24 August 2007

Outcomes of UN Global Compact's Leaders Summit

This week the preliminary outcomes of the Global Compacts Leaders Summit from July in Geneva got released. I am thankful for it because way too much happened there for me to sum up myself :) Overall, it was very inspiring to have been there because you can see that business is taking global issues serious and the Global Compact is a facilitator in this change but as well as changing the UN itself by facilitating business-UN partnerships.

Highlights from my perspective were:
  • Largest high-level event on of corporate responsibility ever: bringing together more than 1,100 leaders and representatives from business, government, civil society, labour, academia and the United Nations means this is important!
  • Deepened commitment for universal principles: Through advancing responsible business practices a more sustainable and inclusive global economy can be realized. The Global Compact principles are the leading compass for this.
  • Diversity of participants from 90 countries: Where else do you bring together CEOs (incl. many from China) that talk business with critical voices from nearly 200 representatives from civil society, labour and academia?
  • Reports confirming that responsible business perform better: Goldman Sachs found that companies considered leaders in implementing ESG policies have outperformed the general stock market by 25 percent since August 2005. In addition, 72 percent of these companies have outperformed their peers over the same period.
  • Responsible investments take off: More than 200 institutional investors representing over US $9 trillion in assets signed onto the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in just over one year.
  • Action platforms, i.e. walking the talk: Of course such an event is a lot about dialogue but I am glad to see that there is follow through. For example through action platforms on: Climate, Water and Responsible Management Education.
As you see, a lot has happened there and is underway. You can read the complete preliminary results.