade, a tipping point could be reached that fully meshes sustainability with core business – its capabilities, processes and systems, and throughout global supply chains and subsidiaries.

In addition to an online survey, the study included extensive interviews with 50 of the world’s leading CEOs.

Read today’s complete announcement.

Download the entire survey here –  A New Era of Sustainability: UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study 2010.

Leaders Summit 2010: The Countdown Begins

20 June 2010

With just a few days until the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2010 convenes in New York City, registration has closed and more than 1,200 executives from nearly 100 countries are confirmed to attend this historic event. Final preparations are being made, including a number of exciting side events to take place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square and other locations.

Already, the first two of an array of new resources have been launched – the 10th anniversary edition of the Global Compact Annual Review and the Global Compact Management Model, developed in collaboration with Deloitte.

In addition, widely acclaimed author and blogger Dirk Matten will serve as an official Summit blogger, delivering independent coverage and analysis through the highly respected Crane and Matten Blog. An expert on issues of corporate social responsibility, Professor Matten holds the Hewlett-Packard Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility and is a Professor of Strategy at the Schulich School of Business (York University, Toronto), which is ranked number one globally by the Aspen Institute for integrating issues of social and environmental stewardship into curricula and research. Dirk was recently ranked among the ‘Top 100 CSR Leaders’ globally in an independent poll by the Cambridge based think tank CSR International.

As a reminder, for those unable to participate in person, the Leaders Summit will be streamed live on the UN Webcast site and here on the Global Compact blog. You can also follow the Summit on Twitter (#GCLS2010) and Facebook.

Global Compact’s New Management Model Helps Signatories to Align with 10 Principles

17 June 2010

The Global Compact has launched the UN Global Compact Management Model, which is designed to help participants align their operations and strategies with both the letter and spirit of the Global Compact’s ten universally accepted principles.

The Management Model, developed in collaboration with Deloitte, will also be highlighted as a key management tool at the upcoming Global Compact Leaders Summit on 24-25 June 2010. Deloitte is a founding signatory to the UN Global Compact.

For an in-depth overview of the model, please click here.

Read today’s complete announcement.

Georg Kell: Businessmen, the Planet Needs You

11 December 2009

Georg Kell’s op-ed on the role and responsibility of business in tackling climate change ran on The New York Times/International Herald Tribune website today. It will also appear in tomorrow’s print edition of the IHT.

The Global Compact and Children’s Rights

20 November 2009

On the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Global Compact encourages participants and stakeholders to increase their awareness of this landmark instrument.

Children’s rights are relevant to a number of the Global Compact principles, including principles 1 and 5.  Global Compact principle 1 asks business to respect and support the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.  These include children’s rights.  Global Compact principle 5 asks business to uphold the effective abolition of child labour.
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Request for Comments: Draft Guide to Human Rights Impact Assessment and Management

18 November 2009

This just in:

The IFC, IBLF and the Global Compact are now requesting comments on the draft Guide to Human Rights Impact Assessment and Management [PDF, 2.7mb]. First released in June 2007, this publication aims to help companies identify and address human rights risks and impacts, and integrate the results of the assessment into their management system.

Since its publication, the draft has been used and road-tested by companies from various industry sectors. During the road-testing phase, the Guide to HRIA website was created to provide road-testing companies with additional information, resources. The website was also created to update all stakeholders on new developments during the road-testing process, in addition to hosting quarterly online discussions on HRIA related issues.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday’s Latest News

18 May 2009

Wohoo! Folks over at Global Compact Critics blog about a research paper submitted in early 2007 on the contribution of the UN Global Compact to CSR strategies in the telecommunications industry (published in a recent edition of the Journal of Business Ethics).  While we are always supportive of  CSR research, the logistics of publishing in peer-reviewed journals on the fast-evolving CSR discipline often creates a disconnect between data at the time of collection and the status of initiatives today (for instance, the number of GC business participants now stands at 5,100, compared to the 2,900 mentioned in the paper).

Read the rest of this entry »

The View from Down Under

5 May 2009

The St. James Ethics Centre and Beaton Consulting have released results of a survey among 15,000 business professionals in Australia, exploring attitudes towards business ethics and corporate responsibility.   

Read the rest of this entry »

What Others Say

5 May 2009

Mallen Baker has an interesting piece on the Global Compact’s latest Annual Review

And he’s right on target:

If you believe that there needs to be a better legal framework to control the worst behaviour of companies worldwide – there may or may not be a viable mechanism for that, but the Global Compact was not set up to be it, and indeed could not have been.

If you think companies are mad dogs to be controlled, then an initiative that encourages voluntary collaborative action amongst them won’t be to your tastes. Not much offered up by people that don’t share your particularly pessimistic view is likely ever to be satisfactory. Might as well accept it and focus instead on making the case for what you might want instead.

For the rest, it is a good thing that there is an initiative bringing businesses together to learn from each other on environmental management, human rights and labour rights, and that these groups show good evidence of raising the level of performance for the participating companies.

There is plenty to think about in this report – not least in the vignettes of what different companies across the world are committing to actually do.


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