A rigorous and holistic approach.

We help companies, whether beginners on the sustainability journey or recognized champions, to meet their commitments to operate responsibly and support society.

Our Strategy

By encouraging companies to operate responsibly and take strategic actions that support society, the UN Global Compact works to ensure that business activity adds value not only to the bottom-line, but also to people, communities and the planet.

We ask companies to take a comprehensive approach to sustainability, and lay out 5 essential elements of corporate sustainability which we help business put into practice:

Foremost companies must (1) operate responsibly in alignment with universal principles and (2) take strategic actions that support the society around them. Then, to push sustainability deep into the corporate identity, companies must (3) commit at the highest level, (4) report annually on their efforts, and (5) engage locally where they have a presence.

The UN Global Compact supports companies to address the entire range of ESG issues, believing that responsible businesses enact the same values and principles wherever they have a presence, and that good practices in one area do not offset harm in another.

Importantly, we also engage closely civil society and other critical players, including investors, educators, consumers and policymakers to help create an enabling environment for responsible business. And as part of the United Nations, we bring the voice of business to major UN summits and negotiations.

How we help

The UN Global Compact supports companies, whether beginners on the sustainability journey or recognized champions, to meet their commitments to operate responsibly and support society.

The initiative undertakes a range of activities at the international and local levels – from raising awareness, convening events and developing resources and best practices, to facilitating partnerships and developing action initiatives on critical issues like climate, water, women’s empowerment and more.

Global Compact Local Networks support participants around the world – from local firms and subsidiaries of foreign corporation – to understand what responsible business means within their national context and put their sustainability commitments into action.

Defining features of the UN Global Compact

Principle-based: applying UN values – traditionally used to forge understanding among nations – to the private sector, calling on companies to act in a principled way wherever and whenever they operate

Public-private: combining the moral authority and convening power of the UN with the resources and ingenuity of the private sector to help solve the challenges of our day

Multi-stakeholder: bringing business, civil society, Government and the UN to the same table, and the voice of responsible business to major UN summits and negotiations

Global-local: engaging participants in 170 countries, with 85+ Local Networks up and running to connect stakeholders on the ground

Voluntary yet accountable: bringing accountability and transparency to voluntary business efforts, through annual reporting requirements and the removal from the initiative of companies that fail to communicate progress

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