The United Nations Global Compact’s Global Corporate Sustainability Report for 2013  tackles the existing disparities between the sustainable policies of companies and their implementation.

The United Nations Global Compact recently released its flagship Global Corporate Sustainability Report for 2013, which suggested that while companies were making commitments in the areas of human rights, labour, anti-corruption and the environment, many were not actually implementing solutions.

Annual figures from the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative highlight a gulf between companies’ sustainability policies and the actions undertaken to achieve them.

“Sustainability is clearly on the radar. Leadership sees it as a key factor for business success and has begun to define what it looks like through policies and performance targets. The goal now is to move from seeing and saying to doing,” the report said.

Highlights from the report noted disparities between intent and action which included:

  • 65 per cent of signatories were committing to sustainability at the CEO level, but only 35 per cent were training managers to integrate sustainability into strategy and operations.
  • Seven out of 10 companies had an anti-corruption policy in place, but only three in 10 had anonymous hotlines to report instances of corruption.
  • While 72 per cent of companies had incorporated human rights into their corporate codes, complaint mechanisms were put in place at only half that rate (37 pe rcent).
  • 57 per cent of respondents included sustainability expectations in supplier documents. However, only 18 per cent of companies took the next step to assist suppliers with setting and reviewing their sustainability goals.

Introducing the report, Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki moon said further involvement with business was key. “We cannot achieve a more equitable, prosperous and sustainable future without business engagement and solutions”.

He also said, “The United Nations is committed to deepening its collaboration with the private sector and advancing the corporate responsibility movement”.

 

SOURCE: ProBono Australia

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