More than 150 companies take principled stand at UN Ocean Conference

More than 150 companies take principled stand at UN Ocean Conference

June 27, 2022

At the Sustainable Blue Economy Investment Forum in Cascais, Portugal, a special UN Ocean Conference event, more than 150 major companies have signaled their commitment to a healthy ocean by signing onto the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Principles.

In addition to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, the Sustainable Ocean Principles provide a framework for responsible business practices across ocean sectors and geographies. Companies signing on to the Sustainable Ocean Principles commit to assess their impact on the ocean and integrate ocean sustainability into their overall strategy.

The world depends on a healthy, productive and resilient ocean for food security, climate mitigation and economic livelihoods. Climate change, overfishing, pollution and unsustainable and inequitable development are damaging the health of our ocean and seas.

“Today’s commitment by 150 blue economy companies showcases the private sector’s willingness to support SDG 14. Healthy and productive oceans rely on all actors to do their part. I am encouraged by these companies and their commitment to integrate ocean health into their corporate strategies,” said Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General and CEO of the UN Global Compact.

Some of the largest blue economy companies, including Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), Orsted and SAP SE, have joined the 150 signatories of the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Principles. Signatories span 30 industries, 35 countries and six continents, with a combined market capitalization of 1 trillion euros.

Several large shipping liners are amongst the companies committing. Accounting for around 80% of the volume of international trade and nearly 3% of global emissions1, shipping is increasingly under the global spotlight. Signatories of the Sustainable Ocean Principles include many of the largest shipping companies, such as A.P. Moller - Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM and NYK Line. These companies hold an estimated combined market share of 50%.

Major offshore energy companies, including Engie, EDP, SSE Renewables and Iberdrola are also amongst the signatories. Scaling up renewables is a key priority for global climate action, but offshore wind still faces market barriers and challenges slotting into busy marine spaces facing ecosystem pressures. Leaders from the seafood industry, including Sanford Limited and Thai Union, have also committed to the Principles. The global seafood industry is increasingly taking sustainability more seriously and represents a vital source of healthy and potentially sustainable protein.

Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Life below water) still has the lowest level of financial investment of any of the 17 SDGs2. There is a need for increased public, private and blended financing to foster a sustainable blue economy.

The UN Global Compact has also announced that five global stakeholders are developing a universal guidance for blue bonds—a commitment to provide the global market consistency and transparency in financing the sustainable blue economy. With "Bonds to Finance the Sustainable Blue Economy: a Practitioner's Guide”, the UN Global Compact, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA), UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) aim to provide market participants with clear criteria, practices and examples for issuances to advance the blue economy.  

The full of list of signatories to the Sustainable Ocean Principles can be found here.

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UN Global Compact Network USA's Leaders Summit Session

UN Global Compact Network USA's Leaders Summit Session

June 20, 2022

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focus on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, providing access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels. We currently face significant barriers to achieving a sustainable future aligned with the SDGs, ranging from racial and gender inequality to war and human rights abuses. To deliver the SDGs, all stakeholders, including the private sector, need to work together to advance peace and human rights. US companies have demonstrated their commitment to advancing human dignity with a robust response to the invasion of Ukraine, the killing of George Floyd, the gendered and family impacts of the pandemic, and many other pressing issues. These commitments are meaningful and business relevant.

Join the UN Global Compact Network USA at this session where you will learn what American companies are doing to contribute to the SDGs through contributions to peace and human rights. New ways in which businesses can contribute to overcoming these pressing challenges and create a more just and prosperous world are also discussed.

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Remarks by Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the UN, at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit

Remarks by Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the UN, at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit

June 2, 2022

UN Global Compact Network USA is pleased to share the remarks by Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the UN, at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit on June 1, 2022 below.

AS DELIVERED

Hi. My name is Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and I have the honor of serving as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

It’s my job to work with other Member States to advance human rights and democracy, tackle climate change and public health threats, address humanitarian crises and food insecurity, and, of course, prevent and end brutal conflicts, like Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.

These are weighty challenges. And they’re challenges we cannot solve alone. That’s exactly why I’m so pleased to be speaking with all of you today. Because I firmly believe that the business community has a central role to play in all of this work. And I know you do, too.

You are here today because you understand that ethical business practices matter just as much as profits. That companies have a responsibility to prioritize the economic, environmental, and social impacts of their operations. And you are here today because you are committed to eliminating child and forced labor. Full stop.

In that vein, I urge all of you to stand up to the horrors we’re seeing in Xinjiang – where individuals of primarily ethnic Uyghur or Muslim backgrounds are being subject to forced labor through government programs. Economic pressure exerted from businesses helps deter these atrocities – and supplements political pressure and activism.

That’s true in the context of conflict, too. So, I also urge you to follow the lead of so many U.S. companies who have taken concrete action in response to Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Nike, Starbucks, and McDonald’s announced they would close stores in Russia. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase both said they would wind down business. And BP announced that it would sell its almost 20 percent stake in Rosneft, the Russian state-run oil company. You also now can’t get Netflix, or new Disney, or Warner Bros releases in Russia. And packages will be stuck there because FedEx and DHL also suspended services to the country. The list goes on. And the impact of these efforts is unquestionable.

And while you help us hold Moscow accountable, we also ask for your help in supporting the civilians who bear the burden of Moscow’s war. The United Nations has determined that nearly 16 million people need assistance due to the crisis. I met with some of these individuals during my recent travels to the region. Most were women and children. They long for peace; they long for a day when they can rebuild. But right now, they simply need food and other critical supplies. And the Global Compact has outlined in detail how businesses can help refugees and others affected by the crisis with financial assistance and in-kind donations.

I leave you with this: I believe wholeheartedly in your ability to bolster human rights and make change. Over 15,000 corporate signatures in the 160 countries are now part of the UN Global Compact. Your collective power is immense. Some of the United States’ largest and most influential companies are engaged in this initiative. And I encourage any organizations that have not yet signed the Compact to join now, because we need you. The intractable problems we face cannot come from governments alone. We need NGOs and civil society, we need academics and scholars, and we most certainly need the business community.

So let’s continue working together to implement and uphold our shared values and advance Sustainable Development Goals.

Thank you.

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Call for Comments: SEC Climate Disclosure

Call for Comments: SEC Climate Disclosure

June 2, 2022

On March 21, 2022, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a rule that would compel climate-related disclosure for publicly traded companies: The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors. The public has a legal right to provide input on proposed government actions and public comments play a meaningful role in the government rulemaking.

To encourage more public input, the public comment period for this proposed rule has been extended and is now open until June 17, 2022.

Broadly, the proposed rule is in line with the UNGC's Ten Principles supporting transparency of how companies meet their responsibility to the environment, and those impacted by environmental degradation and climate change.

UN Global Compact Network USA encourages all participants to submit a comment to the SEC. While comments may be for or against, Network USA has developed a supporting template letter in partnership with UN PRI that commenters are welcome to use. By law, all comments must be considered by the Commission, and sharing UN Global Compact's principles with the Commission can help support and improve this proposal.

A few details for those participants who are not familiar with the SEC comment process:

  • The SEC has to consider all unique comments submitted to the comment file. Sign on letters with multiple signatures carry less weight in the consideration and review process.
  • All comments submitted to the SEC are made public and can be cited by the SEC in the final rule as a basis for certain revisions.
  • The proposed rule is long (500 pages) and includes some 200+ questions from the SEC. Do not feel obligated to answer all 200 questions, or any specific questions asked in the proposal. You are free to comment on as much or as little of the rule as you would like. You are also free to ignore the proposed questions entirely.
  • Comments can come from anyone designated by a company to submit, whether that's a CEO, Vice President, General Counsel, or anyone authorized.
  • The most useful comments for the SEC include detailed, data and evidence based recommendations on why a specific section of the rule would be most useful or impactful for the commenter.

The deadline to submit comments is June 17, 2022 COB. Comments can be accepted after the deadline, but risk being considered later in the review process and having less bearing. The easiest way to submit a comment is via email with a PDF attached to rule-comments@sec.gov. The subject line of your message must include the File Number for the rule: “S7-10-22". Please cc Adam Roy Gordon and Claudia Herbert Colfer when submitting your comments.

Please do not hesitate to contact Adam Roy Gordon or Claudia Herbert Colfer with any questions and/or comments.

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Leading CEOs launch Global Water Resilience Strategy to span 100 Water-Stressed Basins by 2030

Leading CEOs launch Global Water Resilience Strategy to span 100 Water-Stressed Basins by 2030

May 24, 2022

The Water Resilience Coalition, an industry-driven, CEO-led initiative that aims to put water stress at the top of corporate agendas and preserve the world’s freshwater resources, today announced its corporate sector-led 2030 strategy to increase global water resilience through collective action. By 2030, the strategy sets to achieve quantifiable positive water impact in 100 water-stressed basins, contributing to water security for 3 billion people. The plan also commits by 2030 to enable equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for more than 300 million people.

The Water Resilience Coalition is part of the CEO Water Mandate, a partnership between the UN Global Compact and the Pacific Institute. The Coalition includes companies such as Ecolab, Microsoft, Starbucks, GSK, Danone, Gap Inc., and ABInBev, and partners such as WaterAid, water.org, UNICEF.

The Coalition’s 2030 strategy will be achieved through scalable collective action projects, which unite companies, NGOs and the public sector to act locally on water, leveraging member companies’ knowledge and unique capabilities, and developing innovative financing mechanisms. The strategy announced today calls for Coalition companies to rapidly scale collective action on water, initiating collective action in 100 basins by 2025 and fully scaling that work by 2030. Water Resilience Coalition member companies are currently engaged in 12 co-funded collective action water projects in 11 prioritized basins. These projects increase water resilience through investments in nature-based solutions, regenerative agriculture, wastewater recycling, water reuse and other resilient approaches.

As part of the strategy announced today, Water Resilience Coalition companies commit to achieve Net Positive Water Impact (NPWI), by 2050. Launched by the Coalition in 2020 as part of the UN Global Compact SDG Ambition, NPWI is a global framework for quantifying how companies ensure their contributions exceed their impacts on water stress in the same region. Achieving NPWI contributes to reducing water stress measured through water availability, water quality, and water accessibility.

More than 2 billion people currently live in water-stressed regions, more than 2.2 billion lack safe drinking water access and a 56 percent global water deficit is projected by 2030. According to the UN, we must quadruple the speed of action to achieve our global goals for water.

Speaking during the launch event, Sanda Ojiambo Assistant Secretary-General and CEO of the UN Global Compact said:

“Both public and private actors have begun to recognize that solving global water challenges is not a solitary endeavor. This awareness has led to increased interest in undertaking coordinated, collective action. This Global Water Resilience collective action strategy is a crucial first step in ensuring we work together to achieve more sustainable water management.”

“With a growing critical mass of the corporate sector on board, the Water Resilience Coalition is poised to be a game changer for water action against the backdrop of climate change,” said Jason Morrison, President of the Pacific Institute and Head of the CEO Water Mandate.

The Water Resilience Coalition today also announced its goal to increase membership to 150 companies by 2030. The Coalition has nearly quadrupled its corporate membership since being founded by seven companies in 2020.

“Global water use, storage and distribution, including the lack of wastewater treatment, contributes 10% of global greenhouse gases. Industry can no longer ignore the vital link between water and climate,” said Christophe Beck, Chairman and CEO of Ecolab. “Water scarcity represents a potential risk to every business and clean, safe drinking water should be available to everyone on the planet. Prioritizing smart water management, water stewardship, and a commitment to collective action starts within our operations and extends through our extensive customer network. As founders and active members of the Water Resilience Coalition, we will continue to demonstrate that companies can accelerate their growth while prioritizing superior water stewardship and the health of people and the planet.”

Water Resilience Coalition member companies include 3M, ABInBev, Cargill, Diageo, Dow, Ecolab, Gap Inc., Kurita, Microsoft, PVH, Starbucks, Bayer, Braskem, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate, Cummins, Danone, Dupont, GSK, HEINEKEN, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Levi Strauss & Co., MARS, Reckitt, Phosagro, and Woolworths.

Notes to Editors

About the Water Resilience Coalition

The Water Resilience Coalition is an industry-driven, CEO-led initiative of the United Nations Global Compact CEO Water Mandate that aims to elevate the long-term mounting crisis of global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and to preserve the world’s freshwater resources through collective action in water-stressed basins and ambitious, quantifiable commitments. For more information visit our website at www.ceowatermandate.org/resilience.

About the United Nations Global Compact

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 13,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 69 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world. For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at unglobalcompact.org.

About the CEO Water Mandate

The CEO Water Mandate is a partnership between the UN Global Compact and the Pacific Institute that mobilizes business leaders on water, sanitation, and the Sustainable Development Goals for corporate water stewardship. Mandate endorsers commit to continuous progress against six core elements (direct operations, supply chain and watershed management, collective action, public policy, community engagement and transparency) and in so doing understand and manage their own water risks. Established in 2007 and implemented in partnership with the Pacific Institute, the Mandate was created out of the acknowledgement that global water challenges create risk for a wide range of industry sectors, the public sector, local communities and ecosystems alike. For more information, follow @H2O_stewards on Twitter or visit ceowatermandate.org.

About the Pacific Institute

Founded in 1987, the Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that combines science-based thought leadership with active outreach to influence local, national, and international efforts in developing sustainable water policies. From working with Fortune 500 companies to disenfranchised communities, our mission is to create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges. Since 2009, the Pacific Institute has also acted as co-secretariat for the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, a global commitment platform that mobilizes a critical mass of business leaders to address global water challenges through corporate water stewardship. For more information, follow @PacificInstitut on Twitter and visit our website at www.pacinst.org.

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Companies Committed to Cut Emissions in Line with Climate Science Now Represent $38 Trillion of Global Economy

Companies Committed to Cut Emissions in Line with Climate Science Now Represent $38 Trillion of Global Economy

May 12, 2022
  • At the end of 2021, 2,253 companies across 70 countries and 15 industries, representing more than one third ($38 trillion USD) of global market capitalization, had approved emissions reductions targets or commitments with the SBTi.
  • Almost 80% of targets approved in 2021 were aligned with 1.5°C. Between 2015-2020, the majority of companies with 1.5°C targets cut emissions twice as fast as required.
  • The world has reached the 20% critical mass of science-based targets adoption among high impact companies.
  • Science-based targets are associated with a 12% emissions reduction across scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2020 and a longer term reduction of 29% since 2015. SBTi companies are delivering excess reductions at an accelerated rate compared to their peers.
  • The SBTi is calling on companies worldwide to align with its Net-Zero Standard to accelerate immediate corporate emissions reductions in line with 1.5°C - there are now 11 companies with approved net-zero targets and more than 1,000 companies committed.

‍A record number of companies are committing to and setting science-based climate targets, according to new research by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the global body enabling businesses to set emissions reduction targets in line with science.

The SBTi today launches its third annual assessment of the initiative’s impact since its launch in 2015. The 2021 Progress Report ‘Scaling Urgent Corporate Climate Action Worldwide’ reveals that the SBTi has entered a period of exponential growth with SBTi companies now representing over a third of global market capitalization, worth $38 trillion USD - up from 20% in 2020. (SBTi companies refers to companies with science-based targets approved by the SBTi and companies with commitments to set targets. Global market capitalization is the total dollar value of publicly-traded companies' outstanding stocks. Global market capitalization has been estimated based on the MSCI ACWI Index which equals to around $93.76 trillion as of February 2022. Market capitalization data of SBTi companies was retrieved from Bloomberg with the date of 31 December 2021 for which data could be retrieved [53% out of 2,253 companies]).

Dr Luiz Fernando do Amaral, CEO of the SBTi, said: “The world today is faced with many challenges – there’s the devastating Russian war in Ukraine, the ongoing pandemic and the increasingly urgent climate crisis. At this critical time, we cannot let ourselves be divided. In the face of these existential crises, the SBTi will continue to work with governments, companies and NGOs, through strong collaboration, healthy debate and scientific research to reinforce 1.5°C corporate climate action as the new normal.

“The science is clear – we are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, and continuing on the current trajectory equals catastrophe. This report shows that the value the SBTi brings to society is more needed now than ever before – we must continue to drive the exponential growth of science-based targets and make them ‘business as usual’ for companies and financial institutions worldwide.”

A record year for new approved targets and commitments

Legend: Annual cumulative number of companies with approved targets and commitments between 2015 – 2021.

As the first assessment of the SBTi’s progress since the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the report’s findings evidence a growing wave of international momentum towards science-based targets. The necessity of this momentum is reflected in the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) WGIII report, which concluded that peak global emissions along with rapid and urgent reductions is required before 2025 to keep global heating under 1.5°C.

In October 2021, the SBTi launched the Net-Zero Standard, the world’s first framework for corporate net-zero target setting in line with climate science. It includes the guidance, criteria, and recommendations companies need to set science-based net-zero targets consistent with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. The Standard has accelerated the shift towards 1.5°C aligned targets as the new normal for corporates. The report indicates almost 80% of 587 new targets approved in 2021 were aligned with a 1.5°C trajectory. In April 2022, the initiative celebrated a round of new, net-zero approved targets with the total number of companies committed to the Standard surpassing 1,000. The SBTi’s ‘ambition update’ also announced that the global initiative will only accept target submissions aligned with 1.5°C from July 2022, driving companies to go further and faster with their emissions reductions.

Lila Karbassi, Chair of the SBTi board and Senior Programme Officer at the United Nations Global Compact, said: “The global economy must halve emissions before 2030 to reach the Paris goal of 1.5°C - and it is currently not on track to do so. This goal is reflected in the most recent IPCC report, which poses a clear message - we must implement rapid and urgent emissions reductions or face planetary catastrophe. The climate action we’re seeing from companies is grounds for optimism, but we must all go further and faster to close the emissions gap.”

Increasing momentum for 1.5°C

Legend: Temperature alignment and growth of scope 1 and 2 targets between 2015 - 2021. (Scope 3 targets do not currently have a temperature classification and are therefore not included.)

The Progress Report indicates that a critical mass (>20%) of high-impact companies have now joined the SBTi globally (27%). While across key regions (Europe, North America, Latin America and Oceania) more than a quarter high-impact companies have committed to science-based targets. The Progress Report’s analysis is based on a sample set of high-impact companies. See the end of this release for more information about how this high impact sample was created.

Majority of world’s regions reached critical mass adoption

Legend: High-impact companies’ commitments and approved targets per region as of 31 December 2021.

In addition, science-based targets have delivered the biggest emissions reductions to date with SBTi companies reducing emissions at an accelerating pace. The analysis shows that in 2020, SBTi companies have exceeded global trends and collectively achieved 12% scope 1 and 2 emissions reductions, compared to a 5% global emissions reduction due to COVID-19. These emissions reductions as a result of the pandemic were anomalous as by the end of 2021, emissions bounced back alongside the global economic recovery.


