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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
“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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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”.
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.
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.
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.
The course will deep dive into the following topics:
Why should I join?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
This course is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Chinese.
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.”
Playbook on Anti-Corruption Collective Action helps companies work with others to fight corruption
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Location: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
Location: New York, NY
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.
Location: Blue Bell, PA
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:
You can register to attend the virtual event here.
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.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com by March 15, 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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
Congratulations to our 2020 SDG Pioneer finalists!
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.
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.
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):
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:
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! firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.