The United Nations Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative that encourages businesses to support ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, the environment, and anti-corruption. It is the world’s largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative with more than 7,500 business and non-business participants in over 130 countries. This book reviews the first ten years of the Compact’s existence (2000–2010) by presenting exclusively commissioned chapters from well-known scholars, practitioners from the business world and civil society, and Global Compact staff. They reflect on what the Global Compact has achieved, what trends it may have to respond to, and what challenges are ahead. The book contains not only up-to-date reflections but also debates recent changes to the structure of the Compact, including the Communication on Progress policy, the role of Global Compact Local Networks, and the role of emerging specialized initiatives.
“This timely book reviews the UN Global Compact’s strengths and shortcomings over its first decade and provides helpful guidance for all committed to mainstreaming responsible business practices and achieving real change through multistakeholder initiatives.”
– Mary Robinson, President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, Former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
“By orders of magnitude, the Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative —and one of the United Nations’ true success stories. As such, it deserves a comprehensive analysis. With this book, it has got it. Encyclopedic in scope, the volume touches on all facets of the Global Compact’s ideas, ideals, innovative organizational modalities and impact. It will be an indispensable reference work, and an inspiration to global norm entrepreneurs in every field, for many years to come. It is a ‘must-read’ for anyone interested in sustainable globalization, which includes most if not all of us.”
– Professor John G. Ruggie, Harvard University and Special Representative of UN Secretary-General on Business and Human Rights