These numbers clearly show the appetite, and the potential, for companies to tackle the climate crisis via science-based targets – but the report shows more action is still required. A very high proportion of targets are from companies in Europe, North America and Japan, with relatively few elsewhere in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Sectorally, heavy-emitting industries continue to be under-represented.

The SBTi is launching its Progress Framework, a new project to provide a standardized mechanism to track organizations’ progress against science-based targets, in early 2023. This measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) framework will build on the SBTi annual Progress Reports to deliver increased transparency and accountability of companies’ progress against their science-based targets. Technical details will be released later this year.

The SBTi invites corporates to commit to the Net-Zero Standard- and set near- and long-term 1.5°C aligned targets - and make their critical contribution to limiting the worst impact of climate change.

The SBTi Progress Report 2021 can be accessed here. The Progress Report is released annually, previous reports can be accessed here.

HIGH-IMPACT SAMPLE METHODOLOGY

The high-impact sample has been created following these criteria:

  • Companies with the highest scope 1,2 and 3 GHG emissions (being looked at separately) GHG emissions (>80th percentile of the total universe - where the total universe is the full investors requested sample of CDP companies).
  • Scope 1 + 2 <80th percentile: 1.364.309 GT
  • Scope 3 >80th percentile: 6.644.512 GT
  • MSCI ACWI constituents with the highest market capitalization (>85th percentile of the total universe - where the total universe is the full MSCI ACWI sample): $34.263.308.698.
  • Companies meeting the dual criteria of:
  • Having among the highest market capitalization in its country of headquarters (>85th percentile by country) of total universe - where total universe is the CDP investor requested sample.
  • Having among the highest GHG emissions for its industry (>85th percentile by sector GICS) or above 70th percentile of all samples.
  • The 20 largest private US companies and the 15 largest private EU companies by revenue.

For more information, including interviews and comment, contact:

Madeleine Lynch at madeleine.lynch@greenhouse.agency or +44 (0) 7446 054146

María Dolben at maria.dolben@greenhouse.agency or +44 (0) 7408 809839

Notes to editors

About the Science-Based Targets initiative

The Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a global body enabling businesses to set ambitious emissions reductions targets in line with the latest climate science. The SBTi’s goal is to accelerate companies across the world to support the global economy to halve emissions before 2030 and achieve net-zero before 2050.

The initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments.

The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoption, and independently assesses and approves companies’ targets.

Website: www.sciencebasedtargets.org

Twitter: @sciencetargets

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Congratulations to Our 2022 SDG Pioneers Winner and Finalists!

Congratulations to Our 2022 SDG Pioneers Winner and Finalists!

April 15, 2022

UN Global Compact Network USA is pleased to announce the winner and finalists of the 2022 SDG Pioneers initiative. SDG Pioneers recognizes business leaders who are doing an exceptional job in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the implementation of the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. SDG Pioneers help advance one or more of the SDGs while also contributing to business success.

UN Global Compact Network USA is please to recognize Dianne Heiler, Senior Director of Packaging and Sustainability, Repligen as its 2022 SDG Pioneer. Dianne has worked diligently with her leadership team and cross-functional colleagues to embed relevant SDGs into Repligen's business processes. She played a critical role in starting the conversation around the UNGC’s Ten Principles and translating them into tangible examples that their executive leadership team could support and build on. She leveraged the UNGC's many resources, tools, and publications and she laid out a sensible yet ambitious path forward using the Ten Principles and 17 SDGs as a guide and helped to identify 7 core SDGs most relevant to Repligen. She is leading the effort to build Repligen's Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions inventory and identify areas for improvement through conversations with suppliers and service providers both up- and downstream their value chain.

Network USA would also like to recognize its inspiring SDG Pioneers finalists who have demonstrated their commitment to and leadership in advancing the SDGs in their respective companies. Each finalist has introduced new and innovative ideas to help drive its company sustainability journey forward.

  • Daniel Akinmade Emejulu, Program Manager UN Affairs, Microsoft
  • Carla Joan Gonzalez, Business Development and Marketing Director, AD&V
  • Monica Bauer Mengelberg Lopez, Vice President Corporate Affairs, PepsiCo

Our 2022 SDG Pioneer was selected by an external review committee. We would like to recognize and thank our review committee for strongly supporting our work.

  • Sanjeev Khagram, CEO, Director-General & Dean, Thunderbird School of Global Management
  • Lisa Kurbiel, Head of Secretariat, United Nations Joint SDG Fund
  • Shobha Meera, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Capgemini
  • Paul Rice, Founder & CEO, Fair Trade USA
  • Gayle Schueller, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, 3M

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UN Global Compact Academy Deep Dive Sessions: Deepening Human Rights Due Diligence

UN Global Compact Academy Deep Dive Sessions: Deepening Human Rights Due Diligence

April 13, 2022

The UN Global Compact Academy is offering a 3-part series, delivered in collaboration with Shift and UN Human Rights (OHCHR), designed to deepen your understanding of human rights due diligence, and develop an actionable plan to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for your company’s human rights impacts.

When and where?

The Deep Dive series starts on 4 May 2022 and is available in English or Spanish. The series is divided into three sessions and will be available in three time zones for your convenience. 

  • Europe / Middle East / Africa / North America (English language)
  • AsiAustralia / New Zealand (English language)
  • Spain and Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish language)

Please sign up for your preferred sessions below:

Academy Sessions (in English)

Academy Sessions (in Spanish)

Please note that this is a three-part series of workshops. The first session will focus on foundational content for the second and third sessions. Participants who attend all three sessions of this Deep Dive series will receive a certificate of completion.

Target audience?

The series is open to all companies participating in the UN Global Compact, with a focus on professionals within the company with roles and responsibilities related to human rights and sustainability.

How to prepare for these sessions?

To prepare for your participation in the Deep Dive Series, we encourage you to first complete the Academy e-learning course developed by the UN Global Compact and UN Human Rights (OHCHR) in collaboration with Shift: Business and Human Rights: How Companies Can Operationalize the UN Guiding Principles. Through four interactive, 30-minute modules, this course provides you with the foundational understanding and skills needed to get the most out of your participation in the Deep Dive Series.

Additional reminder: 

The next Academy Changemaker session featuring Sir Mark Moody-Stuart is taking place next week on 21 April 2022 at 9.00AM (New York) / 2.00PM (London) and 22 April 2022 at 8:00AM (Bangkok) / 12:00PM (Melbourne) respectively.

Find the registration links below:

Academy Platform
Session 1 - Zoom
Session 2 - Zoom

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United Nations Global Compact Network USA names Jacqueline Grace Inaugural Executive Director

United Nations Global Compact Network USA names Jacqueline Grace Inaugural Executive Director

April 7, 2022

Global Compact Network USA’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Jacqueline Grace as its inaugural Executive Director. In this new role, Grace will work closely with more than 700 companies and organizations across the United States that have pledged their commitment to the goals outlined in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). She will lead initiatives to support their sustainability efforts and grow the size and impact of Network USA.

Grace’s appointment concludes a rigorous, national search led by a Search Committee comprised of Global Compact Network USA Board Directors in collaboration with Koya Partners, an executive search firm that specializes in partnering with mission-driven clients.  

“Jacqueline’s vision, strategic leadership experience, relationship building skills and passion for our mission make her the ideal candidate to lead Global Compact Network USA at this exciting and pivotal moment,” said Chris Gray, Chair of the Global Compact Network USA Board of Directors. “She will be an ideal partner to our signatory companies and to the United Nations community as we work together to grow Network USA and advance the goals of the UN Global Compact.”  

Grace brings more than two decades of corporate and non-profit leadership experience to the role, including work in the fields of environmental restoration, food justice, and female empowerment.

“There is no more important or exciting work to be done than to help build a global movement to advance environmental sustainability, institutional accountability, and human rights for all,” said Jacqueline Grace. “I am honored to serve as the inaugural Executive Director of Global Compact Network USA at this critical moment and I look forward to working with our talented team, the UNGC community, and companies across the United States to further the goals of the UN Global Compact.”

Grace joins United Nations Global Compact Network USA from Keep America Beautiful, where she most recently served as Chief Development Officer. At Keep America Beautiful, her portfolio included working with national and local affiliates, corporations, donors, and other constituents to build and enhance partnerships, launch strategic initiatives, and grow and diversify revenue streams.

Prior to joining Keep America Beautiful, Grace was Chief Development Officer at Wholesome Wave, a national nonprofit focused on affordable access to fruits and vegetables for people in need. Grace has also held senior leadership positions at Girl Scouts of the USA, Save the Children, and Relationships First, where she was the organization’s inaugural Executive Director.

Grace began her career in publishing at Simon & Schuster and held senior roles at Scholastic Inc., the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and educational materials. Grace was also the founder and President of LifeTime Media, a book publishing and packaging company whose authors included Billie Jean King, Gary Kasparov, and Chaplain of the United States Senate, Barry C. Black.

Grace served on the board of Every Child a Reader and currently serves on the board of the Rye Arts Center.

Grace was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, where she played varsity basketball and rowed lightweight crew.

Launched in 2007, United Nations Global Compact Network USA is a nonprofit 501c3,independent, self-governed local network chapter of the United Nations Global Compact. As the primary point of contact for UN Global Compact signatories in the United States, Global Compact Network USA represents and supports all US businesses as well as subsidiaries of multinational companies.

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Business Guide: Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis

Business Guide: Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis

March 2, 2022

The UN Global Compact has worked with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on a Business Guide to urgently respond to Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis. The Guide provides concrete action for businesses to support the Secretary-General’s three-month Flash Appeal for people in Ukraine, and a Regional Refugee Response Plan for the situation outside, under the leadership of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Find the guide here.

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Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fund

Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fund

February 28, 2022

In light of recent developments, the UN Global Compact has received an increased number of inquiries about how corporations can support relief efforts for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. At this time we direct you to the Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fund.

Global Compact Network USA will share further opportunities for corporate donations to the UN as options become available.

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Statement on Ukraine by UN Secretary General

Statement on Ukraine by UN Secretary General

February 24, 2022

Below is a Statement from UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

We are seeing Russian military operations inside the sovereign territory of Ukraine on a scale that Europe has not seen in decades.

Day after day, I have been clear that such unilateral measures conflict directly with the United Nations Charter.

The Charter is clear: “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

The use of force by one country against another is the repudiation of the principles that every country has committed to uphold.

This applies to the present military offensive.

It is wrong.

It is against the Charter.

It is unacceptable.

But it is not irreversible.

I repeat my appeal from last night to President Putin:

Stop the military operation.

Bring the troops back to Russia.

We know the toll of war.

With deaths rising, we are seeing images of fear, anguish and terror in every corner of Ukraine.

People – everyday innocent people – always pay the highest price.

That is why the United Nations is scaling up our humanitarian operations in and around Ukraine.

Today I am announcing that we will immediately allocate $20 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to meet urgent needs.

We and our humanitarian partners are committed to staying and delivering, to support people in Ukraine in their time of need.

United Nations staff are working on both sides of the contact line, always guided by the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, humanity and independence.

We are providing lifesaving humanitarian relief to people in need, regardless of who or where they are.

The protection of civilians must be priority number one.

International humanitarian and human rights law must be upheld.

The decisions of the coming days will shape our world and directly affect the lives of millions upon millions of people.

In line with the Charter, it’s not too late to save this generation from the scourge of war.

We need peace.

Thank you.

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New UN Global Compact Academy E-Courses on Gender Equality

New UN Global Compact Academy E-Courses on Gender Equality

February 22, 2022

The Academy is the UN Global Compact’s digital learning platform providing business leaders and practitioners with actionable skills to help companies move further faster in implementing the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Through innovative learning experiences across key topics and languages, the Academy offers companies actionable insights and best practices relevant to your specific challenges and needs, regardless of corporate function or where you are on your sustainability journey. All employees of companies participating in UN Global Compact have unlimited access to the Academy.

The Academy has recently launched two e-courses on gender equality: How to Increase Gender Balance in Boardrooms and Gender Equality: How Business Can Accelerate the Pace of Change.

Completing the How to Increase Gender Balance in Boardrooms e-learning course will help participants learn:

  • Why board diversity is critical to business performance and sustainability
  • How to set, meet and stay accountable to ambitious targets
  • How increased government and investor expectations, as well as stock exchange listing requirements, are incentivizing business to prioritize board diversity
  • Diverse examples of strategies that companies have adopted to secure parity on boards and ensure that women’s perspectives are equally valued in decision-making

Completing the Gender Equality: How Business Can Accelerate the Pace of Change e-learning course will help participants learn:

  • Why gender equality and women’s empowerment is a prerequisite to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
  • How your company can contribute to the achievement of  SDG 5
  • How to build the business case for gender equality in your company
  • How the Women’s Empowerment Principles and other key frameworks, Tools and resources can support your business
  • Concrete steps that your business can take to mainstream gender equality into strategy and operations

Explore more of the Academy here.

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2022 UN Ocean Conference & UNGC Events

2022 UN Ocean Conference & UNGC Events

February 11, 2022

The 2022 UN Ocean Conference will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, from June 27 to July 1, 2022. The UN Global Compact is planning several events during the Conference to bring the strong voice of the business community to the proceedings, including the Innovathon Hackathon Youth Forum, where participants will innovate solutions around our 5 Tipping Points for a Healthy and Productive Ocean and a high-level meeting on Private Sector Driving Ocean Solutions.

In the lead-up to the Conference, the UN Global Compact aims to accelerate the pace of companies signing on the Sustainable Ocean Principle. The current list of signatories to date will be announced at the Conference to demonstrate how businesses are committing to take action for a healthy, productive ocean. 

Additionally, the UN Global Compact, alongside partners at UN DESA, will be supporting private sector accreditation. Relevant stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector and philanthropic organizations, can request special accreditation to participate as observers in the Conference. Information about accredited organizations is available here.

A final round of special accreditation for the 2022 UN Ocean Conference is now open, and organizations can apply using this platform until February 28, 2022. Kindly note that registration is a separate process, which will open in due course. Please also check the Frequently Asked Questions and the information flyer for additional information. Private sector organizations can reach out to unocean@unglobalcompact.org should any questions related to the Conference or accreditation arise.


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2022 Annual Letter to UN Global Compact Participants from Sanda Ojiambo

2022 Annual Letter to UN Global Compact Participants from Sanda Ojiambo

January 24, 2022

Below is a letter from UN Global Compact's CEO & Executive Director, Sanda Ojiambo.

Dear Participants of the UN Global Compact,

As we enter the third year of the global coronavirus pandemic, we cannot help but recognize the changing world of work and the impact this has had – on businesses, to be certain, but also on society as a whole as we continue to navigate our way through the changing realities of the COVID crisis.

Yet we face these challenges with optimism, knowing there is opportunity in every crisis. The opportunity to take stock of our current global realities and begin to implement the changes we must make to steer ourselves, our organizations and our planet on a more sustainable course.

At the United Nations Global Compact, we continue to move forward – not just in spite of the global challenges we face, but because of them. And I am encouraged that our growing list of participating companies, sponsors and patrons  – and their commitment to sustainability and our Ten Principles – remains stronger than ever.

The power of public-private partnerships

Throughout this pandemic we have seen the benefits of public-private partnerships. They have been instrumental in the provision of personal protective equipment, testing, humanitarian relief and vaccine production and distribution. Yet equity remains a huge challenge. The disparities in vaccine distribution between the Global North and the Global South are glaring and unconscionable. We cannot move towards a post-COVID world if we do not do so collectively, with full vaccine access and equity.

Grounded as we are in United Nations values and our Ten Principles, the Global Compact is in a unique position to support widespread recovery, working in partnership with businesses in every community and country.

Our new Africa and China strategies, for example, aim to unleash the potential of the world’s largest growth market and the global impact of the Chinese economy.

Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals

Leveraging the power of the private sector to engage responsibly and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is at the heart of our work.  Businesses large and small have a key role to play in accelerating the ambitious actions we need to secure a future where people and planet can thrive.

As articulated in our 2021-23 strategy, our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the SDGs. To this end, we are focusing our efforts on solving the world’s most pressing challenges through seven focus areas where businesses have an outsized effect on outcomes:  Anti-corruption, Climate Change, Human Rights, Labour and Decent Work, Gender Equality, SDG Integration, and Transformational Governance.  

New engagement opportunities

Wherever our participating companies are on their sustainability journey, our new engagement opportunities will help them connect, learn, lead, communicate, moving them faster and farther in demonstrating progress on corporate sustainability.  

This new UN Global Compact programmatic portfolio will be funded through a simpler, one tier Engagement Model giving all business participants access to the entire range of our programmes, including the Academy.

A majority of participants will not see any significant change in the level of their financial contributions. However, the very large companies with annual revenues of more than US$10 Billion that do will also receive enhanced value and stronger engagement opportunities across their countries of operations and their value chains. The revised financial contributions, which will become effective for existing business participants only in 2023, will help us to deliver on our mission and enable:

  • Strong Local Networks and Regional Hubs to increase impact at the national level;
  • New and improved programmes backed by a strong digital infrastructure.
  • Increased support to SMEs that will help us to work with value chains of MNCs and many national and local businesses.

Looking ahead, we know that our foundation is sound. It is not the issues that stand between us and a sustainable planet; it is our agility. We must act on a scale and at a pace we have not tried before. But I am confident that the Global Compact is best suited to enable the private sector to do the right thing. We are, in my opinion, ahead of the curve – not only in terms of our steadily rising number of participating companies committed to sustainability, but in forging the kind of relationship that fosters two-way communication. We do not just guide our participating companies; we listen to them and support them.

Fortunately, there is growing recognition among investors and governments that there are enormous opportunities for businesses to play a critical role in the transition to a sustainable, climate-safe future. The private sector has a critical role to play in reshaping the future of corporate finance and investment as a catalyst to help achieve the SDGs by 2030 and halve carbon emissions by 2050.

Communicating on Progress

In an effort to add value and streamline sustainability reporting for all participating companies, the UN Global Compact is delighted to announce the launch of an enhanced Communication on Progress platform coming in 2023.

Our new Communication on Progress will help companies set goals and track their sustainability progress, validating the business case for aligning their business practices with the Ten Principles and the SDGs. This year, we are inviting 500 participating companies to join our Early Adopter programme giving them early access to the platform, tools and resources to support their transition.

Whether that means realigning investments with the SDGs, addressing climate adaptation, or broadening efforts to address social equity gaps, I am confident that, working together, we will not only be able to future proof the planet, but strengthen business resilience for decades to come.

