Aligned with the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN Sustainable Development Goals – particularly SDG 16 – the Action Platform for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (“Action Platform”) aims to develop a global standard for businesses to understand, implement and report their efforts in these areas. The Action Platform provides a forum for policy dialogue between Governments, businesses, the UN and civil society that results in concrete action towards improving accountability, integrity and transparency within businesses and the countries where they operate.
Objectives of the Action Platform
- Foster innovation by developing a normative framework and driving bold leadership through transformational governance, or, expanding the “G” in ESG
- Strengthen the enabling environment by providing guidance to businesses on improving corporate/shared values through SDG 16 advocacy and providing a platform for strengthening partnerships through Global Compact Local Networks
SDG 16 Business Framework | Inspiring Transformational Governance
Launched on 1 June 2021, the Framework will help companies embrace transformational governance, a principles-based philosophy – rather than a new legal concept – that calls on business to be more accountable, ethical, inclusive and transparent as a driver to responsible business conduct, enhanced ESG performance and strengthened public institutions, laws and systems.
With the increasing overlap and urgency on ESG issues, transformational governance is a prism through which businesses can expand their understanding of the “G” in ESG. It demonstrates why and how businesses can assess and implement each target of SDG 16 through internal and external activities, including throughout their supply chains. It presents the what, why – and most importantly – how of transformational governance through guidance and examples for each target of SDG 16.
The Framework is a tool for businesses to embrace transformational governance. It does not aim to create new commitments or standards but rather to:
- Deepen understanding of the targets of SDG 16
- Strengthen cross-functional engagement across these targets
- Encourage businesses to assess where they are on the transformational governance journey and to identify opportunities for improvements
- Incorporate into board and management oversight, values and culture, strategies, policies, operations and relationships
While responsibility for achieving these targets rests with Governments, businesses have an important role to play in strengthening internal and external activities consistent with corporate purpose and stakeholder capitalism. Businesses are encouraged to engage holistically through transformational governance, moving beyond compliance to become advocates of peace, justice and strong institutions. This raises the bar for business to adopt an ethical and values-based approach to culture, governance and leadership, resulting in greater shared value for the business, employees, investors, consumers and communities.
The Roadmap to the Framework
Through this Action Platform, the Framework was informed by interviews with more than 60 business leaders that led to commitments made by over 1,300 Chief Executive Officers from more than 100 countries in “A Statement from Business Leaders for Renewed Global Cooperation”, presented to the UN Secretary-General on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. This Statement highlights that good governance is the foundation of good business, with Chief Executives recognizing that “peace, justice and strong institutions are beneficial to the long-term viability of our organizations and are fundamental to upholding the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and achieving the SDGs”.
In order to explore the themes of peace, justice and strong institutions within a national and regional context, a series of 14 country consultations were held with representatives from business, Global Compact Local Networks, civil society, Government and academia in attendance. These consultations are presented as individual reports and a global synthesis report.
2021 and Beyond
This Framework is only the beginning of the journey. From 2021 onwards, the UN Global Compact will focus on the dissemination and socialization of the Framework and the concept of transformational governance, working towards more practical guidance for implementation. This includes the launch of two task forces to develop toolkits to guide internal corporate engagement and national-level policy dialogues. Moreover, the theme of transformational governance has been designated as a “lead & shape” category as part of the UN Global Compact 2023 Strategy. The Framework will be foundational to driving this work forward. We invite you to join us in this effort.
Participants: Anglo American, APCO Worldwide, Arm Holdings, Enel, Leonardo, Linklaters, LRN Corporation, Oando, RELX, Safaricom, Sumitomo Chemical, Thomson Reuters, TotalEnergies and White & Case.
Partners: CEELI Institute, UN-led Global Alliance for Reporting Progress for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, PeaceNexus, Transparency International, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI)
Global Compact Local Networks: Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA