Companies join Global Compact LEAD in order to:

  • Be a part of an ambitious, exclusive and truly global community of sustainable business leaders committed to exchanging experiences and developing new and innovative approaches to corporate sustainability.
  • Accelerate the integration of sustainability across corporate functions by involving relevant colleagues in action-oriented collaborations with fellow LEAD companies.
  • Gain access to a vast network of experts and initiatives influencing the corporate sustainability space and improve your understanding of key trends impacting the future business risk and opportunities.
  • Collaborate with investors and business schools through LEADs close ties with Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).
  • Maximize the value of participating in the UN Global Compact through individualized assistance in navigating global issue platforms and Local Networks and an in partnering with UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes. 

Furthermore, LEAD companies receive the following special recognition for their extraordinary commitment and engagement within the Global Compact: 

  • Visibility and Voice: Opportunities for high-level representation in key UN and other events that provide exposure vis-à-vis global decision makers
  • Showcase Leading Practices: LEAD company examples featured throughout the UN Global Compact’s portfolio of resources and tools, which are distributed among a large number of companies and stakeholders via over eighty Local Networks around the world  
  • LEAD Logo: Exclusive use of the Global Compact LEAD participant logo* and featured as a LEAD Participant on the UN Global Compact website and in relevant Global Compact and LEAD publications

Participation in Global Compact LEAD is based on a commitment to the Criteria for Participation (outlined below) and does not represent a “seal of approval” or endorsement by the United Nations, nor does it confer special status or imply a position of superiority with respect to individual participants.  

Criteria for Participation

Companies are invited to LEAD based on their strong history of engagement with the Global Compact and proven corporate sustainability globally and/or locally. By joining LEAD, companies commit to implement the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership and to share related outcomes and learnings. In addition, companies commit to the following criteria:

  1. Participate actively in one or more Global Compact LEAD projects;
  2. Demonstrate leadership within one or more of the Global Compact’s global Issue Platforms, for example by participating actively in a global working group (e.g. the Human Rights Working Group or the Working Group on the 10th Principle against Corruption), by joining the steering committee or other governance body of a special initiative (e.g. Caring for Climate or the CEO Water Mandate), and/or by spearheading issue-specific activities; 
  3. Demonstrate local leadership in one or more Global Compact Local Networks, for example, by joining a Local Network steering committee or other governance body, hosting, sponsoring or organizing Local Network meetings, and/or launching local working groups or collective action initiatives; 
  4. Submit a Communication on Progress (COP) at the Advanced Level
  5. Make an annual financial contribution to the Foundation for the Global Compact, to cover the costs associated with LEAD activities as well as to support the further strengthening of local and global engagement opportunities, (see below for more details).  

Annual Contribution

The size of the annual contribution is based on the company’s annual sales/revenue:

Annual Sales/Revenue  
USD 10 billion or more USD 65,000
USD 1 billion to USD 10 billion USD 50,000
USD 250 million to USD 1 billion USD 35,000
USD 25 million to USD 250 million USD 20,000
Less than USD 25 million USD 10,000
The fee associated with LEAD participation is 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. Contributions will be processed by the Foundation for the Global Compact ( and may be tax deductible, depending on country-specific tax laws.


(Last Update 22 December 2014)