Thank you for your continued participation in the UN Global Compact and strong support. Let’s keep moving forwards together, united in the business of a better world.

Sincerely,

Sanda Ojiambo

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Welcome Network USA's New Board Officers

Welcome Network USA's New Board Officers

January 10, 2022

UN Global Compact Network USA welcomes our new Board Officers: Chris Gray, Head of ESG, Pfizer as Board Chair, Gayle Schueller, Chief Sustainability Officer, 3M as Board Vice Chair, and Joe Cahill, Chief Customer Officer, Project Management Institute as Board Treasurer.

About Chris Gray

Board Member since 2018

Chris Gray is head of environmental, social, and governance strategy and operations at Pfizer Inc. He is responsible for developing and implementing an enterprise-wide approach to enhance ESG performance metrics and outcomes, co-chairs the Sustainability Steering Committee, and leads efforts to embed the ESG discipline into Pfizer business strategies. He also leads external ESG engagement and efforts to align Pfizer’s Purpose and ESG strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals and works closely with governments and civil society on strategic initiatives to improve global health and development.

About Gayle Schueller

Board Member since 2020

Gayle Schueller is Chief Sustainability Officer at 3M. She started in 3M’s corporate laboratory as a product development engineer and has over 25 years of technical and business leadership experience. Her career spans a broad range of businesses from electronics to healthcare to consumer industries. She has led technical and business teams from around the world including Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America. Gayle’s previous assignments include vice president of New Platforms for Growth and Commercialization, directora general for 3M Mexico, and vice president of research and development and design for 3M’s Consumer and Office Business.

About Joe Cahill

Board Member since 2021

Joe Cahill is responsible for all of PMI's Global Customer Group. He oversees the Global Customer Engagement Team, the Global Customer Experience Team and PMI's eight geographic regions. Joe previously held the positions of COO, Interim CEO and SVP of Finance and Administration in his time with PMI.

Joe has over 20 years of senior leadership experience including digital transformation, strategic planning, enterprise system implementation and new business development. Across technology, manufacturing and energy sectors, he has effectively helped build companies and lead change in large organizations.

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UN General Assembly Reaffirms Global Compact Mandate

UN General Assembly Reaffirms Global Compact Mandate

December 20, 2021

United Nations Member States have reaffirmed their support for the UN Global Compact’s mandate to engage the private sector in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals with a renewed resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly.

The resolution, under General Assembly agenda item 27 — Towards global partnerships: A principle-based approach to enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and all relevant partners — reiterates the mandate of the UN Global Compact, which is “to advance United Nations values and responsible business practices within the United Nations system and among the global business community.”  UN Member States also welcomed “the commitment of the Secretary-General to continuing to retain the integrity and unique role of the United Nations Global Compact.”

The resolution is an expression of broad-based support by governments of the north and south for the work of the UN Global Compact. The General Assembly expressed support for the implementation of the UN Global Compact Strategy 2021-2023, including the Africa Strategy 2021-2023 and SME Strategy 2021-2023.

Furthermore, Member States referred to UN Global Compact flagship “Uniting Business Live” events that occurred in the margins of the General Assembly. These events include the annual United Nations Private Sector Forum, the Global Impact Forum, the Young SDG Innovators Summit, and the SDG Business Forum.

UN Member States recognized “the importance of the private sector, multi-stakeholder engagement, innovative partnerships and a conducive policy environment in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. They also  recalled multilateralism as a necessity.  In this context, the resolution supports the work of the UN Global Compact to “raise ambition and achieve stronger private sector engagement, accountability and partnerships, in support of a sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery from COVID-19.”

UN Global Compact CEO & Executive Director Sanda Ojiambo commented: “We thank the UN Member States for reaffirming their strong support for the UN Global Compact. We will continue to expand our global reach by mobilizing businesses and engaging in strategic partnerships to accelerate progress towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.”

The progress of the UN Global Compact in engaging the private sector to implement responsible business practices and support UN goals will next be reviewed in 2024.

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Applications Open: 2022 UN Global Compact Network USA SDG Pioneers

Applications Open: 2022 UN Global Compact Network USA SDG Pioneers

December 2, 2021

As part of the 2022 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers program, UN Global Compact Network USA  is searching for professionals to recognize who are committed to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Through their own company or by mobilizing other businesses, SDG Pioneers help advance one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals while also contributing to business success.

UN Global Compact Network USA will award the 2022 Global Compact Network USA SDG Pioneer at the local level. The selected individual will then have the opportunity to participate in the final search of global SDG Pioneers to be recognized during the 2022 UN General Assembly in September in New York. ​​         

              

You can apply or nominate someone here.

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Leading International Organizations Launch Platform to Address Calls for Clarity on How to Improve Sustainability Impacts

Leading International Organizations Launch Platform to Address Calls for Clarity on How to Improve Sustainability Impacts

November 30, 2021

Leading international providers of sustainability standards and guidance have come together to create the Impact Management Platform, a collaboration to mainstream the practice of impact management. As a first product, the ‘Platform’, whose steering committee brings together a set of multilateral organizations, has launched a web tool that outlines the core actions of impact management and links to the resources to help organizations and investors implement them.

Over the past decade, there has been significant growth in demand for organizations to improve their impacts on people and the planet, and to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Core to making this possible is effective impact management. However, the growing number of initiatives supporting different aspects of impact management have been difficult for enterprises and investors to navigate. With the climate crisis and COVID-19 pandemic demonstrating the fundamental interdependencies between markets and sustainability issues, the urgency to build a coherent and complete system of principles, standards and guidance for how to improve sustainability impacts has never been greater.

Through the Platform, partnering organizations will work together to identify opportunities to consolidate existing sustainability resources, collectively address gaps, and coordinate with policymakers and regulators to support the mainstreaming of impact management. This effort represents the next phase of a global collaboration that, until now, was facilitated by the Impact Management Project (IMP), a five-year consensus-building forum designed to run until 2021. Earlier work included facilitating sustainability disclosure initiatives to agree a shared vision for corporate reporting to meet the needs of all stakeholders, and supporting the consolidation of the investor-focused disclosure initiatives into the IFRS Foundation and its new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The Platform, whose Steering Committee includes multilateral organizations that will also advise the ISSB, provides a complementary forum for the broader task of supporting practitioners to manage their sustainability impacts.

Partners planning to work together through the Platform include B Lab, Capitals Coalition, CDP, Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Impact-Weighted Accounts Initiative at Harvard Business School (IWAI), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Value Reporting Foundation, Social Value International, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Environment Programme - Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), UN Global Compact (UNGC) and World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA).

A joint launch webinar at 10am EDT / 3pm GMT / 4pm CET on Tuesday 23 November will share the vision and future of the Platform with representatives of the Platform Partners. This will include a keynote dialogue with Mathias Cormann, Secretary General of the OECD, and Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme. Click here to register for the event.

The Impact Management Platform website can be accessed at www.impactmanagementplatform.org

About the Impact Management Platform

The Impact Management Platform (‘Platform’) is a collaboration between leading providers of public good standards and guidance for managing sustainability impacts. Through the Platform, partnering organizations aspire to:

  • clarify the meaning and practice of impact management;
  • work towards interoperability and fill gaps as needed; and  
  • have coordinated dialogue with policymakers.

The Impact Management Platform website supports practitioners to manage their sustainability impacts – including the impacts of their investments – by clarifying the actions of impact management and explaining how standards and guidance can be used together to enable a complete impact management practice. The website can be accessed at https://impactmanagementplatform.org/

About the founding Partners

Partners planning to work together through the Platform include:

B Lab

Capitals Coalition  

CDP

Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB)

Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG)

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Impact-Weighted Accounts Initiative at Harvard Business School (IWAI)

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

Social Value International (SVI)

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)

UN Development Programme (UNDP)

UN Environment Programme - Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)

UN Global Compact (UNGC)  

Value Reporting Foundation (VRF)

World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA)

Descriptions of all these organizations and their logos can be found here.  

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United Nations Global Compact to Advance Collective Action Against Corruption

United Nations Global Compact to Advance Collective Action Against Corruption

November 29, 2021

New project aims to expand and build upon the activities under the UN Global Compact project, Scaling up Anti-Corruption Collective Action within Global Compact Local Networks

The United Nations Global Compact announced the launch of a global project, Advancing Collective Action against Corruption through Global Compact Local Networks, to support Collective Action initiatives and to promote public-private cooperation in fighting corruption.

In signing up to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, companies commit to “work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.”  The UN Global Compact engages with businesses all over the world to develop policies and programs to address corruption and to realize a more transparent global economy.

Commenting on the launch of the project, Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, noted:

“The challenge of combating corruption has become even more important as the pandemic has proven to be a test for governance, public trust and the rule of law. The private sector has a key role to play in supporting international anti-corruption efforts and implementing the UN Convention against Corruption.”

Advancing Collective Action against Corruption through UN Global Compact Local Networks aims to build and expand on current activities within the four-year UN Global Compact project, Scaling up Anti-Corruption Collective Action within UN Global Compact Local Networks, by (1) advancing the adoption of the Uniting against Corruption: A Playbook on Anti-Corruption Collective Action as a global resource, (2) enabling UN Global Compact Local Networks to initiate and facilitate local and regional Collective Action initiatives and (3) scaling the UN Global Compact's engagement in public-private policy dialogues to bring the private sector voice to the global anti-corruption agenda.

To this end, the project adopts a three-pronged approach:

  • Transform the Collective Action Playbook into an e-learning course to increase the understanding and uptake of the Collective Action methodology
  • Support 10 UN Global Compact Local Networks in developing and carrying out Collective Action initiatives
  • Strategically engage with governments and other relevant stakeholders on current global thematic focus areas to enhance public-private cooperation in the fight against corruption.

Advancing Collective Action against Corruption through Global Compact Local Networks is supported under the Golden Stretch Funding Round of the Siemens Integrity Initiative.


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COP 26 Recap: Business Ambition for Climate Action - Live from COP 26

COP 26 Recap: Business Ambition for Climate Action - Live from COP 26

November 22, 2021

The UN Global Compact organized its Business Ambition for Climate Action - Live from COP 26, a day-long virtual experience on 10 November 2021. The conference featured leading Chief Executives, corporate sustainability experts and business leaders, plus heads of UN agencies and civil society organizations, who came together to showcase concrete actions for a net-zero economy, to increase society’s resilience and highlight strategies to unlock climate finance. 

UN Global Compact Network USA was pleased to contribute a session to this event highlighting US Corporate Climate Ambition, featuring high-level US government, civil society, and corporate speakers. A recording of the event can be found here.

Speakers included:

  • Ann Tracy, Chief Sustainability Officer, Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Katie McGinty, Chief Sustainability, Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer, Johnson Controls
  • Evan Harvey, Global Head of Sustainability, Nasdaq
  • Kerry Adler, CEO, SkyPower Global
  • Charles E Schumer, United States Senate Majority Leader
  • Ateli Iyalla, Managing Director, CDP North America
  • Adam Roy Gordon, Engagement Director, UN Global Compact Network USA

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More than 1,000 companies commit to science-based emissions reductions in line with 1.5°C climate ambition

More than 1,000 companies commit to science-based emissions reductions in line with 1.5°C climate ambition

November 10, 2021

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and the United Nations Global Compact today announced that more than 1,000 companies are setting 1.5°C-aligned science-based targets as part of a global campaign to rapidly scale corporate climate ambition.

1,045 companies representing more than $23 trillion in market capitalization (more than the GDP of the United States) have responded to an urgent call to decarbonize at the pace and scale required to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The companies span 53 sectors in 60 countries and have more than 32 million employees.

The Status Report: Business Ambition for 1.5°C - Responding to the Climate Crisis published today reveals the impact of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, which was initiated by the UN Global Compact in 2019 and is led by the SBTi, the global body enabling businesses to set emissions reduction targets in line with science, in partnership with the We Mean Business Coalition and UN Global Compact. The Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign is a route for companies to join the UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign.

Within the corporate sector, 1.5°C-aligned targets are now the most common choice, representing 75 per cent of all submissions to the SBTi so far in 2021. In the urgency to halve emissions in the next eight years, the SBTi will only accept corporate 1.5°C-aligned targets from June 2022.

Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, said: “Ahead of the UN Secretary-General's Climate Summit in 2019, we challenged corporate leaders to limit the worst impacts of climate change and make the 1.5°C goal the new normal for corporate action. Today, through the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in corporate commitments to tackle the climate emergency. Leading companies must now build trust by setting credible and independently-validated emission reduction targets and report on their progress. Greenwashing and misleading commitments have no place on our path to net-zero.”

Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the SBTi, said: “We have catapulted ambitious corporate climate action into the mainstream -- aligning with climate science is now business as usual for many companies worldwide. But the race to net-zero is a marathon and we’ve barely taken the first step. Climate science has made the urgency clear -- we are at ‘code red’ for humanity. In order to address the climate crisis, we must double-down our efforts, align with a 1.5°C future and accelerate deep and urgent decarbonization. We call on all companies worldwide to set science-based net-zero targets - including both short- and long-term goals. There is no time to lose.”

The accountability of corporate commitments is key to building trust and supporting the delivery of credible corporate targets. Once a company has submitted a commitment they must submit their targets to SBTi for validation within 24 months. They must also report their company-wide GHG emissions and progress against their targets on an annual basis.

One third of the companies have already completed validation of their near-term emission reduction targets. Over half of the companies have also committed to reach net-zero emissions across their value chain by no later than 2050. The SBTi will be able to validate the integrity of these targets through the SBTi Net Zero Standard launched on 28 October ahead of COP26.

When the top 100 highest emitting companies comply with their commitment over the following months, the collective emissions reductions by 2030 should exceed 262 million tonnes -- the equivalent of the annual emissions of Spain.

In addition to ensuring that companies align their emission reduction plans with science, there is an urgent need to ensure this transformation is a just and inclusive one. The UN Global Compact together with the International Labour Organization and the International Trade Union Confederation have today launched a Think Lab on Just Transition that will shape thought leadership for corporate action to support and engage in a just transition. As companies in all sectors work to halve global emissions by 2030, they will have to account for ensuring positive impacts on their employees and communities while preparing for net-zero, a resilient future and a more equal society.

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Launch of the Greening the Blue Report 2021

Launch of the Greening the Blue Report 2021

November 10, 2021

Greening the Blue is a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) initiative to engage and support the UN System in the transition towards greater environmental sustainability in the management of its facilities and operations.

The initiative launched Report on Monday, November 8, 2021. The Report is the first to reveal impacts from COVID-19 on the UN system’s environmental footprint. It also expands reporting on the management functions identified in the Strategy for Sustainability Management in the United Nations 2020-2030, Phase I: Environmental Sustainability in the Area of Management. In alignment with the Strategy, the Report provides UN system-wide and entity-level data on environmental impact areas: greenhouse gas emissions, climate neutrality, waste, air pollution, water and wastewater, and biodiversity. As well as management functions: environmental governance, procurement, and human resources. 

 

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COP 26 & Business Ambition for Climate Action

COP 26 & Business Ambition for Climate Action

November 4, 2021

Don't miss the UN Global Compact’s Business Ambition for Climate Action - Live from COP 26, a day-long virtual experience on 10 November 2021. The conference will feature leading Chief Executives, corporate sustainability experts and business leaders, plus heads of UN agencies and civil society organizations, who will come together to showcase concrete actions for a net-zero economy, to increase society’s resilience and highlight strategies to unlock climate finance. 

UN Global Compact Network USA is pleased to contribute a session to this event on US Corporate Climate Ambition. The session will be streamed on November 10 at 5:15 pm GMT/ 12:15 pm EST.

Speakers include:

  • Ann Tracy, Chief Sustainability Officer, Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Katie McGinty, Chief Sustainability, Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer, Johnson Controls
  • Evan Harvey, Global Head of Sustainability, Nasdaq
  • Kerry Adler, CEO, SkyPower Global
  • Charles E Schumer, United States Senate Majority Leader
  • Ateli Iyalla, Managing Director, CDP North America
  • Adam Roy Gordon, Engagement Director, UN Global Compact Network USA
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Network USA Welcomes 2nd SDG Ambition Cohort

Network USA Welcomes 2nd SDG Ambition Cohort

October 25, 2021

In October 2021, UN Global Compact Network USA welcomed the 2nd cohort of its SDG Ambition accelerator. The cohort is comprised of 22 companies from a variety of sizes and industries. Over the course of 10 months, these companies will develop and implement innovative business strategies that significantly increase their positive impact on the SDGs. Participating companies will assess current performance, identify risk areas, discover new opportunities across business units and functions, and take ambitious business action towards achieving the SDGs.

The 22 companies that are participating in SDG Ambition in 2021-2022 are:

  • 3M    
  • AmerisourceBergen    
  • ASGN Incorporated    
  • AVEVA Group    
  • Baker Hughes    
  • Cognizant      
  • Deloitte    
  • DXC Technology      
  • EchoStone Housing    
  • Granite Construction Incorporated    
  • ICF    
  • JLL      
  • Livent    
  • MaCher    
  • Mack-Cali    
  • McKesson    
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation    
  • Oxygen Development    
  • Trilliant Networks Inc.    
  • WE Communications    
  • WESCO International    
  • Xylem Inc.
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Occupational Safety and Health

Occupational Safety and Health

October 4, 2021

Each year, an estimated 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases while an additional 374 million workers suffer from non-fatal occupational accidents. This means 7,500 people die from unsafe and unhealthy working conditions every single day. Workplace-related deaths exceed the average annual deaths from road accidents (999,000), war (502,000), violence (563,000) and HIV/AIDS (312,000).

Safety and health in the workplace — otherwise known as occupational safety and health (OSH) — is the “discipline dealing with the prevention of work-related injuries and diseases, as well as the protection and promotion of the health of workers,” according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). Ultimately, occupational safety and health is the improvement of working conditions and working environments for workers to ensure their safety and health are maintained while working and provide compensation if a work-related injury occurs.

Unsafe and unhealthy working conditions often result from a combination of underlying causes, such as governance gaps, deficient legislative frameworks, insufficient knowledge and resources, unsustainable business practices, and the lack of a culture of prevention at national and workplace levels. Governments and enterprises have their respective roles to play to address OSH challenges.

Watch the video below to learn more and then explore the new brief, Nine Business Practices for Improving Safety and Health Through Supply Chains and Building a Culture of Prevention and Protection.


Background

OSH is regulated at international, regional and national levels. Safety and health in the workplace does not just apply to typically dangerous jobs, such as working at height or with chemicals, but to all places of employment, including offices. Additionally, OSH laws and regulations also include the requirement of employers to adapt work and the workplace to the capabilities of the workers in light of their physical and mental health.

