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UNGC: Goals, Principles and Benefits

What is the UNGC, otherwise known as the United Nations Global Compact – and what is their main mission?
Ecology News
2023-09-29T00:00:00.000Z
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Global warming is perpetuating unsustainable life on Earth. While this isn’t good news for anyone currently dwelling on the planet, at least the climate change crisis is inspiring companies and organizations around the world to promote sustainability wherever possible – and the UNGC strives to do exactly that.

How does the UNGC aim to help businesses worldwide achieve their sustainable goals? 

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Video cover 21 Years of the UN Global Compact Uniting Business for a Better World

What is the UNGC?

The UNGC, otherwise known as the United Nations Global Compact – is the world’s largest corporation to seek and employ initiatives towards sustainability. The UNGC recruits various companies across the globe to implement their business models and future strategies with the unified rights of human labor, anti-corruption, and the environment involved. 

When did the UNGC start?

The UNGC started back in 2000 by a former UN Secretary General named Kofi Annan. The UNGC was established upon the inspiration to bring businesses together and cultivate a collective effort to achieve sustainability. The UNGC believes that when businesses come together, they can achieve more than they otherwise would have alone – hence, the birth of the UNGC.  

Since the UNGC was first established in 2000, they have had over ten thousand companies around the world join them in their mission to achieve worldwide sustainability. 

What is the main goal of the UNGC?

The main mission of the UNGC is to help other corporations achieve their goals whilst maintaining sustainability and adhering to society. 

The UNGC aims to accomplish these sustainability goals through the use of two main methods. 

One, by helping companies design their business models strategically in correlation with their ten main principles, which include human rights, labor, and environmental mindfulness. 

Two, by assisting the members of the UNGC to take substantial actions towards creating broader goals that will benefit not only their local communities, but society worldwide – and placing the importance of collaboration to achieve this. 

In short, the UNGC thrives on partnerships and combined efforts to achieve sustainability – a “two heads are better than one” approach is what the UNGC aims to pontificate to their members and the rest of the world. 

What are the 10 principles of the UNGC?

The UNGC thrives on ten primary principles. They are broken down into categories depending on whether they pertain to human rights, labor, environment, or anti-corruption. 

Human Rights

There are two principles of the UNGC that pertain to human rights. 

Principle 1 states that businesses should encourage and respect international human rights even if they differ from their own nation.  

Principle 2 states that companies should ensure they are not involved in immoral activities that violate human rights. 

Labor

There are four principles of the UNGC that involve human labor rights. 

Principle 3 proclaims that businesses need to respect the freedom of associated actors and recognize the right to negotiation. 

Principle 4 strives to execute any type of imperative labor. 

Principle 5 aims to end all child labor. 

Principle 6 is dedicated to ending discrimination in the work force and encouraging diversity in future employment.  

Environment

There are three principles of the UNGC that seek environmental improvement. 

Principle 7 states that businesses should support any preemptive methods that could potentially improve the state of the environment. 

Principle 8 is meant to encourage all participants of the UNGC to implement any and all approaches that could lead to improved environmental responsibility. 

Principle 9 seeks to promote the development of innovative technologies that could help the environmental crises we suffer from today, such as climate change and natural disasters. 

Anti-Corruption

The final principle of the UNGC pertains to anti-corruption, and states that businesses should do whatever possible to abstain from corruption of any kind, such as extortion and bribery.

What are the benefits of enlisting the help of the UNGC?

There are a multitude of benefits when an organization decides to join the UNGC. 

First of all, joining the UNGC is beneficial for any business. As climate change continues to impact every sector of the economy and the entire world, corporations must recognize the importance of all potential impacts that could deter one’s success in business. For example, a stable economy, transparency, and educated workers are an essential part of a lucrative business. The sustainable development goals that the UNGC requests all members to strive towards can allow your company to implement the sustainable measures to create a balanced and lucrative business. 

Joining the UNGC is also good for society as a whole. The many partnerships and networking opportunities that being a part of the UNGC provides a business with creates the opportunity to inspire other members, or even to be inspired by other companies with new ideas to accomplish sustainability. 

Other benefits of joining the UNGC include access to a network of various industry spanning across over 160 countries, opportunities for partnerships with a wide variety of stakeholders, a plethora of valuable tools, resources, and trainings to help your company achieve their sustainable development goals, and excellent overall guidance towards achieving sustainability with the indispensable knowledge exhibited by the United Nations. 

The UNGC has the power to help your company or organization excel in the four core areas of sustainable development: human rights, labor rights, environmental justice, and anti-corruption. 

