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Executive Director Update: Q2 2024
news update

Executive Director Update: Q2 2024

July 8, 2024

As we move from spring to summer and into the second half of the year, I'm pleased to share our quarterly Executive Director Update.

Having served this organization in various roles—from Board Chair during my tenure at State Street to Senior Advisor over the past two years, and now as Acting Executive Director—I can confidently say that we are elevating our offerings to participants, equipping them with the resources and tools needed for resilience in an ever-changing world.

Our recent programmatic and engagement efforts continue to deliver relevant, forward-thinking information and foster fruitful conversations that support participants on their sustainability journey. And with more like-minded companies committing to the principles and goals of the UN, our network exemplifies US private sector leadership more and more each day.

Here is a summary of our accomplishments and work over the last three months:

New Leadership: I am proud to announce that Ann Tracy, Chief Sustainability Officer at Colgate-Palmolive, is our new Board Chair, succeeding Daniella Foster of Bayer, who led our Board for the past two years Joining Ann on the Executive Committee are Gayle Schueller of 3M as Vice Chair, Jennifer Leitsch of EY as Secretary, and Michael Okoroafor of McCormick as Treasurer.

Network USA Board Members at the UN Headquarters

Growth & Engagement: Network USA welcomed 34 new participants in Q2 2024, with our total network representing approximately 18% of the US GDP. The Engagement Team will organize networking opportunities to nurture this growing network, with special receptions planned during the VERGE 24 and GFMI (Global Financial Markets Institute) Sustainable Finance conferences.

Reporting & Regulation Updates: Amid an evolving regulatory climate, we hosted a webinar series on "Navigating Changing Corporate Sustainability Expectations." Experts from EY, Baker McKenzie, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and CSR Europe provided practical tips on U.S. and international regulations, sustainable business practices, and reporting requirements. Attendees rated the webinars nearly 9.5 out of 10 regarding quality content and satisfaction. You can re-watch the webinars on our website.

Peer Learning Groups: For the first time, we offered participating companies a space to share best practices and challenges on sustainability issues, access to industry leaders, and network with like-minded professionals through our Peer Learning Groups (PLG). In total, 60 individuals from 30 companies participate in these PLGs, focusing on human rights, climate action, and corporate sustainability.

SDG Ambition: Congratulations to the 32 participants from 14 companies who completed our SDG Ambition Accelerator program last May! The program challenged and supported these participants in setting ambitious corporate targets and accelerating the integration of the 17 SDGs into their core business management. Applications for our next SDG Ambition Accelerator will open in Q3 2024.

SDG Ambition Participant Presentations

Other Programming: Exciting developments are happening in our Accelerator programs. The network’s first Business & Human Rights Accelerator is nearing its conclusion, while the Climate Ambition Accelerator has just kicked off its 2024 cycle. We're also thrilled to welcome 22 participants from 11 companies to our upcoming Target Gender Equality Accelerator program.

Looking ahead to Q3, we’ll focus on businesses’ role in addressing global poverty at “Bridging Business & Human Rights—The American Private Sector's Role in Addressing Poverty," an official side event during the UN High-Level Political Forum conference.

We're also gearing up for the UN General Assembly in September, when we'll hold our annual flagship conference, SDG Summit USA, on September 23. Stay tuned for a webinar that will take place in advance of the UN General Assembly. This webinar will provide U.S. businesses with a guide on navigating the busy week of events.

I encourage you to sign up for our newsletter for more information or to stay up-to-date on our programs and events.

I am proud of the Network USA staff and applaud their significant achievements and contributions, and I look forward to working with them as we help you to make further progress in addressing the Ten Principles and the SDGs. Thank you for your continued support and partnership.




Richard Pearl

Acting Executive Director

UN Global Compact Network USA

All updates