Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does Global Compact LEAD contribute to the mission of the United Nations?

  • One of the main goals of Global Compact LEAD is to bring to life the second dimension of the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership – Taking Action in Support of Broader UN Goals and Issues – by becoming an incubator for collective action to solve challenges common to the UN and the business community. 
  • In addition, Global Compact LEAD brokers engagement between companies and UN entities in cases where they can mutually benefit from such partnerships.

2. How have the companies that receive an invitation to Global Compact LEAD been selected?

  • Companies have been invited either because they have a history of strong engagement with the UN Global Compact and proven corporate sustainability globally and/or locally.
  • Ensuring global representation in Global Compact LEAD is essential for an inclusive and truly global initiative. To this end, regional target quotas were set and the most engaged companies in these regions received an invitation to join. Sector diversity was also considered.
  • For more details, see section on Participation.

3. How does the Global Compact make sure that LEAD members are fulfilling their commitments??

  • There are several indices and metrics that measure corporate sustainability performance. Participation in Global Compact LEAD is not an indicator of a particular performance level. 
  • Participants of LEAD are required to take an active leadership role at the global and local level and are also required to report on their activities in yearly COPs. By fulfilling this criteria, companies are leading the Global Compact initiative.
  • Companies that are not demonstrating active involvement in the Global Compact and not reporting implementation of the Blueprint through the annual COP will be removed from participation.

4. Why is there a fee associated with Global Compact LEAD?

  • Global Compact LEAD offers a range of new opportunities for leading companies to engage with the UN Global Compact and its wider institutional environment, including the UN, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). A number of specialized work streams, services, and resources are developed and delivered to members. 
  • Global Compact LEAD participant fees are in lieu of the annual contribution requested from all Global Compact corporate participants. LEAD companies will continue to receive special invitations to sponsor specific events, projects and/or workstreams. Local Network participant fees are also considered separate.

5. I am interested in doing business with the United Nations. Will LEAD increase my chances of securing a contract?

  • No. Global Compact LEAD is not in any way linked to UN procurement.

6. Doesn’t participation in LEAD and the use of a LEAD logo equate to bluewashing?

  • Absolutely not. Although Global Compact LEAD companies receive recognition for their efforts, this does not imply a seal of approval by the UN Global Compact or the United Nations. Participation in Global Compact LEAD rather indicates that a company has committed to a higher level of performance as outlined in the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership. As part of LEAD, companies are required to communicate annually on their implementation progress. Any logo usage will be in strict accordance with the LEAD logo policy.

7. If my company has not received an invitation, can we join Global Compact LEAD?

  • To join LEAD, companies must either have a history of strong engagement with the UN Global Compact and proven corporate sustainability globally and/or locally. See Participation section for more details.
  • Although space is limited, Global Compact LEAD continues to grow proportionally to the Global Compact’s participant base growth and the most engaged companies of the Global Compact continue to have opportunities to join LEAD.
  • If your company would like to join Global Compact LEAD, please contact us at

8. How is Global Compact LEAD be governed? 

  • A Steering Committee  of approximately 15 members helps to oversee the priorities and activities of Global Compact LEAD. The Board of PRI and the Advisory Committee of PRME also appoint one member each to ensure the maximization of synergies with these initiatives.

9. Is Global Compact LEAD open to non-businesses?

  • LEAD reflects the multi-stakeholder nature of the Global Compact and involves key non-business stakeholders in the operational aspects of the platform. However, “participation” relates to companies only.

10. Does company size, region or industry matter to join Global Compact LEAD?

  • No.  A company that meets the criteria for participation can receive an invitation to join Global Compact LEAD. Efforts are made to ensure global representation of the group; a tiered fee structure based on revenues/ sales facilitates the inclusion of smaller companies.

11. What happens if companies in Global Compact LEAD do not meet the requirements after the first year of participation?

  • After the first year of Global Compact LEAD participation, companies are expected to meet all three criteria outlined here in order to maintain their participation.


(Last Update 22 December 2014)