Global compact

From Awareness to Action on the Global Goals

UN Human Rights Council Reaffirms Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
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Important issues
Index , Board , 10 principles , Governance , Government Support , Integrity Measures , Tools & resources , Global Sustainability Report , The Ten Principles
Sustainable Development Goals , All Our Work , What You Can Do , Submit your COP

The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact
Corporate sustainability starts with a company’s value system and a principles-based approach to doing business. This means operating in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Responsible businesses enact the same values and principles wherever they have a presence, and know that good practices in one area do not offset harm in another. By incorporating the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into strategies, policies and procedures, and establishing a culture of integrity, companies are not only upholding their basic responsibilities to people and planet, but also setting the stage for long-term success.

The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact are derived from: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

Human Rights
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

Key Documents
UN Global Compact Brochure
After the Signature – An Introduction to the Global Compact
2011 Global Compact Implementation Survey: Annual Review of Business Policies and Actions to Advance Sustainability
Global Compact Annual Review – 2010 
Global Compact Annual Review – Anniversary Edition 
The Importance of Voluntarism

Core UN Agencies
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Environment Programme
International Labour Organization
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Overview of the UN Global Compact
The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. By doing so, business, as a primary driver of globalization, can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere.

As social, political and economic challenges (and opportunities) — whether occurring at home or in other regions — affect business more than ever before, many companies recognize the need to collaborate and partner with governments, civil society, labour and the United Nations.

This ever-increasing understanding is reflected in the Global Compact's rapid growth. With over 10,000 corporate participants and other stakeholders from over 130 countries, it is the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world.

Endorsed by chief executives, the Global Compact is a practical framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of sustainability policies and practices, offering participants a wide spectrum of workstreams, management tools and resources — all designed to help advance sustainable business models and markets. (See How to Participate.)

The UN Global Compact works toward the vision of a sustainable and inclusive global economy which delivers lasting benefits to people, communities, and markets.

To help realize this vision, the initiative seeks to:
Mainstream the Global Compact’s Ten Principles in business strategy and operations around the world; and
Catalyze business action in support of UN goals and issues, with emphasis on collaboration and collective action.
With these objectives in mind, the Global Compact has shaped an initiative that provides collaborative solutions to the most fundamental challenges facing both business and society. The initiative seeks to combine the best properties of the UN, such as moral authority and convening power, with the private sector’s solution-finding strengths, and the expertise and capacities of a range of key stakeholders. The Global Compact is global and local; private and public; voluntary yet accountable.

The benefits of engagement include the following:
Adopting an established and globally recognized policy framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of environmental, social, and governance policies and practices.
Sharing best and emerging practices to advance practical solutions and strategies to common challenges.
Advancing sustainability solutions in partnership with a range of stakeholders, including UN agencies, governments, civil society, labour, and other non-business interests.
Linking business units and subsidiaries across the value chain with the Global Compact's Local Networks around the world — many of these in developing and emerging markets.
Accessing the United Nations' extensive knowledge of and experience with sustainability and development issues.
Utilizing UN Global Compact management tools and resources, and the opportunity to engage in specialized workstreams in the environmental, social and governance realms.
A more detailed analysis of the benefits of participation in the Global Compact can be found in The Importance of Voluntarism — which also focuses on the importance of the Global Compact as a complement rather than substitute for regulatory regimes

Finally, the Global Compact incorporates a transparency and accountability policy known as the Communication on Progress (COP). The annual posting of a COP is an important demonstration of a participant's commitment to the UN Global Compact and its principles. Participating companies are required to follow this policy, as a commitment to transparency and disclosure is critical to the success of the initiative. Failure to communicate will result in a change in participant status and possible expulsion.

In summary, the Global Compact exists to assist the private sector in the management of increasingly complex risks and opportunities in the environmental, social and governance realms, seeking to embed markets and societies with universal principles and values for the benefit of all.

Foundation for the Global Compact
A non-profit entity, the Foundation for the Global Compact has been established to support the work of the United Nations Global Compact Office and other Global Compact related activities. It has been given permission to raise funds on behalf of the Global Compact Office. Contributions are voluntary but will help the Global Compact Office to raise awareness of the Global Compact, its principles and how to implement them. Resources provided by the Foundation will be used to defray the costs of Global Compact activities such as events, publication, translation and tools, and thereby help to ensure the sustainability and greatest reach of the initiative, as well as help foster the scaling-up of its impact. More information about the Foundation, including current funding priorities and how to give, is available at www.globalcompactfoundation.org


The UN Global Compact’s multi-year strategy to drive business awareness and action in support of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030

UN Global compact Governance

Tools and Resources

The following material covers several issues in addition to the four principle areas (Human Rights, Labour, Environment, Anti-Corruption). Additional guidance material for implementing the UN Global Compact principles can be found under their respective sections. To obtain copies of any publication please contact globalcompact@un.org

Integrity Measures
Governance Framework