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UN GLOBAL COMPACT BULLETIN

November 2008

The UN Global Compact Office is pleased to present the first “UN Global Compact Bulletin”, designed to keep participants up to date on news, engagement opportunities, resources and events. In the future, please look to this monthly communication for important information, as the Global Compact Office plans to reduce the number of individual emails sent to participants. We encourage you to read the bulletin, be informed and stay engaged!

UN GLOBAL COMPACT NEWS

  1. Global Economic Downturn: Why the UN Global Compact and Corporate Sustainability Are Needed More Than Ever
  2. Global Investors Urge 9,000 CEOs to Join UN Global Compact
  3. Caring for Climate: First Meeting of Signatories, Over 300 Companies Have Joined
  4. 70 Local Networks Convene at Annual Forum
  5. CEO Water Mandate Transparency Policy Announced
  6. Research Center for the UN Global Compact Being Established
  7. UN Focal Points Discuss Business Partnerships, “Meet the UN” Event Held
  8. TOURpact.GC: A New Framework for CSR in Tourism

ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

  1. Invitation: Sign CEO Statement on Human Rights and Business
  2. Request: Update Contact Information on UN Global Compact Website
  3. Solicitation of Interest: Joining UN Global Compact Labour Working Group
  4. Call for Examples: Partnership Projects
  5. Call for Examples: Promoting Peace and Development in Challenging Operating Environments
  6. Call for Examples: Promoting Tolerance and Inter-Cultural Understanding

NEW RESOURCES

  1. UN Global Compact Brochure (updated)
  2. The United Nations and the Private Sector - A Framework for Collaboration
  3. Combating Forced Labour - A Handbook for Employers and Business
  4. Food Sustainability - A Guide to Private Sector Action
  5. Unchaining Value - Innovative Approaches to Sustainable Supply
  6. Meeting Report - United Nations Private Sector Forum

EVENTS

Global Compact participants are encouraged to visit the Event Calendar on our website to learn more about the below events, including intended audience and availability.

November

Principles for Responsible Investment Board Meeting (11 Nov, New York)

December

Global Compact Network Sudan: Launch (1 Dec, Khartoum)
International Seminar on Business and Human Rights (3 – 5 Dec, Paris)
Global Forum for Responsible Management Education (4 – 5 Dec, New York)
Course: The Labour Dimension of Corporate Social Responsibility - From Principles to Practice (10 – 12 Dec, Turin)
Confederation of Indian Industry's 3rd Annual Sustainability Summit (11 – 12 Dec, Delhi)
Global Compact Board Meeting (15 Dec, New York)
Second Meeting of Global Compact Labour Working Group (16 Dec, New York)

January

Responsible Business Global Forum 2009 (15-16 Jan, Delhi)
Regional Meeting of GC Network Focal Points: Africa (24 – 25 Jan, Addis Ababa)
2009 African Private Sector Forum: Advancing Sustainability and Business Competitiveness in Africa (22-23 Jan, Addis Ababa)

May

World Business Summit on Climate Change (24-24 May, Copenhagen)

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UN GLOBAL COMPACT NEWS

1. Global Economic Downturn: Why the UN Global Compact and Corporate Sustainability Are Needed More Than Ever
The global crisis in financial markets and the subsequent economic downturn raise a range of important and urgent questions regarding corporate sustainability generally and the Global Compact specifically. This short paper outlines how a commitment to sustainability in the spirit of the Global Compact principles can help the private sector and markets regain the confidence and trust of the public and other stakeholders. View paper.

2. Global Investors Urge 9,000 CEOs to Join UN Global Compact
In a powerful endorsement, on 27 October a group of global investors announced a collaborative effort urging the chief executive officers of approximately 9,000 companies to commit to the Global Compact and the ten principles. This campaign underscores the growing link between managing environmental, social and governance issues and the long-term viability of business. More.

3. Caring for Climate: First Meeting of Signatories Held, Over 300 Companies Involved

The first meeting of Caring for Climate signatories (20-21 Oct, Geneva) focused on showcasing and discussing new business solutions to the climate challenge, with the aim of producing crucial business insights and developing a path forward in support of an effective post-Kyoto policy framework. The meeting set the stage for a World Business Summit on Climate Change to be convened in Copenhagen on 24-26 May 2009. To date, 300 companies, covering approximately 30 industry sectors and 50 countries, have joined the platform. More. Join Caring for Climate.

4. 70 Local Networks Convene at Annual Forum
Global Compact Local Networks from around the world joined together for a two-day meeting (21-22 Oct, Bonn) to share experiences and take steps to strengthen the governance and capacity of these critical local operations. Decisions related to the development and running of Local Networks mark a significant step forward. It was the largest ALNF to date, with 220 participants. More.

5. CEO Water Mandate Transparency Policy Announced
A comprehensive Transparency Policy for the CEO Water Mandate – the Global Compact initiative to advance corporate water sustainability practices – was released on 9 October. The Transparency Policy outlines disclosure-related responsibilities for endorsing companies. Additionally, it offers guidance for companies seeking to expand water sustainability practices and related disclosure. More.

6. Research Center for the UN Global Compact Being Established
The Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations and Commerce (New York) has agreed to house an international research facility for the Global Compact which will provide research and analytical capacity in many areas, notably management change models and analysis of Communications on Progress. The Research Center will establish relations with researchers, scholars and academic centers around the world. More.

7. UN Focal Points Discuss Business Partnerships, “Meet the UN” Event Held
Close to 80 representatives of UN agencies gathered (2-3 October, Geneva) for the seventh annual conference of UN private sector focal points. They shared experiences and worked to build on lessons learned related to UN-business partnerships. A “Meet the UN” event was held prior to the conference (1 October) by the Global Compact Office, IBLF and UNDP. It brought together business executives with UN staff from a variety of UN entities to discuss how to better work together. More.