The burden of occupational mortality and morbidity is not equally distributed across the world, among industries and among the workforce. About two-thirds (65 per cent) of global work-related mortality is estimated to occur in Asia, followed by Africa (11.8 per cent), Europe (11.7 per cent), Americas (10.9 per cent) and Oceania (0.6 per cent). The rates of fatal occupational accidents per 100,000 workers also show stark regional differences, with rates in Africa and Asia 4 to 5 times higher than those in Europe.

Furthermore, manufacturing, construction, transportation and storage are the industries that experience the highest level of work-related accidents. In these highly hazardous sectors — as elsewhere — work-related injuries are not equally distributed among the workforce. The workers most exposed to work-related injuries are those in precarious employment (temporary, casual or part-time workers), workers in informal employment, those working in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and work performed by groups subject to discrimination and marginalization (such as migrant workers, young workers and racial and ethnic minorities).

Work-related injuries vary in scale and have multiple causes, but relate primarily to deficient national OSH systems, including the legislative framework and weak regulatory oversight, and the absence of a culture of safety and health at the national and workplace levels.  When large-scale work disasters such as the Rana Plaza accident in April 2013 occur, they often reveal the absence of universal employment injury protection schemes, which leave victims and their dependents without any financial, medical or rehabilitation support.

Human Rights Due Diligence

As part of the corporate responsibility to protect and respect human rights outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), entitlement to safe and healthy workplaces for workers should be reflected in the human rights due diligence approaches businesses conduct. While OSH hazards are intrinsic to all workplaces around the world, businesses need to pay particular attention to workplaces in countries with limited resources, weak legal frameworks, and inadequate enforcement and support functions.

Nine Business Practices to Improve Safety and Health in Supply Chains

The International Labour Organization and the United Nations Global Compact have identified nine business practices to improve safety and health through supply chains and create a culture of prevention and protection:

  1. Map your supply chains to gain a better understanding of existing OSH challenges
  2. Include OSH and employment injury protection in procurement practices
  3. Improve the monitoring of OSH compliance, including through closer engagement with suppliers
  4. Promote vertical and horizontal knowledge and capacity sharing
  5. Align and complement the national legal and policy framework and be a driver for improvement
  6. Promote workers’ participation and social dialogue
  7. Support efforts to enhance the reporting, recording and notification of occupational injuries and diseases to improve data collection
  8. Engage with development partners to share knowledge of good practices and innovative approaches to build capacity and partnerships
  9. Join international initiatives to support the development of national policies and strengthen national institutions in sourcing countries on OSH practices and employment injury protection

To learn more, click here to read the new brief from the ILO and the UN Global Compact, which focuses on the role that businesses can play in ensuring safe and healthy workplaces, especially when operating in countries with deficient national safety and health and employment injury protection schemes.

Sustainable Development Goals

Robust OSH laws and policies and good business practices, combined with employment injury insurance schemes, contribute to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 1 (No Poverty), Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) and Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), amongst others.

Both employment injury insurance schemes and occupational safety and health are the primary drivers behind realizing decent work for all women and men under Goal 8. Target 8.8 of Goal 8 has made occupational safety and health a sustainable development priority. It calls for concerted action: “protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular, women migrants, and those in precarious employment”.

Employment injury insurance schemes are part of the social protection systems that should be implemented under target 1.3 of Goal 1 in order to create substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable by 2030. Also, effective and well-functioning employment injury insurance schemes help achieve universal health coverage and access to quality health care services, as reaffirmed under target 3.8 of Goal 3.

From the UN Global Compact Academy

How to Improve Safety and Health in Global Supply Chains” is a one-hour session featuring experts from the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE), H&M, Firmenich and DBL Group. Join this Academy session to learn what actions can be taken to improve the health and safety of workers in global supply chains, and how these actions can be used to promote more effective national OSH systems — ensuring that no one is left behind and all workers are able to enjoy decent working conditions.

The UN Global Compact Academy COVID-19 Special Series is a series of sessions featuring global leaders from business, Government, civil society and the UN discussing how business can respond to the challenges of the COVID-10 pandemic in the most sustainable way, including by focusing on protecting workers’ health and well-being.

The Academy E-learning Course Business and Human Rights: How Companies Can Operationalize the UN Guiding Principles helps businesses understand what human rights mean to business and how they can respect and support human rights in accordance with the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and the UNGPs. Through four interactive, 30-minute modules, the course guides businesses on taking action to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for their human rights impacts.

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Highlights from Uniting Business LIVE

Highlights from Uniting Business LIVE

September 24, 2021

On September 20-22, 2021, the UN Global Compact hosted Uniting Business LIVE. Uniting Business LIVE connected high-level multi stakeholder dialogues of the Private Sector Forum, grounded local knowledge and implementation strategies in the Global Impact Forum, and partnership and leadership examples of the SDG Business Forum, into one inclusive, impactful and innovative all access global event.

Over the course of the three-day event, leading Chief Executives, Heads of State and Government, corporate sustainability experts and business leaders, plus heads of UN agencies and civil society organizations took stock of the state of the world, addressed gaps in progress, drove business ambition on the SDGs and highlighted cooperative and actionable solutions that are ready — today. These themes ran throughout multi-stakeholder panels, live General Assembly presentations and CEO interventions, and encouraged a global cross-sector dialogue through interactive breakout-sessions and exposition booths.

UN Global Compact Network USA contributed a session to Uniting Business LIVE on Value Creation Through Engaging Stakeholder on Sustainability. Speakers included:

  • Joe Cahill, Chief Customer Officer (CCO), PMI
  • Claudia Lorenzo, President of ASEAN and South Pacific, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Vance Merolla, Worldwide Director, Global Sustainability, Colgate Palmolive Company
  • Adam Roy Gordon, Engagement Director, UN Global Compact Network USA

The session focused on how proactive, measurable and issue-based engagement with stakeholders leads to shared-value creation and greater success in companies' sustainability strategies.

To explore the topic of value creation through stakeholder engagement in more depth, please refer to the report developed by UN Global Compact Network Netherlands, with the support of VNO-NCW. This document outlines how companies that actively involve their stakeholders in their organization are successful in implementing solutions to the societal challenges, as expressed by the SDGs. Political and social stakeholders are also expected to be more involved in the business. In this publication, UN Global Compact Network Netherlands provides a model and a practical questionnaire for companies to raise their stakeholder engagement to a higher level.

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Introducing the UN LGBTIQ+ Standards Gap Analysis Tool

Introducing the UN LGBTIQ+ Standards Gap Analysis Tool

September 23, 2021

UN Global Compact Network USA is delighted to share the new UN LGBTIQ+ Standards Gap Analysis Tool, which was launched during day 2 of Uniting Business LIVE.

Building on the success of the UN Global Compact's WEPs Gender Gap Analysis Tool, the UN LGBTIQ+ Standards Gap Analysis Tool (or “LGBTIQ+ Tool” for short) guides companies in implementing the UN Standards of Conduct for Business to tackle discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex and queer people in the workplace and beyond. The LGBTIQ+ Tool consists of a gap analysis methodology and questionnaire and is supported by a scoring system and recommendations on how to close gaps and strengthen policies, processes and methodologies to ensure LGBTIQ+ inclusivity. It’s free, user-friendly, open to all and strictly confidential.

The LGBTIQ+ Tool is a joint project developed by BSR, the Partnership for LGBTI Equality (PGLE), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Global Compact and the World Economic Forum (WEF), with the generous support of Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

More information can be found here.

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Leading CFOs launch global SDG initiative with United Nations Global Compact

Leading CFOs launch global SDG initiative with United Nations Global Compact

September 22, 2021

Dozens of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), representing a combined $1.7 trillion in market capitalization, announced an initial commitment to collectively invest more than $500 billion towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—and launched with the UN Global Compact a coordinated campaign to recruit hundreds of companies to adopt similar strategies and commitments.

The announcement took place during a special UN Global Compact event—Uniting Business LIVE—at the start of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

A group of CFOs from 60 companies currently part of the UN Global Compact CFO Taskforce have committed to invest more than $500 billion over the next five years towards the SDGs as they work both collectively and within their organizations to promote further integration of the SDGs in corporate finance.

They also committed to link close to 50 percent of all corporate financing to sustainability performance, with plans to issue hundreds of billions in new sustainable finance instruments, including sustainability-linked bonds. These initial financial commitments are likely to increase further as the UN Global Compact CFO Taskforce seeks to recruit hundreds of UN Global Compact participating companies to radically scale up the amount of corporate investment aligned to sustainability goals and outcomes.

If successful, such a global movement of finance chiefs and their corporations could potentially mobilize trillions of investment dollars annually in support of the Sustainable Development Goals—in areas such as sustainable infrastructure; renewable energy; water; health; food and agriculture; gender; and decent work.

“With this commitment we set a necessary milestone on a journey which began in December 2019 when a small group of CFOs started working together towards a vision of boosting the integration of sustainability within business operations,” said Alberto De Paoli, CFO of Enel and Co-Chair of CFO Taskforce who spoke during the event. “Now, we aim to increase awareness even further and help create the necessary environment to attract more capital towards sustainable development.”

Scott Mather, CIO of U.S. Core Strategies at PIMCO and Co-Chair of the CFO Taskforce, said: “The demand for sustainable investment is growing among our clients and we are encouraged by the proactive stance that companies are taking to bring investment opportunities to the market. The CFOs in our Taskforce can already be credited with key developments in the market for sustainability-linked bonds and we expect their leadership to support growth in the sustainable debt market, potentially reaching between $10 to $20 trillion in the next five years.”

Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact said: “The impacts and risks presented by the pandemic reinforce the case to align more global finance in support of a more sustainable and inclusive world and to achieve the 2030 Agenda. With our efforts to recruit more participants from the UN Global Compact to our CFO Taskforce, we believe we can leverage trillions of dollars of corporate finance towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact societies and economies, progress towards the SDGs is in danger of slowing – and even reversing with poverty expected to rise for the first time in more than twenty years. Even prior to the pandemic, the UN estimated that the world would need to spend between $3 trillion and $5 trillion annually to meet the SDGs by 2030. The pandemic has increased the so-called SDG Financing Gap, perhaps adding an additional $2 trillion annually, according to some estimates.

Globally, the World Bank estimates that companies spend close to US$ 17.5 trillion annually on general corporate investments, with half of this directed towards emerging markets. The goal of the UN Global Compact CFO Taskforce is to radically scale up the amount of corporate investment aligned to sustainability goals and outcomes, while at the same time creating a global mainstream market in new sustainable finance instruments, including SDG Bonds.

To drive the commitment of billions, and potentially trillions of corporate finance towards the SDGs, the UN Global Compact CFO Taskforce has created a comprehensive management and governance framework, The CFO Principles for Integrated SDG Investments and Finance.

In this framework, companies are encouraged to create their unique impact thesis and set their own KPIs and targets to track performance on the most relevant SDGs for their business. So far 71% of companies in the Taskforce have taken that step in support of the CFO Principles which covers SDG impact thesis and measurement; SDG strategy and investments; corporate SDG finance and SDG communications and reporting. Sixty-one percent of companies in the Taskforce publicly disclose their SDG KPIs and targets, while 59 percent integrate the SDGs in their investor communication, and 55% publish an integrated report.

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Vital Role of Ocean in Upcoming COP 26 Highlighted by World Leaders as UN Global Compact Launches Ocean Stewardship Coalition

Vital Role of Ocean in Upcoming COP 26 Highlighted by World Leaders as UN Global Compact Launches Ocean Stewardship Coalition

September 21, 2021

New ‘Ocean Stewardship Coalition’ will scale up the global impact of ocean business to meet the urgency of climate crisis and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

With less than two months until COP 26, the United Nations Global Compact launched the Ocean Stewardship Coalition today to address the twin crises of biodiversity and climate change. Research suggests that ocean mitigation solutions could reduce the emissions gap by up a fifth on a 1.5° C pathway by 2050.

Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, joined Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, UN officials, senior business executives, trade union heads and government leaders at Uniting Business LIVE on Monday to launch the Ocean Stewardship Coalition and, to discuss the role of the private sector in delivering on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and a net-zero, resilient and equitable ocean economy.

Building on the findings of its new Blueprint for a Climate-Smart Ocean to Meet 1.5° C, also launched during the event, the UN Global Compact is calling for the following key actions ahead of COP 26:

  • Include the ocean-climate nexus in political processes, including through mainstreaming ocean-based mitigation and adaptation measures in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) under the Paris Agreement
  • Use COP 26 to raise political recognition for ocean nature-based solutions - including seaweed and mangroves - which can address the twin crises of biodiversity and climate change
  • Mainstream mitigation and adaptation into marine spatial planning, making optimal use of well-designed Marine Protected Areas
  • Encourage private sector engagement in ocean management, including through implementing restorative and nature inclusive approaches to bridge climate mitigation with biodiversity
  • Ocean-based corporations to take ambitious mitigation action by setting science-based targets (SBTs) aligned with a 1.5° C trajectory across their value chains.
  • Business and policy leaders to adopt a human-centred approach by addressing environmental injustices in climate-smart policies
  • Use blue finance to drive corporate sustainability, develop ocean management plans and strengthen resilient coastal infrastructure, particularly in developing countries
  • Prioritize industry-policy science collaboration on data collection, sharing and management to facilitate risk-assessment and monitor marine ecosystems.

Speakers also used the high-level meeting to call for Member States of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized UN agency, to be consistent with their position in the IMO and their commitments under the Paris Agreement. According to the UNFCCC High Level Climate Champions, shipping needs to urgently decarbonize by 2050 if we are to stay within 1.5° C. A new brief - Charting a 1.5 C Trajectory for Maritime Transport - also issued by the UN Global Compact highlights the need for the transition to zero emission shipping to be equitable, providing green job opportunities.

Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact said: “The ocean plays a critical role in climate change mitigation and adaptation and must be integral to COP 26 considerations in Glasgow in November. The Sustainable Ocean Principles, developed by the UN Global Compact, are a baseline for responsible business practices in the ocean. We hope more organizations will join us and commit to securing a healthy ocean and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 through our new Ocean Stewardship Coalition.”  

Ambassador Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean: “The challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss cannot be overcome unless the ocean is central to considerations. Also true is that strong global governance and coordination will be essential to realising the full potential of a sustainable ocean economy. The launch of the UN Global Compact Ocean Stewardship Coalition is timely - never has collaboration between multi-stakeholders been more vital.”

Gonzalo Munos, COP 26 High Level Climate Champion: “The ocean has been dramatically impacted by human activity while holding solutions to address both the climate and nature emergencies. The Ocean Stewardship Coalition is a critical global and cross-sector initiative to accelerate blue solutions and deliver on the targets of the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience campaigns.''

Stephen Cotton, UN Global Compact Board Member and General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, said: “COP 26 needs to trigger ambitious action. Green shipping has to be decent shipping. A transition to zero emissions offers opportunities across the value chain for maritime and offshore workers. The new brief from the UN Global Compact outlines crucial steps, such as accounting for reskilling and health and safety standards, which must include a workers’ voice in decision-making to ensure secure, decent work as we transition our industry.”

Thomas Thune Anderson, Chairperson, Orsted and Lloyds Register:  “The ocean hosts a wealth of solutions but this activity should not come at the expense of nature. A well-managed ocean is key to enabling ocean industries and users meet the Paris Agreement goals by scaling-up ocean mitigation and adaptation solutions. Future-looking ocean management requires cross-sectoral collaboration and knowledge-exchange more than ever. If done well, ocean management can also help stakeholders conserve and even enhance marine biodiversity. The Ocean Stewardship Coalition is well-positioned to drive innovation around future uses of the ocean.”  

Remi Eriksen, CEO, DNV: "The Paris Agreement cannot be met without the ocean industries.  The ocean offers vast opportunities for renewable energy as well as efficient transport solutions.  Policymakers must ensure that policy supports technology development, testing, piloting, and scaling in order to activate markets and close the profitability gap of zero carbon solutions.  All partners of the Ocean Stewardship Coalition must ensure that our oceans are part of the solution space when it comes to finding a pathway to a zero carbon future."

Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, EVP & CEO, Fleet & Strategic Brands, A.P. Moller - Maersk: ”Partnerships between governments, the private sector, multilateral institutions and civil society are essential to ensure a healthy ocean, marine biodiversity as well as strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change. The Ocean Stewardship Coalition enables a global governance that will empower the world to safeguard the future uses of the ocean and meet the urgency of the climate crises. With the right framework companies can lead, and when their entire workforces are engaged, the mindset, behavior and lifestyles can change”.

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Statement on the passing of John Ruggie (1944-2021)

Statement on the passing of John Ruggie (1944-2021)

September 20, 2021

From Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact

It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of John Gerard Ruggie on 16 September 2021 at the age of 76.

John Ruggie was known for his brilliant mind, but he was also a warm, thoughtful and genuine friend and colleague to so many of us at the United Nations Global Compact.

Together with former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Georg Kell, he played a pivotal role in the founding of the UN Global Compact in 2000, which over the past 21 years has grown to be the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative.

We will be forever grateful to him for his contributions to the development of our Ten Principles, which continue to be the DNA of the UN Global Compact initiative today.

John Ruggie’s contributions to the United Nations and the business and human rights landscape were plentiful and significant. He served as United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning from 1997–2001 and played a key role in drafting the Millennium Development Goals.

He subsequently served as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Business and Human Rights from 2005–2011 during which he authored the “Respect, Protect and Remedy” Framework and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

His impact on the business and human rights movement cannot be overstated. He was nothing short of a pillar and institution and the immaculate thought leadership he produced through the creation of the UNGPs will have lasting effects for decades to come.

At the time of his passing, John Ruggie was the Berthold Beitz Research Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and an Affiliated Professor in International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School. He is survived by his wife and his son.

John Ruggie will be greatly missed by the UN Global Compact and its Local Networks around the world. We will carry on his legacy as we strive towards the future we want — and one he helped envision — while ensuring no one is left behind.

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Report of the UN Secretary-General: Our Common Agenda

Report of the UN Secretary-General: Our Common Agenda

September 13, 2021

UN Global Compact Network USA is pleased to share the UN Secretary-General's most recent report, Our Common Agenda, launched to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN.

Our Common Agenda is the UN Secretary-General's vision on addressing the current and future challenges people face in the 21st Century. The pandemic illustrated the need for our world to enhance our response to such challenges in order to move towards a safer and greener future.

