The UN Global Compact
About Global Compact
UN Global Compact (UN GC) – the world`s largest corporate sustainability initiative, a call to companies to allign strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, an attempt to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders.
UN Global Compact includes more than 13,000 participants from 160 countries and more than 80 national networks.
UN GC framework – the ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption - 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda 2030.
UNGC Participants affirm their commitment to UNGC Principles and SDGs, take responsibility to adjust business-models by changing commercial strategies in favor of more fair, ecological, and inclusive development of economy, territories, society and planet.
Global Compact creation –is a manifestation of a new sustainable development concept, which has become a response to the fact that human economic activity exceeded anthropogenic limits of the planet and biosphere; human economy is not in line with laws of nature, and priority to profit has led to economy unfair and inefficient from the long-term development point of view.
Then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in an address to the World Economic Forum on 31 January 1999: “I propose that you, the business leaders gathered in Davos, and we, the United Nations, initiate a global compact of shared values and principles, which will give a human face to the global market.”
Global Compact reflected new responsible approach to the role of business in achieving common well-being, a model of cooperation between UN/governments/society and business not used previously, establishment of corporate citizenship and corporate sustainability values
Corporate sustainability came to be interpreted as a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental and social developments. Today integrating UNGC principles into a corporate system and public affirmation of their enforcement are widely recognized indicators of responsible business practice and a reputation for integrity, necessary to enter the international level of activities and partnership.
To celebrate the UN Global Compact’s 15th anniversary, which motto was ‘Business as a Force for Good’, DNV GL agency did research to demonstrate positive changes provoked by the Global Compact, and which place it has in the story of modern movement for corporate sustainability.
The Global Compact’s most significant impacts in changing corporate practices have been:
– Spreading to new markets. To mobilize thousands of businesses to embark on the sustainability journey, including a significant proportion of the world’s largest companies.
– Wide range of topic on the corporate agenda. To help legitimize a wider range of sustainability topics on the corporate agenda, and turning attention towards issues including human rights, bribery and corruption.
– Expanding the boundaries of business. By helping to expand the boundaries of responsibility, companies are now starting to take a broader responsibility for their impacts along the value chain
– Fostering cross-sector collaboration. To create a common space for dialogue, learning and collaboration between business and stakeholders at the highest level, including from government, in a way that no other organization has ever achieved.
– Raising the bar on performance. In some areas, by producing ground-breaking best practice resources, the Global Compact has helped push the sustainability agenda forward and raising the bar for corporate performance and practices.
– From global values to local priorities. Advancing a set of global values reflected in the ten principles. Through the Local Networks, the principles are applied to local challenges, priorities and opportunities.
Global Compact has become an incubator of ideas and a pioneer in the areas wh ere we speak about business sustainability, widening the concept of its responsibility and distributing these ideas in a global scale. Global Compact has played an important role in changing modern business strategies, and this role will only be strengthening in the future.