UN Global Compact Workshop: Advancing the SDGs in Global Supply Chains
London, United Kingdom
Making Global Goals Local Business – UK
UNICEF, New York City
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The Issue Engagement Framework was developed to assist Local Networks to engage their stakeholders and corporate participants more effectively around Global Compact issue areas. Through issue-focused activities on learning, policy dialogue and action, Local Networks have a unique opportunity to foster effective global-local learning; adapt key corporate sustainability issues for country specific contexts, and mobilize businesses around UN goals and priorities.
Enhanced issue engagement can help Local Networks to:
- Assist companies more effectively to deepen implementation of a particular corporate sustainability issue and enhance the quality of sustainability reporting;
- Position the network as a convener of a multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on key corporate sustainability and public policy issues; and
- Strengthen the network capacity to broker and facilitate impactful partnerships and collective action projects.
Types of Engagement
Inspire participants’ organizational learning, and support companies to develop and implement corporate sustainability strategies, operations and management practices in line with the Global Compact Ten Principles.
Opportunities for Issue Engagement: Learning
- Translate global tools into national languages and promote them.
- Compile and showcase examples illustrating how business is respecting and supporting the Ten Principles and/or advancing key issues
- Convene workshops and offer support to companies on the implementation of the Ten Principles, including how to communicate efforts in the annual Communication on Progress
- Organize, moderate or speak at outreach events/webinars on the Ten Principles or specific corporate sustainability issues, independently or in collaboration with other organizations
Benefits for Issue Engagement: Learning Activities
- Raised awareness and understanding of the Ten Principles among companies, including how to operationalize them in the local context
- Enhanced understanding of the tools and resources available to corporate participants wishing to assess and improve corporate sustainability efforts
- Increased visibility of the Local Network, which contributes to attracting more participants and reinforcing the network’s legitimacy on the ground
Local Examples of Issue Engagement: Learning
- Business for Peace: Global Compact Network Colombia organized the launch of the Business for Peace platform with the intent to mobilize local businesses to raise awareness and draw attention to business actions that promote peace-building in the workplace, the market and the community within its area of influence.
- Children's Rights and Business Principles: Global Compact Network France and UNICEF France partnered to organize a launch event for the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. After the launch, companies in the CAC 40 – the benchmark index for funds investing in the French stock market – integrated the Principles into their business operations. UNICEF France partnered with a leading European environmental, social, governance (ESG) rating agency to conduct a study on how these principles were implemented, entitled “Integration of Children’s Rights and Business Principles by French Multinational Companies.” The findings suggest that reporting and disclosure on children’s rights-related issues is, with a few exceptions, still underdeveloped compared to other corporate sustainability issues and focus mainly on community investment and child labour.
Aim to bring businesses and other stakeholders together to exchange best practices, identify new and emerging issues; promote multi-stakeholder trust and interaction; and support advocacy to policymakers.
Opportunities for Issue Engagement: Policy Dialogue
- Mobilize local champion companies and facilitate participation in key international policy processes regarding corporate sustainability
- Convene meetings where MNCs, MNC subsidiaries, local companies, governments, civil society and other stakeholders share learnings and discuss sustainability and public policy issues that are relevant to businesses
Benefits for Issue Engagement: Policy Dialogue Activities
- Identification of recommendations from business to policymakers on actions that could help increase the scale and impact of corporate sustainability policies and practices
- Increased opportunities for collaboration between Local Networks and other stakeholders, including policymakers
- Evidence of Local Network convening power around sensitive and challenging corporate sustainability issues
- Increased likelihood of corporate action resulting from dialogue and exchange of best practices with peers
Local Examples of Issue Engagement: Policy Dialogue Activities
- Environment: The Global Compact Network China hosted the first Caring for Climate China Summit in Beijing, themed “Ecological Civilization and Beautiful Home.” During the summit, participating business leaders reached a consensus to sign the Declaration of Chinese Business on Caring for Climate. Youth representatives from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea also signed the Declaration of Youth in China on Caring for Climate. In addition, board secretaries from one hundred publicly listed Chinese companies signed the Declaration from Secretary to the Board of China’s Listed Companies’ Commitment on Building Ecological Civilization and Implement CSR.
- Anti-Corruption: Global Compact Network Brazil, in partnership with Instituto Ethos, organized a workshop entitled “Compliance Systems: Mitigation and Risk Prevention.” The objective of the event was to facilitate discussions around the importance of anti-corruption monitoring and control systems, particularly in light of the recent passing of the Corporate Anti-Corruption Law in 2013, which requires companies to formalize a framework of independent and autonomous compliance. Such legislation has stimulated the development and refinement of compliance systems. To ensure that participants are prepared for the new law, the workshop featured practical examples of how businesses can prevent and mitigate the risks of fraud.
Collective Action & Partnerships
Through partnerships, private and public actors can combine their resources, skills and expertise to enhance results and impact. With collective action multiple companies join forces to engage in identifying, developing and implementing innovative solutions to systematic challenges.
Opportunities for Issue Engagement: Collective Action & Partnerships
- Launch and operationalize a working group, roundtable or an ongoing initiative for champion companies to advance specific issues related to the Ten Principles
- Support relevant existing initiatives, events and platforms and encourage business to engage
- Facilitate the launch of a business-led local collective action initiative that focuses on one or more of the Ten Principles and related topics that are material to local companies
- Convene industry/sectoral discussions on the Ten Principles to create a common understanding among stakeholders and facilitate the development of a forward-looking, actionable agenda
- Promote and facilitate use of the Global Compact Business Partnership Hub
Benefits for Issue Engagement: Collective Action & Partnerships
- Increased awareness among companies of the specific actions they can take, together with governments (through national institutions) and other stakeholders, to advance corporate sustainability issues
- Enhanced capacity of Local Networks to serve as partners, partnership brokers and resource centers for local businesses and other stakeholders
- Increased opportunities for collaboration between Local Networks, government ministries, and other key sponsors/funders with corporate sustainability expertise
- Increased involvement of champion companies in determining country specific recommendations and best practices related to corporate sustainability
Local Examples of Issue Engagement: Collective Action & Partnerships Activities
- Human Rights: The Organizational Capacity Assessment Instrument (OCAI) – an online questionnaire for companies to self-analyze their capacities to manage human rights risks and responsibilities – was translated into Spanish through a partnership with Local Networks from Spain and Argentina, and in cooperation with the Business and Human Rights Resource Center.
- Supply Chain: Global Compact Network Japan’s Supply Chain Working Group published a proposal entitled “Building the Sustainable World: A Vision of Desirable CSR Activity in the Supply Chain.” The document presents an organized summary of the Working Group’s discussions from 2008 to 2011 and focuses on three critical processes in sustainable supply chain initiatives: supplier briefings, self-assessment questionnaires, and audits. Created on a foundation of practical experience and a diversity of perspectives, this proposal was designed to be a useful tool for parties engaged in corporate supply chain responsibility measures, as well as for those who intend to improve existing measures.
- Human Rights & Labour Principles 1-6 (Social)
- Human Rights & Labour
- Children's Rights and Business Principles
- Women's Empowerment Principles
- Environment Principles 7-9 (Environmental)
- Caring for Climate
- CEO Water Mandate
- Anti-Corruption Principle 10 (Governance)
- Cross-Cutting Principles 1-10
- Business for Peace
- Supply Chain Sustainability