The report highlights the importance of protecting vulnerable groups through commitments to gender equality and leaving no-one behind; ensuring a more sustainable global economy, providing support for the poorest, and a fairer international trading system; committing to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, net zero carbon emissions by 2050, ending fossil fuel subsidies; and calls for a 'new agenda for peace' which involves more investment for peacebuilding, support for regional conflict prevention, and the reduction of strategic risks such as nuclear weapons and cyberwarfare. It also notes that the UN is due for an upgrade - with amore participatory and consultative approach.

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ILO Massive Open Online Course: Business and Decent Work - How Enterprises Contribute to Achieve Decent Work For All (SDG 8)

ILO Massive Open Online Course: Business and Decent Work - How Enterprises Contribute to Achieve Decent Work For All (SDG 8)

August 31, 2021

Introduction to the course

The aim of this ILO Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is to enhance understanding on the ways and means whereby multinational enterprises can contribute to the achievement of decent work for all (SDG 8) through their operations. Starting from the principles set forth by the ILO MNE Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social policy, the MOOC will gradually expose participants to the business and decent work nexus, ways in which companies can contribute to the different pillars of the decent work agenda, and the issue of partnership, coherence and synergies with other existing frameworks that promote responsible business practices.

Who attends this course?

The MOOC has been designed for a wide range of professionals from the public and private sectors (enterprises, governments, social partners and other relevant stakeholders), in particular CSR professionals; government officials dealing with MNEs and/or business and human rights; workers' and employers' organizations; civil society; and members of local UN Global Compact networks.

What?

The course will deep dive into the following topics:

  • how enterprises can contribute to the Decent Work Agenda and to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through sustainable, responsible and inclusive business practices
  • the ILO MNE Declaration as a framework for dialogue and action
  • how different instruments and frameworks in particular the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the UN Global Compact and the ILO MNE Declaration complement each other and bring coherence for the realization of decent work for all
  • the smart mix of measures of initiatives that stimulate business contribution to decent work for all

Why should I join?

  • To engage and network with a wide range of professionals from the public and private sectors from across the globe on topics of mutual concern
  • To learn from and with each other best practices on the promotion of sustainable, responsible and inclusive business
  • To hear from and connect with experts from ILO, OHCHR, UN Global Compact, OECD and the EU on the latest trends, innovations and cutting edge approaches.
  • Successful candidates receive an ITCILO Certificate of Achievement

How?

The MOOC will be offered through the ITCILO eCampus over a period of 7 weeks from 6 September to 15 October 2021, for an estimated total of 34 learning hours.

The MOOC consists of three components:

  • Online learning: Flexible self-guided online learning on the ITCILO eCampus, consisting of a mix of mandatory and optional modules taking into account the profile and field of interest of the participants.
  • ‘Real time’ learning and experience sharing: six live interactive modules with highly experienced trainers and resources persons, including four master classes and two experience-sharing sessions during which the participants share their experiences and good practices.
  • Forum and experience sharing: Interactions among the participants and with the facilitators during the live sessions as well as on the course forum.

You can access a preliminary schedule of the online training seminars here. This will allow you to organize already your work schedule. In case you cannot attend the life session, all online seminars will be recorded and made available on the eCampus.

Applications close on September 5, 2021 COB.

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New Water Resilience Assessment Framework Launched at World Water Week

New Water Resilience Assessment Framework Launched at World Water Week

August 30, 2021

The UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate has partnered with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the Pacific Institute, the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) and World Resources Institute (WRI), to launch the Water Resilience Assessment Framework (WRAF). The Framework is designed to inform and support decisions and actions among stakeholders to ensure both short- and long-term water system resilience.

“As climate change challenges the viability of traditional water sustainability metrics, the Water Resilience Assessment Framework focuses on water resilience, not only because water is vital for life, but also because water is critical in every aspect of the systems that enable and fuel our economies,” said Jason Morrison, President of the Pacific Institute and Head of the CEO Water Mandate. “This iterative method can be used with other water-management processes already in use to share an understanding of our progress to attain shared resiliency goals,” he explained.

According to the recently released report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Climate (IPCC), continued climate change trends are projected to further intensify the global water cycle, including its variability and the severity of wet and dry events. Shocks and stresses, both predictable and unforeseen, affect the resilience of water systems and the stakeholders that rely on them.

"What happens when climate change breaks rules we've used to stay profitable, sustainable, and efficient? Resilience is about choosing which rules to keep and which ones to evolve--or drop,” said John Matthews, Executive Director of AGWA. “The Water Resilience Assessment Framework is designed to make resilience a predictable outcome in an unpredictable world. The WRAF identifies the steps and indicators that help us know what to worry about and when, and how to know if we're moving closer to or away from our goals.”

The Framework aims to facilitate a shared understanding of water system resilience and allow practitioners to develop common measurable goals and outcomes for stakeholder and resilience planning. The WRAF consists of four key steps: visualizing the system, developing a resilience strategy, testing the resilience strategy and evaluating.

The project was launched in 2019 with seed funding from BHP and additional support from the Swiss Development Corporation and other CEO Water Mandate endorsing companies. It builds on the benefits of common water accounting and other sustainability approaches, illuminating the connections among the dynamic hydrologic, economic, and social systems that make up a water system, and enabling effective, meaningful action for water security for all.

“BHP supports the WRAF to further our commitment to work for a water-secure world.  The WRAF is a notable advance for our priorities of building transparency, collaboration and innovative practice in water stewardship,” said Jed Youngs, BHP Water Stewardship Practice Lead of BHP.

IWMI’s Director General, Mark Smith, stated “Water resilience is both art and science. We need to bring to bear technical and institutional capabilities that meet the social, technological, and innovation challenges of resilience. But we must also draw upon the art of partnership – to bring together local to global, as well as civil society and science, and public and private. The Water Resilience Assessment Framework promises a reference point of data and measurement to make this process more successful.”

To support its application by key audiences, the WRAF will further develop three key sector specific guidance documents focused on business, urban planners and basin authorities. These additional support materials will be launched in 2022.

About AGWA

AGWA’s vision is for effective climate change adaptation and mitigation practices to be mainstreamed and enabled within water resources management decision-making processes, policies, and implementation. The mission of AGWA is to provision tools, partnerships, guidance, and technical assistance to improve effective decision making, action, governance, and analytical processes in water resources management, focusing on climate adaptation and mitigation. For more information, visit www.alliance4water.org/.

About the BHP

BHP is a world-leading resources company. We extract and process minerals, oil and gas, with more than 80,000 employees and contractors, primarily in Australia and the Americas. Our purpose is to bring people and resources together to build a better world. We do this through our strategy: to have the best capabilities, best commodities and best assets, to create long-term value and high returns. We are among the world’s top producers of major commodities, including iron ore, metallurgical coal and copper.

About the CEO Water Mandate

The CEO Water Mandate is a United Nations Global Compact initiative that mobilizes business leaders on water, sanitation, and the Sustainable Development Goals for corporate water stewardship. Endorsers of the Mandate commit to continuous progress against six core elements (direct operations, supply chain and watershed management, collective action, public policy, community engagement and transparency) and in so doing understand and manage their own water risks. Established in 2007 and implemented in partnership with the Pacific Institute, the Mandate was created out of the acknowledgement that global water challenges create risk for a wide range of industry sectors, the public sector, local communities and ecosystems alike. For more information, follow @H2O_stewards on Twitter and visit our website at ceowatermandate.org.

About IWMI

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is an international, research-for-development organization that works with governments, civil society, and the private sector to solve water problems in developing countries and scale up solutions. Through partnership, IWMI combines research on the sustainable use of water and land resources, knowledge services, and products with capacity strengthening, dialogue, and policy analysis to support implementation of water management solutions for agriculture, ecosystems, climate change, and inclusive economic growth. Headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, IWMI is a CGIAR Research Center and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Find out more at www.iwmi.org.

About the Pacific Institute

The Pacific Institute envisions a world in which society, the economy, and the environment have the water they need to thrive now and in the future. In pursuit of this vision, the Institute creates and advances solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges, such as unsustainable water management and use; climate change; environmental degradation; food, fiber, and energy production for a growing population; and lack of access to freshwater and sanitation. Since 1987, the Pacific Institute has cut across traditional areas of study and actively collaborated with a diverse set of stakeholders, including policymakers, scientists, corporate leaders, international organizations such as the United Nations, advocacy groups, and local communities. This interdisciplinary and nonpartisan approach helps bring diverse interests together to forge effective real-world solutions. Since 2007, the Pacific Institute has also acted as co-secretariat for the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, a global commitment platform that mobilizes a critical mass of business leaders to address global water challenges through corporate water stewardship. More information about the Pacific Institute and our staff, directors, and funders can be found at www.pacinst.org.

About the United Nations Global Compact

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 12,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 69 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world. For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at unglobalcompact.org.

About WRI

World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization that spans more than 60 countries, with international offices in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, regional offices in Ethiopia (for Africa) and the Netherlands (for Europe), and program offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Our more than 1,400 experts and staff turn big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. More information at www.wri.org.

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Complete the New UN Global Compact Academy Course "Business and Human Rights: How Companies Can Operationalize the UN Guiding Principles"

Complete the New UN Global Compact Academy Course "Business and Human Rights: How Companies Can Operationalize the UN Guiding Principles"

August 4, 2021

The UN Global Compact and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have jointly launched a new e-learning course on "Business and Human Rights: How Companies Can Operationalize the UN Guiding Principles" on the UN Global Compact Academy.

In this course, participants will learn about the key concepts of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), i.e. the global standard for business conduct in relation to human rights. Completing this course will also allow participants to understand what businesses are expected to do in order to respect human rights.

The course consists of four modules. The first module is already available and provides an introduction to the UNGPs. The following modules will launch in the next few months.

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Access the New UN Global Compact Academy E-learning Course on Decent Work in Supply Chains

Access the New UN Global Compact Academy E-learning Course on Decent Work in Supply Chains

August 3, 2021

Companies play a crucial role in achieving Goal 8 on decent work and economic growth. By sourcing products from responsible suppliers, businesses can leverage their purchasing power to create positive impacts for workers in the global supply chain. The new UN Global Compact Academy e-learning course on Decent Work in Supply Chains covers best practices for sustainable procurement and provides guidance on engaging with suppliers around the topic of decent work. It introduces the UN Global Compact Decent Work Engagement Toolkit for Sustainable Procurement, which consists of a set of practical tools designed to support procurement teams and other relevant parties to embed decent work considerations into their decision making, to set KPIs and to meaningfully engage with suppliers.

By completing this session and related learning materials, you will learn to:

  • Understand the role a procurement team can play in improving working conditions in the global supply chain
  • Communicate about decent work issues to suppliers
  • Recognize common issues and remedies related to decent work in supply chains

This course is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Chinese.

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76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 76)

76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 76)

July 30, 2021

The 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 76) will open on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 and will close on Thursday, September 30, 2021. The first day of the high-level General Debate will be Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The UN Global Compact will host the following event during UNGA 76:

Uniting Business LIVE

Uniting Business LIVE connects the high-level multi stakeholder dialogues of the Private Sector Forum, the grounded local knowledge and implementation strategies in the Global Impact Forum, and partnership and leadership examples of the SDG Business Forum, into one inclusive, impactful and innovative all access global event.

Over the course of the three days at the start of the high-level opening week of the next UN General Assembly session, leading Chief Executives, Heads of State and Government, corporate sustainability experts and business leaders, plus heads of UN agencies and civil society organizations will come together to take stock of the state of the world, address gaps in progress, drive business ambition on the SDGs and highlight cooperative and actionable solutions that are ready — today. These themes will run throughout multi-stakeholder panels, live General Assembly presentations and CEO interventions, and will encourage a global cross-sector dialogue through interactive breakout-sessions and exposition booths.

This year, the UN Global Compact will also be hosting LIVE panel sessions and keynotes from Local Network hubs around the world. The UNGC will break the digital “fourth wall” by streaming a mix of virtual and LIVE stages, and host both virtual and in person networking sessions in select areas. Join the United Nations Global Compact as we continue to Unite business for a better world.

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Welcome Our Target Gender Equality Cohort

Welcome Our Target Gender Equality Cohort

July 28, 2021

Target Gender Equality is a gender equality accelerator program for participating companies of the UN Global Compact. Through facilitated performance analysis, capacity building workshops, peer-to-peer learning and multi-stakeholder dialogue at the country-level, Target Gender Equality will support companies engaged with the UN Global Compact in setting and reaching ambitious corporate targets for women’s representation and leadership, starting with the Board and Executive Management levels.

Companies participating in Target Gender Equality have the opportunity to deepen implementation of the Women’s Empowerment Principles and strengthen their contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 5.5, which calls for equal women representation, participation and leadership in business globally. Companies will be equipped with the latest data and research supporting the business case for gender equality and gain insights from UN partners and experts on how to accelerate progress on gender equality.

UN Global Compact Network USA will run the Target Gender Equality accelerator for the first time in 2021 and will welcome the following 15 companies to the program in August:

  • AkzoNobel USA
  • Arconic Corp
  • E Ink Corporation
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • MetLife
  • Munters Group AB
  • PayPal Holdings, Inc.
  • UCB, Inc.
  • Barings
  • HKS, Inc.
  • ME&A
  • Momentive Performance Materials
  • Munchkin Inc.
  • MK Partners, Inc.
  • Lansinoh Laboratories, Inc.

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Welcome Network USA's New Board Officers

Welcome Network USA's New Board Officers

July 26, 2021

UN Global Compact Network USA welcomes our new Board Officers: Grady Crosby, VP Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, Johnson Controls as Board Chair, and Daniella Foster, VP & Global Head, Public Affairs, Science and Sustainability, Consumer Health, Bayer as Board Secretary.

About Grady Crosby

Board Member since 2018

Grady Crosby is a senior executive driving public affairs and diversity strategies at Johnson Controls, where he has worked for the past 10 years. Johnson Controls makes buildings smarter through a full range of systems and digital solutions, making workspaces safer, more comfortable, more efficient, and, ultimately, more sustainable; it has been active in the UN Global Compact since 2004. 

In his role as Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, Mr. Crosby develops government relations strategies and leads the company’s sustainability and community involvement initiatives, working to build and maintain partnerships that provide value and align with Johnson Controls’ brand. Mr. Crosby works closely with the HR and Global Procurement organizations to bring in diverse talent and identify opportunities to work with a globally diverse vendor base, and was named to the 2020 Top 50 Chief Diversity Officers by the National Diversity Council. Mr. Crosby also serves as President of the Johnson Controls Foundation, an organization set up to donate to select US-based organizations in the communities where Johnson Controls has a presence. 

Mr. Crosby received his bachelor’s degree in political science and business administration from Howard University and his Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law.


About Daniella Foster

Board Member since 2018

Daniella Foster is the Global Vice President and Head of Public Affairs, Science and Sustainability for Bayer, Consumer Health. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing global public affairs and embedding sustainable growth into the fabric of the company’s business model and innovation, including strategy development, implementation and operational performance. This work focuses on empowering the transformation of everyday health for 100 million people in underserved communities around the world by 2030 through healthcare systems change, health literacy, access strategies and investments in accessible and sustainable products.

A policy innovator and social entrepreneur, she has spent her career focused on actionable innovation in the government, business and non-profit sectors.  Foster has worked across sectors leading initiatives to develop new brands and categories, grow small businesses, connect entrepreneurs to global supply chains, develop youth job skills and accelerate innovation.

Previously, Foster was the Vice President of Global Corporate Responsibility at Hilton, where she created and implemented business strategies that positioned Hilton as the industry leader in sustainable travel and tourism, launching its 2030 Goals agenda and securing the top ranking on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Foster previously led global Corporate Affairs and Science Communications for the global health and wellbeing division and innovation hub of Mars, Incorporated. She also earned valuable public-sector experience at the U.S. Department of State, where she held roles of increasing responsibility and scope, including serving as Chief of Staff and Global Director establishing the Department's first public-private partnerships office and leading the social innovation agenda.  

She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and serves as the Chairwoman of the Emergent Leaders Network, a non-profit she co-founded that provides scholarships and mentoring to community college students. Foster is a board member of the United Nations Global Compact Network USA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and serves as a Commissioner for the Global Business Coalition Education’s Youth Skills and Innovation Commission.  

She holds an M.A. in Social and Public Policy from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Intercultural Communications and Business from Pepperdine University.

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Climate ambition: SBTi raises the bar to 1.5°C

Climate ambition: SBTi raises the bar to 1.5°C

July 15, 2021

Global initiative to no longer accept ‘well below 2°C’ temperature targets

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the global body enabling businesses to set emissions reduction targets in line with climate science, is unveiling a new strategy to increase minimum ambition in corporate target setting from ‘well below 2°C’ to ‘1.5°C’ above pre-industrial levels.

The new strategy is being rolled out in response to increasing urgency for climate action and the success of science-based targets to date. The announcement comes ahead of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report, due to be released on 9 August.

Science-based target setting has evolved from a nascent concept in 2015 into a movement covering nearly 20% of the global economy. Recent data shows science-based targets are driving corporate decarbonization - between 2015 and 2020 companies with validated targets cut emissions by 25% compared with an increase of 3.4% in global energy and industrial emissions.

Lila Karbassi, SBTi Board Chair and Chief of Programmes at UN Global Compact, said: “The SBTi has become the de facto standard for businesses to set credible targets to address the climate crisis. However, to have a fighting chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C, we need to urgently scale-up and mainstream the adoption of 1.5°C-aligned targets. This strategy enables us to consistently provide businesses across the globe with the most robust target setting framework so that companies can confidently align with climate science.”

1.5°C-aligned targets are now the most common choice for businesses, representing 66% of all submissions to the SBTi in 2021. Overall, more than 600 companies from across the world have committed to the highest 1.5°C-aligned ambition through the SBTi’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign since it launched in June 2019 in response to the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C. These companies represent $13 trillion in market capitalization, just less than the GDP of China.

Selwin Hart, Special Adviser and Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Action at the UN, said: “To keep the 1.5 degree goal of the Paris Agreement within reach, we need all hands on deck. Increasing the ambition level of the Science Based Targets initiative is a step in the right direction and provides much needed clarity to businesses on setting credible emissions reduction targets in line with this goal. By updating and strengthening its criteria, this initiative is helping companies set climate science aligned targets to help prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis on people across the world. I urge all companies that have yet to set goals to do so and back up their 1.5°C targets with clear and credible plans to achieve them.”

New SBTi strategy

The SBTi will focus on accelerating exponential growth in the adoption and implementation of 1.5°C aligned science-based targets, particularly from companies in high-emitting sectors and across G20 countries.

The new strategy includes the adoption of new governance and operational models to strengthen the SBTi’s technical authority while providing a more structured and agile project management approach to support efficient, effective and exponential growth. This will include a new and independent technical decision-making body that will help ensure the robustness of key technical decisions, including the selection of scenarios, target setting methods and the approval of new standards and revision of existing ones.