Clearly, there are many things to be gained by pursuing a membership with the UNGC. However, perhaps the overarching plus to becoming a part of the UNGC is that it presents all members with a universal goal, and encourages the idea that everyone is able to attain what they seek to accomplish – in this case, sustainability goals that strive to improve human life and the environment. The UNGC doesn’t exclude any business, and believes that sustainable development goals can be accomplished despite the size, seriousness, or location of the organization. 

Ultimately, the UNGC is committed to providing the unconditional support necessary to help any business evaluate and employ their new sustainability strategies – and wants to do whatever possible to help organizations around the world realize that sustainability is an attainable goal for everyone.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals set in place by members of the UNGC?

The UNGC thrives on inclusivity and commitment from all of their members to use their voice to help everyone in the world transition towards sustainability. That’s why back in September of 2015, the 193 Member States of the UNGC created a plan to help cultivate a more sustainable future for everyone. This was accomplished by illustrating a viable pathway to achieve seventeen sustainable goals over the course of the next fifteen years. 

The 17 sustainable development goals, otherwise known as SDGs – include fighting to end poverty, end world hunger, improve worldwide education, promote gender equality, utilize clean energy, take climate action whenever possible, and care for the wildlife that stimulates our biodiversity. 

These seventeen sustainable development goals are referred to as “Agenda 2030” as a reminder of the targeted date to accomplish these sustainable development goals – pertaining to nations all around the world. In other words, the UNGC aims to help all nations around the globe achieve sustainability. 

The SDGs are not only concrete and serious plans to implement action towards sustainability, but also serve as inspiration to other nations and businesses around the world – as these seventeen sustainable development goals help to shine light on the areas many of us could improve upon in terms of sustainability. “Agenda 2030” also helps the UNGC to gain worldwide recognition and support to achieve these sustainable goals. 

Examples of popular companies a part of the UNGC

The UNGC has helped thousands of organizations around the world create improved pathways towards sustainability. Unknowingly, many common car companies, beauty brands, banks, and technology corporations have joined the UNGC in efforts to improve their sustainability. 

Here are just a few of the many thousands of companies that have decided to reap the benefits of the UNGC. 

Project Management Institute 

The Program Management Institute, otherwise more commonly known as the PMI – gives credit to the UNGC for providing them with the opportunity to network with other organizations that have similar goals in mind. The PMI believes much of their success would not have been possible without the UNGC and the new connections that they have made being a part of the corporation. 

The PMI provides memberships so that individuals or employers can improve their project management professional The UNGC has helped the PMI to enforce sustainable values throughout their business education to further pontificate the importance of sustainability to future companies trying to grow. 

Intel Corporation

Intel has always been motivated to mitigate the effects of climate change, and been welcoming of partners and customers alike that want to help them achieve their environmental goals. The technology company has become a part of several environmental projects and implemented company-wide regulations to reduce their emissions, energy use, and waste around the world. 

Tackling nine of the total seventeen sustainable development goals in their last CoP, or communication on progress report, this popular technology company is hurtling towards sustainability thanks to the seventeen SDGs that serve as inspiration by the UNGC. 

Hitachi

This well known car manufacturer based in Japan has made it their goal to provide society with superior transportation while still keeping the environment in mind. They are dedicated to joining the net-zero movement to reduce emissions by 2050, and to promote diversity amongst their employees – making it clear that they are working towards having 30% female as well as 30% non-Japanese officers working at Hitachi by 2030.

According to their most recent communication on progress report, Hitachi is working towards a whopping eleven of the seventeen sustainable development goals put in place by the UNGC. 

L’OREAL

 This popular beauty brand based in Paris does more than sell hair care products or makeup. 

L’OREAL is well aware of the impact of global warming, and is dedicated to their new commitment to work towards sustainability in conjunction with “Agenda 2030” and the UNGC. Their main sustainable development goals include managing their water usage and being mindful of their impact on biodiversity and natural resources.

The company is also contributing over 100 million euros to impact investing aimed to help the regeneration of ecosystems, and an additional 50 million euros to support vulnerable women in the world. 

Volkswagen AG

You probably didn’t think that a company as chic as Volkswagen would have an interest in joining the UNGC, but think again. 

Besides zero hunger, no poverty, and protecting life below water and on land – the popular German car company is adhering to thirteen of the seventeen total sustainable development goals in the UNGC’s “Agenda 2030” program. 

Volkswagen ultimately aims to pursue social, economic and ecological objectives that don’t negatively impact the environment. They strive to create fair working conditions and conserve viable resources at all costs.

Sustainable development doesn’t have to be like writer's block – joining a corporation like the UNGC might just provide your company with the support and inspiration it needs to jump start your journey towards a more sustainable business. 

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article about the UNGC goals, principles, and benefits has made you interested in reducing your carbon emission to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

Click here to learn more about Greenly and how we can help you reduce your carbon footprint.

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