The Environment

  • 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

The environmental principles of the Global Compact provide an entry point for business to address the key environmental challenges. In particular, the principles direct activity to areas such as research, innovation, co-operation, education, and self-regulation that can positively address the significant environmental degradation, and damage to the planet’s life support systems, brought by human activity.

The three environmental principles are drawn from a Declaration of Principles and an International Action Plan (Agenda 21) that emerged from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit) held in Rio de Janerio in 1992. Chapter 30 of Agenda 21 identified that the policies and operations of business and industry can play a major role in reducing impacts on resource use and the environment. In particular, business can contribute through the promotion of cleaner production and responsible entrepreneurship.

Caring for Climate

“Caring for Climate” is a voluntary and complementary action platform for UN Global Compact participants who seek to demonstrate leadership on the issue of climate change. It provides a framework for business leaders to advance practical solutions and help shape public policy as well as public attitudes.

Chief executive officers who support the statement are prepared to set goals, develop and expand strategies and practices, and to publicly disclose emissions as part of their existing disclosure commitment within the UN Global Compact framework, via the Communication on Progress.

For more information, see Caring for Climate Brochure, or visit the Global Compact website here, where you can find key documents, guidance materials and information on engagement opportunities. You can also view the Caring for Climate Work Plan 2010-2012.

The CEO Water Mandate

Launched in July 2007, the CEO Water Mandate is a unique public-private initiative designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices.

The CEO Water Mandate recognises that the business sector, through the production of goods and services, impacts water resources. Endorsing CEOs acknowledge that in order to operate in a more sustainable manner, and contribute to the vision of the UN Global Compact and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, they have a responsibility to make water-resources management a priority, and to work with governments,

The CEO Water Mandate covers six elements: Direct Operations; Supply Chain and Watershed Management; Collective Action; Public Policy; Community Engagement; and Transparency.

For more information, see The CEO Water Mandate

For further information and guidance on environmental issues, please visit the following:

The Environmental Sewardship Strategy

In order to assist companies in preparing for this increasingly challenging landscape, and to give further expression to the UN Global Compact’s three core environmental principles, the UN Global Compact Office brought together a group of committed participants and — in partnership with Duke University — developed during the 2009–2010 period a next-generation Environmental Stewardship Strategy and related Resource (taking the form of both a website and CD-ROM).

This Environmental Stewardship Strategy is designed to help companies — at the highest levels of the organization — develop a truly holistic and comprehensive strategy. And, importantly, it recognizes the growing linkages among various environmental issues as well as their connections to social and development priorities. As well, this Environmental Stewardship Strategy incorporates and leverages the UN Global Compact’s Caring for Climate and CEO Water Mandate initiatives.

For more information, please click here, or alternatively contact Lila Karbassi at karbassi@un.org.