To spearhead the new strategy and operational model, Alberto Carrillo Pineda, a co-founder of the SBTi, has been appointed as Managing Director. He said: "COVID-19 and climate breakdown are the two biggest challenges facing life as we know it. We can't solve either without widespread global action. For COVID, it's vaccination of people. For the climate, it's decarbonization of our economies. We need every company to play their part, and set science-based 1.5°C-aligned emission reduction targets to help us halve global emissions in the next eight years.”

Well below 2°C scope 1 and 2 targets will be gradually phased out from the target validation framework for companies and financial institutions. Companies that had targets approved in 2020 or earlier will have until 2025 as per the current SBTi criteria to update their targets. Companies that have been approved after that date will need to review and update their targets at least every 5 years.

All companies and financial institutions that submit targets from 15 July 2022 will need to align to the new criteria.

Jan Jenisch, CEO at Holcim, said: “At Holcim, we take a rigorous and science-driven approach to sustainability to build progress for people and the planet. Working in partnership with SBTi, we have set ambitious climate targets to build a net zero and inclusive future. We fully support SBTi’s new strategy to increase the minimum ambition of businesses to 1.5°C. Together, we can accelerate our economy’s decarbonization, working with like-minded organizations to raise the bar for climate action.”

About the Science Based Targets initiative

The Science Based Targets initiative mobilizes companies to set science-based targets and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to a zero-carbon economy. It is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments. The initiative defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoption, and independently assesses and approves companies’ targets.

www.sciencebasedtargets.org @sciencetargets

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Applications Now Open: SDG Ambition Accelerator

Applications Now Open: SDG Ambition Accelerator

June 29, 2021

SDG Ambition is an accelerator initiative that aims to challenge and support participating companies of the UN Global Compact in setting ambitious corporate targets and accelerating integration of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into core business management. SDG Ambition enables companies to move beyond incremental progress and step-up transformative change – unlocking business value, building business resilience, and enabling long-term growth.

The need for SDG Ambition today is clear. The world is not delivering progress towards the SDGs at the pace and scale needed. While it is still possible to shift the world towards a 1.5°C trajectory and achieve the SDGs by 2030, it will take urgent, scalable and multi-stakeholder action to dramatically accelerate progress. Companies must take a clear stand and demonstrate bold leadership to transform business models and economies so they become more just and inclusive – leaving no one behind.

Led by the UN Global Compact in partnership with SAP and Accenture, SDG Ambition will empower and equip participating companies of the UN Global Compact to develop and implement innovative business strategies that significantly increase their positive impact on the SDGs. Through the Global Compact Local Networks in 60+ countries, participating companies will assess current performance, identify risk areas, discover new opportunities across business units and functions and take ambitious business action towards achieving the SDGs.

Join the Network USA accelerator to be amongst the US cohort contributing to global SDG Ambition. There is no charge to join the Network USA accelerator if your company is a participant of the Network. The program will begin in October 2021 and continue until March 2022.

Apply on the main UN Global Compact website.

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Congratulations to Our 2021 SDG Pioneer Winner and Finalists!

Congratulations to Our 2021 SDG Pioneer Winner and Finalists!

June 23, 2021

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lay out a clear vision for a sustainable future and shape a new era for business. Each year, the UN Global Compact celebrates a group of SDG Pioneers — business leaders who are doing an exceptional job to advance the Global Goals through the implementation of the UN Global Compact's Ten Principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.

UN Global Compact Network USA wants to congratulate Sonay Aykan, Senior Associate Manager Global Sustainability at Colgate-Palmolive Co, for winning our local 2021 SDG Pioneer round and for being recognized globally as the 2021 SDG Pioneer for Sustainability Goal-Setting by the UN Global Compact.

We also want to congratulate our 2021 SDG Pioneer Finalists:

  • Tran Che, Global Human Rights Counsel, General Electric Company
  • Renato Coelho, Research Manager, Clarity AI
  • Colleen Sheehy, Manager Social Innovation, Accenture
  • Barjouth Aguilar, Head of Global Sustainability and Foundation Officer, Flex

About Sonay Aykan

At Colgate-Palmolive Co. headquarters in New York City, Sonay Aykan draws upon his passion for wildlife and justice to help steer the multinational conglomerate’s sustainability efforts.

“I'm always impressed with what nature has to offer for us, and I believe in equity not only among humans, but actually all living beings around us,” he says.

For his work championing sustainability in the private sector, Aykan, who is originally from Turkey, was named the 2021 SDG Pioneer for Sustainability Goal-Setting by the UN Global Compact.

Colgate-Palmolive, guided by Aykan’s vision, has been working hard with its suppliers globally on three Sustainable Development Goals in particular - No. 9 on industry innovation and infrastructure, No. 12 on responsible consumption and production and No. 13 on climate action.

“The ideal outcome of this project will be to reduce our emissions from purchased goods and services by 30 per cent by 2025, and it will also contribute to reach our net zero carbon goal by 2040,” Aykan says.

Aykan led development of an assessment process that asked thousands of Colgate-Palmolive employees in more than 100 countries about sustainability and what ESG topics they saw as risks or opportunities, using the Sustainable Development Goals as its basis.

The project also engaged senior leadership in one-on-one interviews, asking which of the SDGs might pose risks or opportunities to their day-to-day operations.

“By doing so, we socialized the SDGs at every level of the company and collected significant data on how each SDG might impact our business,” he says.

Aykan also created a roadmap for expanded supply chain engagement to reduce the company’s Scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services in its supply chains  to align with climate change mitigation and reduced water usage practices.

In 2020 he won funding to analyze both the monetary and non-monetary risks to Colgate-Palmolive that might occur under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s climate action scenarios. The findings can be used in business decisions that help the company align its climate action decisions and policies.

He also has collaborated with scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, exploring innovative strategies to reduce the company’s plastic footprint in the oceans. One research project looked at e-trade, and another focused on reducing the amount of plastics used in toothbrushes, he said.

Colgate-Palmolive became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact in 2017, and is a member of its Climate & Health and its Water Security action platforms.

“I'm proud of the collective effort my colleagues and the suppliers are putting into this project,” he says. “I will be more proud if it helps create a more equitable world that we share with all the other living beings.”

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UN Global Compact releases guidance on how companies can fight corruption

UN Global Compact releases guidance on how companies can fight corruption

June 22, 2021

Playbook on Anti-Corruption Collective Action helps companies work with others to fight corruption

Guidance on fighting corruption for companies and other stakeholders from civil society and the public sector was launched at the 2021 UN Global Compact Leaders Summit.

The high-level session entitled “UNITING AGAINST CORRUPTION: Launch of the UN Global Compact Anti-Corruption Collective Action Playbook” featured speakers from BASF S.A., National Agency on Corruption Prevention of Ukraine, Siemens Integrity Initiative and Global Compact Network India. The publication follows the recently concluded “Special Session of the UN General Assembly against corruption” (UNGASS).

Through a six-step approach, the Uniting against Corruption: A Playbook on Anti-Corruption Collective Action enables companies to make a clear diagnosis of their local corruption landscape, identify and engage stakeholders and apply the Collective Action methodology to address identified corruption challenges and to mitigate potential business risks. While private sector efforts have traditionally focused on developing and implementing internal anti-corruption compliance programs as a response to international and national legal and regulatory standards and frameworks, Collective Action can complement existing regulation or fill a void when regulation is inexistent or not enforced.

Commenting on the Playbook launch, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, Sanda Ojiambo, said: “Corruption hinders economic growth and social development and can weaken much-needed trust in public institutions and businesses, wasting supplies and resources. Collective Action is important to advance integrity and achieve a level playing field for all market actors. This Playbook is an important tool for ensuring we can bring an end to a systemic issue that is too complex for any one company to tackle alone.”

The Playbook is part of the UN Global Compact’s work on the Tenth Principle which states that “Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.” The Playbook is part of the UN Global Compact Project “Scaling up Anti-Corruption Collective Action within Global Compact Local Networks,” which is funded under the Third Funding Round of the Siemens Integrity Initiative.

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Comments Requested for Board Candidate: Eunice Heath, Corporate Director of Sustainability, Dow

Comments Requested for Board Candidate: Eunice Heath, Corporate Director of Sustainability, Dow

June 18, 2021

UN Global Compact Network USA seeks comments from Network participants on the following candidate to serve as board member for the organization. These comments will inform the board's final decision.

The candidate presented to participants for comment at this time is Eunice Heath, Corporate Director of Sustainability, Dow.

Please send any comments to info@globalcompactusa.org with subject line 'Board Comments' by Friday, July 2 COB.


About Eunice Heath


Eunice Heath serves as Corporate Director of Sustainability at Dow. Eunice joined Dow in 1991 as part of the Commercial Development Program and has worked in a myriad of Marketing, Sales, and Supply Chain roles. Eunice assumed a role in corporate sustainability in 2013 which included responsibilities for Dow 2025 circular economy implementation and liaison to external organizations such as The Sustainability Consortium, Green Chemistry Commerce Council, and American Chemistry Council Value Chain and Retail Committees. She was named to her current role in July 2019.

Among Eunice's many talents and accomplishments, she has a strong passion for the development and advancement of people and support of STEM which is represented by her leadership on Dow's Corporate Marketing Council, African American Network Leadership Council, and mentorship of employees. Eunice is the executive liaison for Dow to the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program where Dow has increased the exposure of the principles of engineering to approximately 1,000 elementary students and parents in Philadelphia and Detroit. Eunice serves on the boards of the Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership and Project Lead The Way, a national STEM organization. She is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, a recipient of the 2007 Black Engineer of the Year Award, 2011 Women of Distinction winner by the Philadelphia Business Journal, 2013 Champion of Champions award by NSBE, and 2017 Honoree of Forty Women to Watch Over 40 by Forbes.

Eunice earned her MBA at the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering at the University of Florida. Eunice is based in Bryn Mawr, PA.

LinkedIn
Location: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Dow

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Juneteenth and the Urgent Challenge of Human Rights and Racial Justice

Juneteenth and the Urgent Challenge of Human Rights and Racial Justice

June 17, 2021

UN Global Compact Network USA celebrates the adoption of Juneteenth as new US federal holiday. There is a global struggle for human rights that takes on different iterations around the world. Racial justice in the United States is a significant part of this global movement to achieve human rights for all and is required if we are to achieve the ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs additionally focus on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, providing access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels. One of the biggest barriers to achieving a sustainable future aligned with the SDGs in the United States is the racial inequality.

In 2020, 1 in 1,000 Black men and boys can be expected to be killed by police at some point in their lifetime; Black males are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white males; and dying at the hands of law enforcement is a leading cause of death among young Black men. In addition, Black families are at an historical economic disadvantage due to a history of disfranchisement, redlining, and other institutional discrimination.  

While the fight for racial justice for the Black American community is vital, racial justice is not exclusively important for this community in the United States. Indigenous communities, Latinx, AAPI, and other communities in the US face unique challenges and discrimination that are part of the larger narrative of the fight for human rights and racial justice.

To deliver the SDGs and create a world that is not driven by racial inequity, all stakeholders, including the private sector, need to work together. In 2020, US companies showed their commitment to racial equity, pledging billions of dollars. In 2021, more efforts are continuing and expanding. Private sector leadership on racial justice in not only important to address human rights, there is also a business imperative and competitive advantage to promoting diversity and equity within businesses and the marketplace more broadly.

UN Global Compact Network USA contributed a session to the UN Global Compact’s Leaders Summit on June 15, 2021 that showcased what American companies are doing to contribute to the SDGs and help advance racial equity. New ways in which businesses can contribute to overcoming this pressing challenge and create a more just and prosperous world were also discussed. The event was attended by members of the private sector, UN officials, government officials, as well as members of academia.

A recording of the event can be found below.

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UN Global Compact Launches SDG 16 Business Framework to Inspire Transformational Governance

UN Global Compact Launches SDG 16 Business Framework to Inspire Transformational Governance

June 1, 2021

The UN Global Compact today launched a new tool to accelerate business action on the governance element (“G”) in environmental, social, governance (“ESG”).

The “SDG 16 Business Framework: Inspiring Transformational Governance” provides companies with guidance on strengthening business culture, ethics and performance and supporting public institutions, laws and systems. It will be discussed during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit on 16th June 2021 during the session “The Road to Transformational Governance” at 05:15 ET. Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals includes 12 specific targets that promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.

The SDG 16 Business Framework will help companies embrace transformational governance, a principles-based philosophy that calls on business to be more accountable, ethical, inclusive and transparent as a driver to responsible business conduct, enhanced ESG performance and strengthened public institutions, laws and systems.

With the increasing overlap and urgency on ESG issues, transformational governance is a prism through which businesses can expand their understanding of the “G” in ESG.  It demonstrates why and how businesses can assess and implement each target of SDG 16 through internal and external activities, including throughout their supply chains.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and converging crises - including climate change, economic uncertainty, social inequality and disinformation - have shown that businesses do not operate independently of wider society. Businesses can and must play their part in promoting ethical leadership and building trust between public and private institutions and civil society. This Framework guides companies on the journey to transformational governance, moving beyond compliance to become advocates for the principles of peace, justice and strong institutions,” said Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.

The SDG 16 Business Framework does not aim to create new legal commitments or standards but to deepen understanding of the role that business can play in advancing these issues; strengthen cross-functional engagement; encourage companies to assess where they are and to identify opportunities for improvements; and to incorporate into board and management oversight, values and culture, strategies, policies, operations and relationships.

It builds on insights from  more than 60 business leaders and consultations in 14 countries around the world and reflects the Statement from Business Leaders for Renewed Global Cooperation that was signed by more than 1,300 Chief Executive Officers from companies in over 100 countries and delivered to the United Nations Secretary-General on the 75th anniversary of the UN. The Statement demonstrated support for inclusive multilateralism and the objectives of SDG 16. The Framework will form the basis of the UN Global Compact's focus on Transformational Governance as part of its 2023 Strategy.

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SBTi Statement: Biden Administration Encourages the Requirement of Science-Based Targets for Federal Suppliers

SBTi Statement: Biden Administration Encourages the Requirement of Science-Based Targets for Federal Suppliers

May 26, 2021

Washington, DC (May 24, 2021) – In a new Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk, the Biden Administration took additional steps to get the federal government, companies, and financial institutions to measure and reduce their emissions. The Administration requested the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FARC) to require large federal suppliers to set science-based targets (SBTs) and publicly disclose greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risk.

The Executive Order also directs the federal government to develop a strategy to curb the risk of climate change on public and private financial assets in the United States. This action supports the Administration’s longer-term agenda to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions nearly in half by 2030 and a net-zero economy by mid-century.

Following is a statement from Cynthia Cummis (WRI) and Heidi Huusko (UNGC), members of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) Steering Committee:

“The new Executive Order from President Biden sets a clear expectation for the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to align with the sustainability goals of the Administration and help the country close the emissions gap. Science-based targets are critical for government suppliers to develop ambitious and credible emissions reductions paths to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Ambitious targets are also necessary for successful business operations as we deal with the climate emergency, and this scale of adoption is an important step to protect our businesses and communities long-term as well as spur job creation.

Government policies that add clarity and build confidence are critical to driving action in the private sector and providing valuable incentives to move companies towards a net-zero future. Increased recognition from government entities has helped the SBTi increase its impact, and in 2020 an analysis showed companies with SBTs have reduced their combined emissions by 25% since 2015. The initiative’s overarching goal is to mobilize the private sector to take the lead on urgent climate action by guiding companies across all sectors and sizes in science-based target setting, and boosting their competitiveness in the transition to a net-zero economy.

Federal suppliers have the tools and resources available to set science-based targets through the SBTi and Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP). The first step for companies that are suppliers to the General Services Administration (GSA) is to make an SBTi commitment to signal their intentions. They then have up to 24 months to have their targets validated to ensure robustness and transparency.”

The originally article, published by SBTi, can be found here.

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Upcoming Q&A with President Biden’s Climate Envoy

Upcoming Q&A with President Biden’s Climate Envoy

May 20, 2021

US President Joe Biden appointed John Kerry as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. This new position grants Mr. Kerry authority over energy policy and climate policy within the Executive branch.

Since Mr. Kerry assumed the post in early 2021, he has traveled around the world and met with numerous governments to discuss how to best combat climate change by expanding access to clean energy, strengthening climate-resilient infrastructure, and promoting clean energy entrepreneurship. Mr. Kerry and his team are also preparing to meet with world leaders during the 2021 UNFCCC Conference of the Parties to discuss how to overcome global climate challenges together.

UN Global Compact Network USA will present a conversation with the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate on June 2, 2021 at 12:00 PM EDT. In this virtual event, Mr. Jesse Young, Senior Advisor, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, and Ms. Lauren Sanchez, Senior Advisor, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, will provide participants with an overview of the activities being undertaken by the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate's office to eradicate climate change and contribute to the SDGs, particularly SDG 13. The speakers will also present how the private sector can partner with the US government to help combat global warming and create a greener and more sustainable future.

In addition, Ms. Heidi Huusko, Senior Manager, Environment and Climate, UN Global Compact, will offer an overview of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which champions science-based target setting as a powerful way of boosting companies’ competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy.

A majority of the event will be set aside for questions from the audience. Questions asked via video will be prioritized.

You can register here.


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UN Global Network USA & UN Global Compact Network UK Elimination of Child Labour Webinar Series

UN Global Network USA & UN Global Compact Network UK Elimination of Child Labour Webinar Series

May 10, 2021

For the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, UN Global Compact Network USA and UN Global Compact Network UK are launching an Elimination of Child Labour Webinar Series, an interactive series of digital events over the course of June - November 2021. Both Networks will raise awareness on the importance of the eradication of child labour and inspire action in this space. The series will bring business representatives and child rights practitioners together with UN agencies, academia, and civil society to discuss the challenges on the ground as well as share best practices to address child labour. As part of the series, the following webinars will take place:

Introduction to Child Labour in Global Supply Chains (June 9 at 10:45 am - 12:00 pm EDT)

The discovery of child labour in a company’s supply chain can have devastating impacts on a brand. Endemic in many sourcing countries, 152 million children worldwide are subjected to child labour today. This webinar will introduce the issue of child labour in global supply chains and provide suggestions for practical solutions by highlighting key stakeholders’ actions.