8. TOURpact.GC: A New Framework for CSR in Tourism
TOURpact.GC was launched by the Global Compact and UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on the occasion of the World Tourism Day celebrations in Lima (27 September). It was welcomed by Secretary-General Ban as a leadership initiative with potential for other sectors. TOURpact.GC aligns the principles of the Global Compact and UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. More.

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ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

1. Invitation to Sign CEO Statement on Business and Human Rights

On the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10 December 2008), your CEO is invited to add his or her name to a statement on business and human rights. The purpose of the statement is to communicate to business everywhere that Global Compact participants – regardless of location, sector or size – recognize that human rights are an important business concern. It is planned that the statement will be published in the Financial Times on 10 December.

View the statement. To indicate your CEO’s willingness to add his or her name, please send an email to Sunok Lee (lee21@un.org) by 14 November.

2. Request to Update Contact Information on UN Global Compact website

The Global Compact Office is requesting that all participating organizations check, and update as necessary, their contact information in the Global Compact database (e.g. CEO name, organization address, contact information). It is critical that your organization’s contact information is current so that we are able to keep you informed about important news and events, including Communication on Progress deadlines.

To access your organization information: http://www.unglobalcompact.org/admin/login.php

3. Solicitation of Interest in Joining UN Global Compact Labour Working Group

The Global Compact Office and the ILO are soliciting expressions of interest from companies and other interested organizations in becoming a member of the Global Compact Labour Working Group. The aims of the group are to: raise the profile, relevance of, and respect for the four labour principles among GC participants and networks; help ensure a consistent approach is taken to the application and understanding of the four principles; and develop tools, information exchange and forums for engagement. The next meeting of the group will take place in New York at UN Headquarters on 16 December 2008.

Interested persons should contact Venu Keesari (keesari (at) unglobalcompact.org). View the working group’s Terms of Reference.

4. Call for Examples: Partnership Projects

The Global Compact Office is calling for examples of partnership projects that advance the Millennium Development Goals. Select examples will be profiled on the Partnership section on the Global Compact website and related publications. Examples should be approximately 300 words and focus on the motivation for engaging in the partnership, concrete actions taken and benefits achieved.

Please contact Cecilie Hultmann (hultmann@un.org) for further information.

5. Call for Examples: Business Practices that Promote Peace and Development in Challenging Operating Environments

"How Can Business Contribute to Peace?": A collection of 15-20 short case studies of innovative business practices that promote peace and development in challenging operating environments (to be published in 2009). Seeking innovative examples in the following areas, but examples may not be limited to these issues: implementing the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights; innovative revenue transparency policies and procedures; contributions to post-conflict reconstruction efforts; resettlement issues; local community engagement; human resource policies and practices in conflict-affected areas; and contributions to peacebuilding efforts.

Please contact Melissa Powell (powell1@un.org) for further information.

6. Call for Examples: Business Practices that Promote Tolerance and Inter-Cultural Understanding

"How the Private Sector Can Promote Tolerance and Inter-Cultural Understanding": A publication highlighting recent experiences, lessons learned and good practices by companies in dealing with cross-cultural challenges (to be published in 2009). Seeking innovative examples in the following areas, but examples need not be limited to these issues: encouraging diversity in human resource policies; fostering tolerance and cooperation among cultural, ethnic, and religious groups in the workplace; development of products, services and marketing practices that do not undermine local cultures; and supporting community initiatives aimed at increasing tolerance among diverse communities.

Please contact Melissa Powell (powell1@un.org) for further information.

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NEW RESOURCES

1. UN Global Compact Brochure (updated): A brief introduction to the Global Compact, outlining the main objectives of the initiative and the business case for participation, as well as some of the ways in which companies can engage. Download.

2. The United Nations and the Private Sector - A Framework for Collaboration: Outlines different ways in which the private sector can collaborate with UN agencies, funds and programmes to address global challenges. The short brochure describes how business can contribute through their core business operations, social investments and philanthropy, and advocacy, policy dialogue and institutional frameworks. Download.

3. Combating Forced Labour - A Handbook for Employers and Business: Provides guidance to employers’ organizations and individual companies on forced labour and human trafficking, including practical tools and materials that help identify what forced labour is, why it is a concern for business, and actions that can be taken to address it. Produced by the ILO. Download.

4. Food Sustainability - A Guide to Private Sector Action: Features 37 examples of best and emerging practices in seven key areas relating to food sustainability (e.g. agricultural inputs, financial mechanisms), as well as suggested actions for businesses to contribute in these areas. Produced by the Global Compact Office, in partnership with a broad alliance of UN agencies and Bretton Woods institutions. Download.

5. Unchaining Value - Innovative Approaches to Sustainable Supply: Explores how supply chains function in order to identify new approaches to building sustainability capacity at the local supplier level, as well as identifying initiatives that will encourage and enable consumer demand for more sustainable solutions. Produced by SustainAbility, UNEP and the Global Compact Office. Download.

6. Meeting Report - United Nations Private Sector Forum: Summarizes the discussions and outcomes of the first UN Private Sector Forum which gathered 100 chief executives, Heads of State and Government, heads of UN entities, and heads of civil society organizations on 24 September 2008. Includes concrete recommendations for how the private sector, governments and the UN can contribute to the Millennium Development Goals and Food Sustainability. Download.

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What do you think of the new UN Global Compact Bulletin?
Provide feedback and suggestions to Carrie Hall (hallc@un.org).


Published 6 November 2008