UN Global Compact Lays Out Actions for Governments to Strengthen Corporate Contribution to Sustainable Development at Rio+20

(New York) – Today, the UN Global Compact Office submitted Corporate Sustainability Leadership: A Framework for Action at Rio+20 and Beyond as an input to the preparatory process of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20 outcome document. The submission calls for Governments to take steps to support corporate responsibility, arguing that with the right incentives, enabling environments and means of implementation, the private sector can make significant contributions to sustainable development.

In the document, the UN Global Compact Office highlights the role and potential of corporate sustainability – defined as a company’s delivery of long-term value in financial, social, environmental and ethical terms – in achieving development goals and recommends a variety of actions that Governments can take to bring scale and greater quality to this agenda.

Key recommendations to Government include: encouraging businesses everywhere to adopt universally accepted sustainability principles, as advanced by the UN Global Compact; encouraging greater accountability and transparency by business on sustainability; and committing to develop transformational partnerships between business, the public sector and civil society which address systemic issues. Further, the submission outlines supportive actions by Governments related to building effective policy frameworks, strengthening modalities for corporate sustainability implementation, and advancing sustainability issues through private sector practices, innovation and collaboration.

“Rio+20 must serve as a launching ground for widespread corporate action in support of sustainability,” said Georg Kell, UN Global Compact Office Executive Director. “Putting our world on a more sustainable course will require collaboration, ingenuity and courage by all actors. Business plays a crucial role in this endeavour, and increasingly is aware of the urgency of taking action.”

In conjunction with the Rio conference, the UN Global Compact will organize the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum: Innovation & Collaboration for the Future We Want from 28 May – 2 June 2012. The week-long forum will provide a venue for the private sector to meet with Governments, local authorities, civil society and UN entities on a range of sustainability themes including energy and climate, agriculture and food, water, biodiversity, social development, good governance and anti-corruption, cities, finance, and management education. The Forum will be held in cooperation with the Rio+20 Secretariat, the UN System and the Global Compact Local Network Brazil.

The UN Global Compact is a partner of Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD) 2012. The Office’s Rio+20 submission complements and supports the BASD 2012 submission.


Lila Karbassi
Environment Leader
General Manager
UN Global Compact