Exploring How the Informal Sector Feeds into Formal Supply Chains (June 29 at 10:45 am -12:00 pm EDT)  

There is a high prevalence of child labour in the informal economy, in both urban and rural settings. Child labour is particularly widespread in agriculture, artisanal mining, manufacturing, street work, and domestic work. While monitoring the informal sector is challenging, it remains essential for all companies to mitigate these risks in their supply chain. Focusing on supply chains helps identify where and how the formal business sector intersects with the informal sector. This webinar will therefore consider the connection between primary activities (mainly informal and occurring in bottom tiers) and formal activities further along the chain.  

Child Labour in the Apparel Sector (September 29 at 10:45 am - 12:00 pm EDT)  

Over the last few decades, the ‘fast fashion’ model has had a deteriorating effect on supply chain conditions. Low wages, forced labour, unhealthy and dangerous working conditions are widespread throughout the garment supply chain and have exacerbated the issue of child labour. This webinar will discuss sector-specific challenges and examine practical actions business can take to address child labour in the apparel sector.

Child Labour in the Agricultural Sector (October 19 at 10:45 am - 12:00 pm EDT)

The informal nature of the agricultural sector, with its demand for cheap and low-skilled labour, have resulted in high rates of child labour across the industry. ILO data suggests that 98 million boys and girls work in agriculture, growing crops ranging from tobacco and cotton to grains and fruit. Companies risk finding child labour in the lower tiers of their supply chain, including in the agricultural industry. This webinar will discuss the challenges and examine practical actions business can take to address child labour within the sector.

Child Labour in the Extractives Sector (November 17 at 9:45 am - 11:00 am EST)

In mines and quarries worldwide, it is estimated that over one million children are engaged in child labour. Mining and quarrying is considered hazardous work and therefore one of the worst forms of child labour. The raw materials being sourced enter the supply chain of a range of other industries: metals are used in technology, sand and gravel are used in construction, and minerals are used in cosmetics & automotive. This webinar will explore the challenges and examine practical actions business can take to address child labour within these sectors.

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Public Input for the SEC on Climate Change Disclosures

Public Input for the SEC on Climate Change Disclosures

April 28, 2021

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is responding to demand for climate change information and questions about whether current disclosures adequately inform investors. They are currently requesting public input from investors, registrants, and other market participants on climate change disclosure.

UN Global Compact Network USA and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) delivered a series of webinars in May on this request for public input.

SEC Climate Disclosure: How Investors Can Get Involved (May 5, 11:00 am EDT)

This webinar provided an overview of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s request for information by market participants on climate disclosure.

Samantha Ross, Founder of AssuranceMark, The Investors’ Consortium for Assurance, and Degas Wright, CEO, Decatur Capital Management, led a discussion on topics such as materiality, scenario analysis, CSR reports and assurance (GHG emissions), physical and transition risks, the role of auditors, and critical price assumptions.

The webinar also had a Q&A session and introduced ways that investors could get involved.

A recording of the event can be found here.

SEC Climate Disclosure: How Companies Can Get Involved (May 11, 12:00 pm EDT)

This webinar provided an overview of the new US Securities and Exchange Commission’s request for information by market participants on climate disclosure. The PRI discussed the SEC’s history on climate change disclosure and recent developments on the matter. There also was a Q&A session to answer any questions by companies participating in the UN Global Compact.

A recording of the event can be found here.

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Comments Requested for Board Candidates: Shobha Meera, Capgemini and Joe Cahill, Project Management Institute

Comments Requested for Board Candidates: Shobha Meera, Capgemini and Joe Cahill, Project Management Institute

April 23, 2021

UN Global Compact Network USA seeks comments from Network participants on the following candidates to serve as board members for the organization. These comments will inform the board's final decision.

Candidates presented to participants for comment at this time include Shobha Meera, Chief CSR Officer, Capgemini, and Joe Cahill, Chief Customer Officer, Project Management Institute.

Please send any comments to info@globalcompactusa.org with subject line 'Board Comments' by Friday, May 7 COB.


About Shobha Meera

​​​​​As the Chief CSR Officer for the Capgemini Group, Shobha drives the strategy for the company's corporate social responsibility mandate which constitutes 3 pillars: Diversity & Inclusion, Digital Inclusion, and Environmental Sustainability. Working alongside Capgemini's global CSR network and 270,000+ colleagues who are passionate about the health of the planet & society, Shobha is committed to achieving the company's ambition for Capgemini to be a global CSR leader. For most of her career, she has been a business & sales leader with extensive experience in sales management & transformation, most recently in the Financial Services space. ​

LinkedIn
Location: New York, NY
Capgemini

About Joe Cahill

​​​​

As Chief Customer Officer (CCO), Joe Cahill is responsible for the Project Management Institute's Global Customer Group. He oversees the Global Customer Engagement Team, the Global Customer Experience Team, and the Project Management Institute's eight geographic regions. Joe previously held the positions of COO, Interim CEO and SVP of Finance and Administration in his time with the Project Management Institute.

Joe has over 20 years of senior leadership experience including digital transformation, strategic planning, enterprise system implementation, and new business development. Across technology, manufacturing, and energy sectors, he has effectively helped build companies and lead change in large organizations. Prior to joining the Project Management Institute, Joe served as Chief Financial Officer for Priton, UgMO Technologies, and Gamesa Technology Corporation, and served as Finance Director for Unisys Corporation.​

LinkedIn
Location: Blue Bell, PA
PMI

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Network USA Virtual Event: Local Perspectives on SDG Ambition

Network USA Virtual Event: Local Perspectives on SDG Ambition

April 7, 2021

The Local Perspectives on SDG Ambition event is an important component of the SDG Ambition program for US companies and additionally will be open to all Network USA participating companies and others. The event will explore how the UN, the US government, and the American private sector can collaborate and partner to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

In addition to the senior UN engagement, this event represents an important new collaboration with the US State Department and will be the first time the new US administration will provide public remarks on the SDGs.  

We are very pleased to announce our speakers:

  • Ms. Joyce Msuya, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • Mr. Thomas Debass, Managing Director, Office of Global Partnerships, US Department of State

You can register to attend the virtual event here.

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Statement for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact

Statement for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact

March 20, 2021

As we mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Sunday 21 March, we are reminded by the horrific acts of violence against the Asian community in the United States this week that racism is an every day occurrence in almost every country and every city.

It is important that we recognize that these intolerable acts of hate have resulted from xenophobia, misinformation and unchallenged stereotypes.

Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed social and economic inequalities rooted in racism and discrimination.

As the UN Secretary-General has stated this week: “Wherever we see racism, we must condemn it without reservation, without hesitation, and without qualification.”

I will be speaking on behalf of the UN Global Compact at the Anti-Racism Day Live Global Digital Experience this Sunday to call out these intolerable acts of violence and urge business leaders everywhere to use their influence to root out systemic racism.

The Global Compact stands in solidarity with all those facing injustice and there are specific, concrete anti-racist actions businesses must take without delay. Statements and policies also have to be backed by action, investments and opportunities to address racial imbalances.

We must hold ourselves accountable as well. We continue to have work to do as an organization to live up to the values and principles we represent. Our Global Compact family is representative of many perspectives and backgrounds. During this time, it is important for us to listen, acknowledge and stand with our colleagues who have been experiencing the repercussions of these senseless acts of violence and prejudice.

Our ambition to create the world we want, must be a world based on inclusivity and sustainability. This requires us to acknowledge and speak out against racism in all its forms.

As the Secretary-General told UN member states today at a meeting to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March: “Racism is a deeply rooted evil. It transcends generations and contaminates societies. It perpetuates inequality, oppression and marginalization. Our duty, as responsible global citizens, is to eradicate it.”

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Givitas: A Network USA Tool to Ask For and Give Help

Givitas: A Network USA Tool to Ask For and Give Help

March 1, 2021

Global Compact Network USA is very pleased to be launching a virtual forum on Givitas, a collaboration and networking tool to be provided for free to our participating companies and organizations.

Givitas is designed to make it fast and easy for you to ask for help from and to offer help and advice to others on topics related to corporate sustainability and implementing the Ten Principles and the SDGs. In today's virtual environment, there is less opportunity for the informal giving and receiving of help between peers that occurs at our networking events. The Network is pleased to offer this additional resource to help companies learn from each other on best practices and general guidance. Anyone from a Global Compact Network USA participating organization can sign up for free using their company’s email address here: https://globalcompactusa.givitas.com.

Global Compact Network USA hosted a webinar on March 2 for members to learn more about this new tool. A recording of the event can be found here.

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Register Today: Target Gender Equality LIVE

Register Today: Target Gender Equality LIVE

February 23, 2021

The United Nations Global Compact will host TARGET GENDER EQUALITY LIVE on March 16, 2021. The event will convene leaders from business, government, civil society and academia to discuss and demonstrate how the private sector can help bring down barriers to gender equality by respecting and supporting the rights of women and girls.

Convened during the 65th Commission on the Status of Women, this interactive and global event seeks to inspire and engage business and other stakeholders to take concrete action to advance gender equality.

Building on the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit and Uniting Business LIVE virtual event forums, which attracted thousands of attendees from every corner of the world, Target Gender Equality LIVE will be a completely virtual and innovative event experience. It will showcase the work of Global Compact Local Networks and partner organizations, featuring a dynamic mix of live plenaries, on-demand programming, global networking and practical tools and resources.

You can register for the event here. Kindly note that registration is complimentary for all employees of  UN Global Compact Participant and Signatory companies and non-business stakeholders as well as UN partners and affiliates. For questions about registration, please email tgelive@unglobalcompact.org.

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Meet Global Compact Network USA's Board of Directors for 2021

Meet Global Compact Network USA's Board of Directors for 2021

February 19, 2021

Global Compact Network USA is pleased to introduce you to its current Board of Directors for the calendar year 2021. The Board of Directors is composed of sustainability leaders employed by United Nations Global Compact signatory organizations.

Members are welcome to submit questions or comments concerning the 2021 Global Compact Network USA Board of Directors to info@globalcompactusa.org by March 15, 2021.

Grady Crosby
Board Secretary and VP Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, Johnson Controls
Daniella Foster
VP & Global Head, Public Affairs & Sustainability, Consumer Health, Bayer
Chris Gray
Head of ESG, Pfizer

Jennifer Leitsch
Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, CBRE

Rick Pearl
Board Chair and VP, Global Corporate Responsibility Officer, State Street
Gayle Schueller
Chief Sustainability Officer,
3M


Val Smith
Board Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Citi

Ann Tracy
Chief Sustainability Officer, Colgate-Palmolive Company

John Weiss


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330+ target-setting firms reduce emissions by a quarter in five years since Paris Agreement

330+ target-setting firms reduce emissions by a quarter in five years since Paris Agreement

January 26, 2021

As global leaders gather for the UN’s Climate Adaptation Summit on climate resilience, new data published by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) shows that companies with science-based targets are delivering on large-scale emissions reductions. Target-setting companies have successfully reduced their emissions by 25% since 2015, a difference of 302 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, the same as the annual emissions from 78 coal-fired power plants.

Five years on from the Paris Agreement, the SBTi analysed the emissions of a group of 338 companies whose climate targets have been approved by the SBTi as aligned with climate science and the goals of the Paris Agreement. This is the first ever study to look at how setting science-based targets correlates with corporate emissions reductions and the extent to which companies are actually delivering on those targets.

SBTi finds that the typical company with SBTs actually slashed direct (scope 1 and 2) emissions at a linear annual rate (6.4%) that exceeds the rate required under the SBTi’s criteria to meet 1.5°C-aligned warming scenarios (4.2%). This shows companies with SBTs are taking climate action at rates that not only meet, but are faster than, the pace of action required by the Paris Agreement. These figures compare to an average increase of around 0.85% per year in global emissions for energy and industrial processes over the same period (see Fig.1 graph below).

New research from the SBTi today suggests that the planned emissions savings of companies with science-based targets are also set to generate US$25.9 billion of new investment into climate mitigation initiatives in the next decade.

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UN Global Compact Announces New 2021 Action Pledge to Help End Child Labour

UN Global Compact Announces New 2021 Action Pledge to Help End Child Labour

January 21, 2021

The United Nations Global Compact announced a new pledge today aimed at mobilizing its over 12,000 business participants to renew and expand their efforts towards eradicating child labour and forced labour. UN Global Compact CEO and Executive Director Sanda Ojiambo made the announcement at an event on ending child labour convened by the International Labour Organization (ILO), saying, “We will work with all our participants this year to step up their due diligence on human rights. To identify, prevent, mitigate and account for all adverse human rights impacts in their operations and value chains, which will help tackle child labour and forced labour. Making a real impact will require adopting a holistic approach and collaborating with all stakeholders.”

This new pledge builds upon the existing commitment by businesses participating in the UN Global Compact. Companies begin their participation by signing up at the CEO-level to embed the initiative’s Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption into business strategies and operations, and commit to reporting annually on their progress. Specifically, Principles 4 and 5 call upon business to work towards “the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour” and “the effective abolition of child labour.”

2021 has been declared by the UN General Assembly as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. With 152 million children aged 5 to 17 subject to child labour globally — and nearly half (72.5 million) engaged in hazardous forms of labour — the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated conditions for the world’s most vulnerable children and put millions more at risk. The combined product of many factors (including social norms, lack of decent work opportunities for adults and adolescents, migration and emergencies), child labour is largely a result of poverty. According to a recent report from the ILO and UNICEF, a single percentage point rise in poverty could lead to a 0.7 percentage point or greater increase in child labour.

According to Ms. Ojiambo, the pledge announced today was created not only in response to the International Year, but also as ending child labour and all forms of forced and compulsory labour is integral to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact. Though important progress from the business community has been made, a recent survey of participating companies demonstrates most have not yet moved beyond policy commitments to end child labour and forced labour.

The gap between business aspiration and business action on these critical issues compelled the UN Global Compact to make the eradication of child labour and forced labour a priority this year, said Ms. Ojiambo. She emphasized during the event that the UN Global Compact will step up efforts to help end the scourge of child labour and forced labour through activating its global participant base and through regular engagement with stakeholders. A holistic approach involving all relevant actors — Governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, businesses and civil society — is needed to tackle the diverse causes of child labour and forced labour, said Ms. Ojiambo.

Ms. Ojiambo also announced plans to organize a private sector event on child labour and forced labour in partnership with ILO during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in June this year. CEOs of businesses who have taken concrete actions to step up efforts towards eradicating child labour and forced labour will be invited to share their learnings, which could inspire more companies in translating business aspirations into business actions.

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Special Announcement: Global Compact Strategy 2021 - 2023

Special Announcement: Global Compact Strategy 2021 - 2023

January 19, 2021

Global Compact Network USA is pleased to share the new UN Global Compact strategy which was announced to the UN Global Compact Board today by Board Chair, UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

The new three-year strategy spells out our ambition to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the SDGs through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change.

Our Ten Principles on human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption offer a blueprint for businesses seeking to build back stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic, drive SDG ambition and implement the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The strategy explains how we will contribute, how we will catalyze impact, and how we, as One Global Compact will move forward together to realize five strategic shifts to enable meaningful new strides in the current global, environmental, and social context:

  • Accountable companies: UN Global Compact will strive to move its participant companies faster and farther than others in demonstrating progress on corporate sustainability and responsible business practices through specific, measurable targets within an enhanced reporting framework
  • Balanced growth of local and regional networks: Local UN Global Compact networks will be empowered to effect change and build more dynamic national ecosystems for business sustainability. This effort should lead to the launch of new national and regional Global Compact networks with a focus on the Global South.
  • Global-Local Engagement: We look forward to Local Network Board engagement and support of the deeper regional and local connections and capabilities and hope that the new UN Global Compact Strategy serves as an inspiration for how the UN Global Compact distinguishes itself from the broader sustainability ecosystem in your country.
  • Measurable impact in prioritised areas: UN Global Compact programmes, co-created with local networks and delivered through them, will lead and shape in five priority areas including Gender Equality (SDG 5), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Climate Action (SDG 13), Peace Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16) and Partnerships (SDG 17) while adapting to each country’s unique context.
  • Harnessing the collective action of SMEs: Accounting for most of the world’s businesses and employers, UN Global Compact will establish targeted and cross-cutting SME programmes that leverage digital tools and value chains to reach scale.
  • Strong and active engagement with the UN and its partners: UN Global Compact will enhance collaboration at the global and national levels with UN agencies and UN country teams to accelerate its reach and its ability to advance responsible business practice globally.

The development of our new strategy has involved a broad-based engagement effort with more than 2,000 stakeholders across UN Global Compact and in the broader sustainability ecosystem. More than 450 people were directly engaged through interviews and focus groups. I am grateful to everyone who contributed.

We are also indebted to the UN Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary General, Board Members of UN Global Compact and the Foundation for the Global Compact, and the Global Compact Global Network Council for their active engagement, direction, and support in building consensus on the strategic directions set forth in this document.

As we begin our 21st year of operations, we can all feel optimistic about UN Global Compact’s capability to use this unique moment and elevate our ambition, to heighten and seize the urgency to act, and to accelerate and scale global collective impact by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering on the SDGs through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable positive change.

Our strategy will bring to UN Global Compact more differentiation and growth through an embrace of our unique roles, delivery through a focus on impact, and discipline through selectivity in what we do.

Together, we will be One Global Compact uniting business for a better world.

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Global Compact Network USA Recognizes Our SDG Pioneer External Reviewers

Global Compact Network USA Recognizes Our SDG Pioneer External Reviewers

January 14, 2021

In our search for our second annual USA SDG Pioneer, Global Compact Network USA received many impressive nominations from our participating companies and undertook a rigorous process of reviewing applications. This included an internal and external review process to best identify business leaders who are championing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their company, as well as inspiring others to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Our external reviewers made the final selection and included illustrious representatives from the Global Compact Network USA Board of Directors, the UN, academia, and civil society.

Global Compact Network USA recognizes the contribution of our external reviewers in identifying our SDG Pioneer and is grateful for their support of the Network and the SDGs.

Global Compact Network USA 2020 SDG Pioneer External Reviewers:

  • Sunil Prashara, President and CEO, Project Management Institute
  • Sanjeev Khagram, Dean and Director General, Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University
  • Gayle Schueller, Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer, 3M
  • Jennifer Leitsch, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, CBRE
  • Matthew Hunter, Communications Lead, Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy of Youth
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Global Compact Network USA Recognizes SDG Pioneer Finalists

Global Compact Network USA Recognizes SDG Pioneer Finalists

January 12, 2021

In our search for our second annual USA SDG Pioneer, Global Compact Network USA received many impressive nominations from our participating companies. In addition to recognizing our SDG Pioneer, Sonay Aykan of Colgate-Palmolive Company, we are additionally pleased to recognize the finalists identified in our SDG Pioneer search. These finalists are recognized as business leaders who are championing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their company, as well as inspiring others to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

2020 Global Compact Network USA SDG Pioneer Finalists:

  • Barjouth Aguilar, Head of Global Sustainability & Foundation Officer, Flex
  • Colleen Sheehy, Social Innovation Program Manager, Accenture
  • Renato Coelho, Research Manager, Clarity AI
  • Tran Che, Compliance Leader, General Electric Company

Congratulations to our 2020 SDG Pioneer finalists!

