United Nations Global Compact
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A4 Brochure Alternate Title Bringing high performance to corporate citizenship
Following a long history of involvement with the United Nations, Accenture has signed the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, a voluntary initiative that seeks to promote responsible corporate citizenship. Through the power of collective action, the UN Global Compact seeks to mainstream 10 general principlesâ€”including human rights, environment, labor standards and corruptionâ€”in business strategies and operations around the world and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals.
What is the UN Global Compact?
As the world's largest, global corporate citizenship initiative, the UN Global Compact is a voluntary network that encourages the social legitimacy of businesses and markets. While business, trade and investment are essential to prosperity and progress, there are inherent risks and dilemmas in commercial practicesâ€”for example, corruption, income equality and barriers to innovation and entrepreneurism. Recognizing that responsible business practices can build trust and social capital, the UN Global Compact uses policy dialogues, learning, local networks and partnership projects to engage businesses and foster a sustainable and inclusive global economy. Launched on July 26, 2000, the UN Global Compact network has grown to almost 5,000 participants, including more than 3,700 businesses in 120 countries around the world. It is not a regulatory 2
body and lacks explicit sanctions for non-adherence but instead relies on member organizations to embrace 10 general principles (see call out below) and adopt an approach that reflects public accountability, transparency and enlightened self-interest. Six United Nations agencies lie at the heart of the UN Global Compact: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Environment Programme International Labor Organization United Nations Development Programme United Nations Industrial Development Organization United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime A non-bureaucratic governance framework encourages involvement and ownership of the UN Global Compact by members and
stakeholders and is realized through participation in a series of events that include annual summits, Board meetings and the in-country activities of approximately 50 local networks. A Foundation for the UN Global Compact has also been established to cover the costs of events, tools and publications to raise awareness of the network, its principles and how to implement them.
â€œWe need business to give practical meaning and reach to the values and principles that connect cultures and people everywhere.â€? Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
What is the United Nations? The United Nations was set up in 1945 after the Second World War to maintain international security and peace. Now, 192 countries are members of the United Nations. Aside from its own peacekeeping forces, the UN operates 14 specialized organizations and focuses on safeguarding human rights.
“As a global organization, Accenture has a responsibility to engage proactively with the communities in which we live and work…and it is a responsibility we take very seriously.” William D. Green, Chairman & CEO, Accenture
Why is Accenture involved? Historically, Accenture leaders have been actively involved in carving out the thought leadership around many of the ideals underpinning the UN Global Compact. Both former CEO, Joe Forehand, and former International Chairman Vernon Ellis were signatories to Global Corporate Citizenship: The Leadership Challenge for CEOs and Boards’ at the World Economic Forum. Accenture was also involved with the United Nations Development Program on the OpportunITy initiative. We have a long and successful track record of offering significant institutional support to the United Nations and its various agencies on a wide range of strategic and technology-related projects, through initiatives such as the Development Program, the HIV/AIDS Programme and United Nations Agency Integrated Systems. What is more we have been building local experience and relationships with the early signing of Accenture South Africa to the UN Global Compact as a local subsidiary member.
There are many benefits to participating in the UN Global Compact including: •
Demonstrating our leadership by advancing responsible corporate citizenship.
Contributing toward solutions to contemporary problems related to globalization, sustainable development and corporate responsibility in a multistakeholder context.
Continuing to develop a close working partnership with the United Nations and accessing its broad knowledge in development issues.
Sharing good practices and learnings. Reinforcing our own core values and Code of Business Ethics
Fully committing our organization to corporate citizenship practices that help global communities achieve high performance.
1 Independent from United Nations but addressing a number of overlapping areas and similar membership to the UNGC 2 An early initiative designed to assist
developing economies in pursuing information communications and technology opportunities.
What are the Ten Principles? The principles behind the UN Global Compact are already integral to Accentureâ€™s existing core values. We are, however, harmonizing best practices globally. The UN Global Compact requires that requires organizations make a commitment to report on progress against the10 general principles within two years of submitting our signature of support and annually thereafter. We will publish a report on the process prior to submitting our official progress report to the UN Global Compact in December 2009.
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor; Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labor; and Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges; Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery. 5
“This is a natural next step for us. Supporting the organization’s 10 principles and its efforts to advance corporate citizenship and promote the social legitimacy of businesses and markets is well-aligned with our core values and our corporate vision. It is simply part of our character and how we act and operate each day.” William D. Green, Chairman & CEO, Accenture
Why UN Global Compact? Accenture’s decision to commit at a broad corporate level to the UN Global Compact demonstrates our resolve to adopt a consistently high standard across all our businesses, wherever they operate. We know that this global unity of purpose is important to our people and our business and is further evidence that we continue to make progress on our corporate citizenship journey. Increasingly, our clients look to Accenture to take a leading role in corporate citizenship issues. In 2007, 46 percent of Accenture Diamond clients are already members of the UN Global Compact and this figure can be expected to grow. Our commitment to corporate responsibility is also supported by initiatives such as Accenture Development Partnerships—an innovative business model that brings Accenture’s work to 8
developing countries—and the company’s work with the Global Health Initiative, among others. We have seen how corporate citizenship can instill pride and self respect in individuals and their communities. Our corporate citizenship initiatives are delivering results and creating even greater opportunities for each and every one of us to make a contribution to sustainable living and economic growth within the rapidly changing context of a multi-polar world. Alongside our work with not-for-profit and community organizations to increase their capacity and performance, Accenture has conducted research that seeks to understand links between corporate citizenship and high-performance businesses and is bringing its unique expertise to help businesses, governments and organizations improve outcomes in this area.
Our core values The global compact advocates ‘responsible business practices’ and provides a framework around the areas of ‘human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption’. 1 The aims of the global compact in trying to ‘build trust and social capital, contributing to broad-based development and sustainable markets’ tie in well with our core values of: Stewardship, Best People, Client Value Creation, One Global Network, Respect for the Individual and Integrity and our Code of Business Ethics.
Joining the United Nations Global Compact is a unique opportunity for Accenture to help bring all our existing and future corporate citizenship initiatives across the globe under a unifying theme. Other than providing a framework the Global Compact also provides Accenture with a network of other committed members that are aligned to the same set of sustainable goals and are working towards a better future. By working within this network Accenture can make a valuable contribution to the many geographies that we operate in.
Implications of the UN Global Compact on Accenture employees Membership of the Global Compact has a far reaching impact across all of the workforces and geographies that make up the global business of Accenture. By agreeing to support the principles of the Global Compact Accenture has agreed to continue to build a more sustainable business and work across the 10 principles to ensure that that the business is working to further the agenda of the compact. The implications of the UN Global Compact have a bearing on the behaviour and business practices of all employees around the globe. Accenture employees now have a duty to make themselves familiar with the principles of the compact which are brought to life in our everyday practices via numerous policies and procedures that have been rolled out across the globe and the over arching Code of Business Ethics.
About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the worldâ€™s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With more than 175,000 people in 49 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$19.70 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2007. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
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