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Global Compact Network USA Recognizes Sonay Aykan for Championing the Sustainable Development Goals

Global Compact Network USA Recognizes Sonay Aykan for Championing the Sustainable Development Goals

December 15, 2020

Global Compact Network USA is pleased to recognize its second annual USA SDG Pioneer — a business leader who is championing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their company, as well as inspiring others to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Chosen from a number of highly impressive nominations, the Network is proud to recognize Sonay Aykan, Senior Associate Manager, Global Sustainability, Colgate-Palmolive, as its 2020 SDG Pioneer.

“I am honored to accept this recognition as an approval and encouragement for Colgate’s work to reimagine a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet. UN Sustainable Development Goals play a key role in aligning business objectives with global sustainability priorities and I am proud to see that Colgate’s efforts to drive social impact and preserve our environment through our products is helping achieve these ambitions.” - Sonay Aykan.

Aykan collaborates with subject matter experts across Colgate-Palmolive to embed the UN Sustainable Development Goals into business decisions through different projects. These projects include the implementation of a materiality assessment process which took UN SDGs as its basis and creating awareness among Colgate employees about basic sustainability concepts, aligned to the SDGs. In 2020, his efforts to further engage with suppliers to reduce Colgate’s environmental impacts from purchased goods and services culminated with a project which will create crucial emission and water data from suppliers. The project also educates suppliers on emission and water reduction strategies, helping achieve SDGs 6, 7, 13, and 15. In 2019-2020, Aykan also served as a mentor for Colgate’s Young SDG Innovators Program (YSIP) participants, helping mobilize young talent from different functions focusing on how to embed UN SDGs into the company’s product design phases. One of the key projects he initiated was to integrate climate-related risks into business strategy through scenario analysis in collaboration with the finance and risk teams.

“We are very pleased to recognize Sonay Aykan as Network USA’s second SDG Pioneer for his leadership at Colgate-Palmolive to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” says Adam Roy Gordon, Engagement Director of Global Compact Network USA. “Next-generation leadership, such as his, is necessary for us to achieve the ambition of the SDGs and create the world we want.”

As the winner of the national round, Aykan will be Network USA’s nomination to be recognized at the global level as a 2020 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneer. The global winners will be recognized at the Leaders Summit in Summer 2021.

About the SDG Pioneers Program

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact works with companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact guides and supports the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 70 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

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Family-Friendly Workplaces: Policies and Practices to Advance Decent Work in Global Supply Chains

Family-Friendly Workplaces: Policies and Practices to Advance Decent Work in Global Supply Chains

November 11, 2020

This new report from UNICEF and the UN Global Compact guides employers in implementing family-friendly policies that support parents and caregivers in their own operations and using their influence and leverage to promote such policies among business partners and within their supply chains.

Conditions of employment not only have a significant impact on the well-being of workers but also their children and families. Yet, for the hundreds of millions of workers in global supply chains, basic entitlements that provide them with the time, services and resources to support their families are widely absent.

The large-scale business disruptions and the socioeconomic crisis resulting from COVID-19 have exacerbated the situation. Now, more than ever, family-friendly policies and practices are needed to support workers and their families during the crisis and beyond.

Download the new report here


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Add Your Voice This UN Day

Add Your Voice This UN Day

October 15, 2020

Be a part of the UN Global Compact participant company staff activation this UN Day

We need all 100,000,000 of you to help make social media history on United Nations Day 24 October!

This year the United Nations celebrates its 75th anniversary, and the Global Compact its 20th.

We want you to help us celebrate both milestones by adding your voice to support global sustainability.

UN Day is on 24 October. The UN Global Compact will mark UN Day by asking you to take part in a simple social media activation on 24 October: add your photo to one of our photo filters that carry the key words from the UN Charter and share with your friends on your social media platforms using the hashtag #UnitingBusiness.

Main campaign link (English):

https://globalcompact.un75.online/

French:

https://globalcompact.un75.online/v1

Spanish:

https://globalcompact.un75.online/v2

Arabic:

https://globalcompact.un75.online/v3

Russian:

https://globalcompact.un75.online/v4


Chinese:
https://globalcompact.un75.online/v5

Join your 100 million co-staffers across the UN Global Compact network!

Here is a UN Day Toolkit with simple ways you can learn about sustainability and the UN in the run-up to UN Day on the 24th:

  • Share this video from our CEO & Executive Director Sanda Ojiambo, which shows staff how simple it is to participate in the activation leading up to UN Day.
  • Take the 30-minute UN Global Compact Academy course “How to Understand and Take Action on the Global Goals”, available in Chinese, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Take action — as an individual, a community or business — and track your impact via the UN's Act Now campaign and the mobile app.
  • Watch this SDG Media Zone session from Davos 2020: “Unleashing the Potential of a Purpose-Driven Workforce” to learn how engaging your staff on the SDGs makes for a solid business case.

Check back for more information about the social media activation on UN Day.

Please share any questions you may have about the toolkit. We’re looking forward to working with you! unday@unglobalcompact.org.

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New WEPs Guidance Note on Tackling Sexual Harassment in the World of Work

New WEPs Guidance Note on Tackling Sexual Harassment in the World of Work

October 7, 2020

The private sector plays a key role in tackling gender-based violence in the world of work. Within this context, this guidance note focuses on preventing and addressing harassment in the workplace.

This guidance note forms part of a toolkit to guide gender-responsive business conduct in the private sector in line with the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and ILO international labour standards. It focuses on the following key areas:

  1. Highlights the high costs of sexual harassment in the workplace for workers, companies and economies alike.
  2. Creating a culture of safety, respect and equality and tackling sexual harassment at work makes business sense and benefits both employers and employees.
  3. Supports the WEPs signatories in prioritizing, establishing and implementing robust sexual harassment policies and practices which promote the physical and emotional health, safety and wellbeing of all employees.

View the report here.

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UN Global Compact and OHCHR call on business sector to support seafarers

UN Global Compact and OHCHR call on business sector to support seafarers

October 5, 2020

The UN Human Rights Office and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, have joined the United Nations Global Compact in calling for businesses across the value chain to act and assess the human rights situation facing seafarers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 800,000 seafarers are currently either stranded on vessels or prevented from returning to ships due to COVID-19 restrictions on travel and transit.

Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, all business enterprises should respect human rights throughout their operations, including during the transfer of goods in their supply chains. Accounting for almost 90 percent of world trade, thousands of business enterprises use the services of maritime freight transport. The pandemic has impacted seafarer and other marine personnel’s basic human rights, including the right to physical and mental health, the right to freedom of movement and the right to family life. With many seafarers stuck on board ships well beyond the 11 months maximum mandated by international labor standards, security and environmental hazards risk increasing.

In a joint statement, Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact and Anita Ramasastry, Chairperson of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, call upon all relevant business enterprises to:

  • Conduct human rights due diligence to identify the impacts of the pandemic and governments’ response to COVID-19 on the human rights of seafarers and other marine personnel across value chains and actively use their leverage to mitigate these impacts to the greatest extent possible;
  • Communicate this expectation to business partners and suppliers and exercise their leverage in this regard;
  • Urge governments to implement protocols and measures developed by UN agencies to enable safe crew changes;
  • Join forces with industry associations and unions to exert collective leverage and engage in meaningful dialogue and consultation in their spheres of influence.

Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, commenting on the call to action said: “In the context of this pandemic, the responsibility to respect, protect and stand up for seafarers’ rights extends far beyond shipping companies. The vast majority of companies, from multinationals to global brands, rely on maritime transport and seafarers to keep their supply chains moving. It’s time to show they stand with the seafarers and urge governments to find a political solution”.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet, said: “The situation of seafarers worldwide is a hidden but acute humanitarian crisis. It is affecting the basic human rights of hundreds of thousands of people, including their rights to physical and mental health, to family life, and to freedom of movement. Behind the dry statistics, there are countless individual stories of human suffering that require a prompt response from governments. Businesses enterprises also can -- and should --play a role.”

Anita Ramasastry, Chair of the UN Working Group of Business and Human Rights, said: “The desperate predicament in which seafarers find themselves during the COVID-19 crisis is a human rights emergency affecting a vast number of people and implicating countless business enterprises that must help to resolve the situation. The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights provide the globally recognized and authoritative framework for State duties and business responsibilities in preventing and addressing such adverse business-related human rights impacts. Urgent steps need to be taken to get these seafarers home, using the Guiding Principles as a key tool.”

While several shipping companies, including Maersk, have called for action, a number of non-shipping related businesses are increasingly stepping up, expressing strong concern for the ongoing forced labor in their supply chains. Last week, 30 major consumer goods forum companies, including Unilever and Danone, wrote to the Secretary-General to express their urgent concern. CEOs from ten of the world’s largest seafood companies also called for urgent government action in a statement released last week.

Last week, at an event convened by the UN Global Compact and UN partners on the margins of the General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, reiterated seafarers’ essential role in the “often invisible global logistics chain”. He repeated calls to governments, alongside leaders from business, the UN, and unions, to deem them “key workers” and facilitate their transfer.

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CFO Taskforce launches Principles for Integrated SDG Investments and Finance to focus private sector investment

CFO Taskforce launches Principles for Integrated SDG Investments and Finance to focus private sector investment

September 21, 2020

The UN Global Compact CFO Taskforce today launched the first integrated, UN-backed principles for integrated SDG Finance and Investment. The principles seek to guide companies in aligning their sustainability commitments with credible corporate finance strategies to create real-world impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Released on the sidelines of the historic 75th session of the UN General Assembly, 34 Chief Financial Officers and C-suite Executives – members of the UN Global Compact’s CFO Taskforce – pin pointed four key areas that are relatively underserved but critical for SDG-aligned investments: SDG impact and measurement, integrated SDG strategies and investments, integrated corporate SDG Finance and integrated SDG communication and reporting. The goal is to work with the investment value chain, including investors, banks, development finance institutions, credit ratings agencies and sustainability assessment firms to create a broad, liquid and efficient market for SDG investments and capital flows.

As custodians of over $14 trillion a year in corporate investment, CFOs can be a driving force for the achievement of the SDGs. With growing interest in sustainable and responsible investment worldwide, it is increasingly crucial for CFOs to help their companies shape credible, SDG-aligned corporate sustainability strategies.

“The Principles for SDG-aligned Corporate Finance enable the broader finance ecosystem to scale up financing and investments towards the SDGs to ensure that we leave no-one behind. This is the right and opportune thing to do as the long term success of business is inextricably linked to a sustainable future for all,” said Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.

"Understanding how issuers contribute to the SDGs is a fundamental part of PIMCO’s sustainable investment and engagement strategy,” said Scott Mather, Chief Investment Officer, PIMCO U.S. Core Strategies, and Co-Chair of the CFO Taskforce. “These Principles provide the first integrated, UN-backed framework for companies to incorporate the SDGs in their financial strategy and operations. We hope this will encourage even more issuers to embed sustainability at the core of their business and create new opportunities for SDG investment."

“CFOs play a leading role in establishing clear indications and setting best practices for making corporate finance and investments a real driver of social growth. As members of the CFO Taskforce, we are all committed to working at the service of a new stakeholder capitalism, creating sustainable value for people and the planet,” said Alberto De Paoli, CFO of Enel, and co-chair of the CFO Taskforce. "The UNGC CFO Principles for Integrated SDG Investments and Finance represent a solid first step to guide companies in the adoption of credible finance strategies that fully integrate sustainability towards the achievement of SDGs.”

Developed by members of the CFO Taskforce and in consultation with key institutional partners, the principles are intended to build upon and supplement the overarching Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

With the launch of the principles, representatives of the CFO Taskforce call on investors, companies, banks, governments, and other market participants to work together towards a sustainable financial system that drives investment into the SDGs. The principles will be supported by implementation guidance, case studies, and working groups to help companies set ambitious targets to accelerate the transition of corporate finance and investments to sustainable development.

The CFO Principles on Integrated SDG Investment and Finance are available for download here.


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UN Global Compact creates business guide to support Beirut explosions recovery efforts

UN Global Compact creates business guide to support Beirut explosions recovery efforts

August 20, 2020

Following the huge explosions in Beirut earlier this month, the United Nations Global Compact, Connecting Business Initiative and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), are calling on the private sector to support relief and recovery efforts.

To ensure that efforts to create a safer Beirut are coherent and sustainable for all those affected by the August 4 Beirut Port explosions, the United Nations Global Compact and partners have created a blueprint for sustainable business responses.

The Business Guide calls for companies operating in Lebanon and worldwide to use strategies and operations grounded in universal principles on human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. The keys for the business response to Beirut’s tragedy are cash donations to relief operations in Beirut, in-kind goods or services, and the contribution of long-term technical expertise, infrastructure (re)-development programs, and economic investment.

Almost two weeks after the Beirut Port explosions, 180 people are dead, more than 6,000 people are estimated to be injured, and at least a dozen people remain missing, according to OCHA. The impact of the disaster runs deep. Recovery efforts will require a long-term, sustained commitment.

  • Some 40,000 buildings were damaged, with 3,000 residential structures seriously damaged.
  • Over 70,000 workers are estimated to have lost their jobs as a result of the explosions, with direct implications for over 12,000 households.
  • A new record with regards to new COVID-19 cases in one day was set on 17 August – 456 new cases were registered, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 9,336 including 105 deaths and 2,809 recoveries.
  • The humanitarian community seeks $565 million to respond to port explosions.

If your company’s offer for the Beirut efforts is commercial in nature, please refer to the UN Global Marketplace www.ungm.org for more information.

Business contributions to UN response efforts must comply with the Guidelines on Cooperation between the UN and the Business Sector www.business.un.org/en/documents/guidelines

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New Release - Navigating Decent Work Challenges in Multi-Tiered Supply Chains: Leadership Brief

New Release - Navigating Decent Work Challenges in Multi-Tiered Supply Chains: Leadership Brief

August 17, 2020

Every organization is facing extraordinary challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With so much uncertainty comes competitive pressure that radiates through global supply chains and increases pressure on suppliers. For the most vulnerable, this stress can lead to increased labour rights violations and heightened risks for workers who are already exploited.

To combat the potential for these abuses, the UN Global Compact has developed anew leadership brief, Navigating Decent Work Challenges in Multi-Tiered Supply Chains. In it, you’ll discover proactive measures your organization can take to advance decent work throughout your global supply chain—even amidst a global pandemic.

The leadership brief examines how companies can navigate complex multi-tiered supply chains and their associated challenges as part of their efforts to advance decent work in their global supply chains. While multi-tier supply chains have the advantage of driving efficiency, reducing planning cycle lead times and reducing possible business disruptions, they also increase the risk of causing or contributing to human rights impacts and decent work deficits, particularly in the lower tiers of the chain. This is exacerbated in a crisis situation such as a pandemic, where workers’ rights and conditions may be compromised and income threatened as a result of order cancellations, factory shut-downs, or layoffs.

This report seeks to guide multinational enterprises in reducing global supply chain vulnerabilities and provides proactive measures companies can take and best practice examples to draw inspiration from.

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Call to Show Support for Multilateralism

Call to Show Support for Multilateralism

August 10, 2020

Call to show support for statement from business leaders in support of multilateralism

The 75th anniversary of the United Nations comes at a time of unprecedented disruption and global transformation, serving as a stark reminder that international cooperation must be mobilized across borders, sectors and generations to adapt to changing circumstances.

Over time, the UN has sought to unite stakeholders everywhere to tackle the world’s greatest challenges. Yet our multilateral system is being threatened by those who want to go it alone rather than work together. In the spirit of renewed global cooperation, public and private institutions need to show they are accountable, ethical, inclusive and transparent.

The United Nations Global Compact is calling on our network of thousands of companies to demonstrate support for inclusive multilateralism by signing on to a Statement from Business Leaders for Renewed Global Cooperation (“Statement”).

To indicate your CEO’s support, please fill out the online form no later than 14 September 2020.

The Statement — including the full list of CEO supporters — will be presented to the UN Secretary-General during the UN Private Sector Forum on Monday 21 September as part of the official UN75 commemorations.

As a responsible business leader engaging with the UN through your participation in the UN Global Compact, I sincerely hope you will join us in raising your voice to ensure we steer our world onto a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable path. We are in this together — and we are united in the business of a better world.

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#UnitingBusiness to Respond to Covid-19

#UnitingBusiness to Respond to Covid-19

April 1, 2020

Special Appeal

As the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the United Nations Global Compact is calling on business leaders everywhere to unite to support workers, communities and companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and providing guidance and support to companies everywhere.

A coordinated international plan involving the business sector will be critical in efforts to support people and companies affected, limit further disruption to the economy and facilitate business continuity for a swift recovery.

READ THE SPECIAL APPEAL

The Impact of COVID-19 on Sustainability

To help companies navigate the sustainability challenges magnified by COVID-19, the UN Global Compact has compiled a series of COVID-19 issue area briefs that detail the impact of the pandemic on a range of sustainability issue areas including gender equality, ocean, water stewardship, climate, decent work, sustainable finance, human rights and anti-corruption. Each brief includes a variety of resources to help companies build back better and recover stronger.

READ THE COVID-19 BRIEFS

CEOs Taking Action: Call for Video Submissions

The UN Global Compact invites CEOs from participating companies to record and submit a video sharing what your company is doing as part of its response, recovery and resilience efforts in light of COVID-19. We invite you to share your ideas, advice and experience with our global community of more than 10,000 businesses and 68 Local Networks. Only by #UnitingBusiness and supporting each other will be able to get through this crisis.

LEARN HOW CEOS ARE TAKING ACTION

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20th Anniversary Campaign

20th Anniversary Campaign

January 1, 2020

Launched in 2000 by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the UN Global Compact was initiated to bring business and the United Nations together to give a human face to the global market.

When businesses unite, they can be a powerful force for good by upholding universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

Important progress has been made, but from runaway climate change to widening inequalities, our actions do not currently match the ambition and pace necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. All stakeholders must unite to transform our collective aspiration into reality.

Through our Local Networks and over 10,000 companies around the world, the UN Global Compact is taking corporate sustainability from the fringes to the mainstream and uniting business for a better world.

Click here to show your support on social media.

Interested in joining the movement? Take the next step and join the UN Global Compact, and register to attend the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2020.

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