Below you will find a brief summary of UNGC Network UK events in 2012, and past event reports. For further information about any of these events, please contact the Secretariat here.

Outreach Meeting: The Evolving Role of Business in Development

7 December 2012
London, UK
In a world where indebted governments are struggling to cope with complex environmental, social and political challenges, the private sector is increasingly seen as instrumental to achieving sustainable development. Pioneering companies are stepping up, as evidenced by the increased number, scope and depth of private-public-NGO partnerships and the unprecedented interest from the private sector in the post-2015 development agenda.

The discussion addressed the issues surrounding this blurring of public and private responsibilities and the implications for both business and development outcomes.

Panellists were: Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman, Global Compact Foundation; Michael Anderson, UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on the UN Development Goals; Imoni Akpofure, Director – Western Europe, International Finance Corporation; Hugh Elliott, Head of Government Relations, AngloAmerican; Spencer Henson, Professorial Fellow, Institute for Development Studies; Marie Staunton, CEO, Plan UK.

For further information, download the 2012 Outreach Meeting Report.

Fourth Quarterly Meeting: Capacity building and Tools for Sustainable Supply Chains

30 October 2012
Hosted by Sedex, London
The UK Network of the UN Global Compact held its Fourth Quarterly Meeting, entitled “Capacity building and tools for sustainable supply chains”.
This meeting sought to address the challenges involved in managing sustainability in the supply chain by looking specifically at some frameworks, processes and tools that companies are currently using effectively.
Points raised in the discussion included:

  • Tackling sustainability in supply chains as an organizational and a systemic issue
  • The need for smarter growth
  • The business case for sustainable supply chains
  • Transparency
  • Consumer expectations

For more information, download the Fourth Quarterly Meeting Report.

Child Rights and Business Principles: What do they mean in practice?

2 July 2012, 3pm-6pm
Organised by UNICEF UK and the UK Network, Freshfields Braukhaus Deringer hosted this event to explore the implications of the Child Rights and Business Principles on UK businesses.

UN Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum at Rio+20

15-18 June 2012
Rio de Janiero, Brazil
The United Nations Global Compact organised the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum: Innovation & Collaboration for the Future We Want from 15-18 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro – held in cooperation with the Rio+20 Secretariat, the UN System and the Global Compact Local Network Brazil. For more information on the events and discussions, visit the UN Global Compact website here.

Essential Skills for Effective Partnering

28-30 May 2012
A 3 day training course which builds the skills and knowledge needed for effective multi-stakeholder collaboration.Partnership is often the most effective way to solve complex social and global problems, and collaboration is now an established method and basis for sustainable change. Increasing amounts of business, government and civil society initiatives are being launched with partnership and collaboration at the centre. However, effective collaboration is not just a principle but a process, one that can be complex and challenging. Success requires a particular skill set and knowledge of partnering processes. With these critical elements in place, partnerships can achieve real impact. Without them, partnerships are likely to under-perform or fail altogether. To address the vital challenge of partnering capacity, The Partnering Initiative (TPI) has pioneered a range of training courses, delivered around the world, and developed a series of guidebooks to support practitioners. This 3-day training programme is designed to develop skills, understanding and knowledge for effective cross-sector partnering, based on the key stages of the Partnering Cycle (above). The course can optionally leading to a Certificate in Partnering Practice. The course balances core knowledge with highly interactive, experiential learning through role play, ‘serious games’ and peer-to-peer exchange. TPI has previously trained more than 2000 practitioners from global companies, UN agencies, NGOs and governments across the world.

Webinar: Making the Most of Rio+20

30 May 2012
Online As with most global conferences, the pre-event chatter often raises expectations, as well as cone webfusion. In anticipation of this, the UK Network discussed how companies can maximise the benefits of attending and the follow-up actions they can take to capitalise on the momentum regardless of decisions made during intergovernmental negotiations. There was an overview of the various events and the UK Network’s planned engagement at Rio. The webinar facilities were kindly provided by IBLF.

Second Quarterly Meeting on Gender and the Environment

23 May 2012
Hosted by Shell, London
The UK Network in collaboration with ERM, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS), UN Women UK Committee and IBLF’s Ultimate Winn2 organised this event to explore the gender dimension of environmental issues. The event was our 2nd Quarterly Meeting on Gender and the Environment, kindly hosted by Shell at Shell Centre, SE1 7NA in London.Girls and young women are often the most impacted by environmental challenges. Yet, little attention has been placed on this. Increasingly, girls and young women are leading change from community based action to being vocal on the world stage. The gender dimension of developing and implementing social investment and community development programs is gaining increasing attention from business, as they seek to realise greater impacts from their CSR and philanthropic budgets.The aim of the event was to:

  • Increase awareness of this issue and the business benefits of engaging for positive change
  • Draw linkages between the gender-environment nexus, the Women’s Empowerment Principles – Equality means Business (UN Women and United Nations Global Compact UNGC), and MDG3: Promote gender equality and empower women.
  • Provide an opportunity to influence the agenda for Rio+20
  • Provide an platform for knowledge sharing and discussion
  • Help forge links with like-minded organisations to set a foundation for future collaborative action

A notable panel of speakers presented their views, including Sally Martin, VP Shell Global Solutions (UK) and Shell Women’s Network President; Ros Kelly, former Australian Cabinet Minister for Environment, Sports, Art, Tourism, and Territories; LInden Edgell, ERM, Wendi Momen, UN Women UK, Amanda Bowman, IBLF and Maggie Simmons & Leah Parsons, Youth Voice, WAGGS. The meeting followed with an audience discussion and concluded with a UK Network update on Rio+20 preparations.
Read the meeting report:

Child Labour Platform / Labour Working Group Meeting

17 April 2012
Geneva, Switzerland
This meeting of the UN Global Compact Labour Working Group introduced participants to approaches in tackling child labour and highlight opportunities for further collaboration. It also provided an opportunity to discuss the Child Labour Platform as a new workstream of the working group. For more information, please visit the ILO website here, or alternatively contact Benjamin Smith, ILO-IPEC at

UK Network Working Group on Women’s Empowerment Conference Call #1

10 April 2012
Prompted by a recent General Assembly resolution requesting Global Compact Local Networks to promote the Women’s Empowerment Principles and strong member interest, the UK Network is launching a working group to define and implement a programme of activity around these issues. On this call, discussion ensued on: Briefly introducing the operating structure for UK Network working groups; Electing a chairperson; Updating participants on UNGC activity surrounding the Women’s Empowerment Principles; Updating participants on currently scheduled UK Network activity; Discussing working group objectives and potential activities. Useful background materials can be found here:

Cracking the Ceiling
WEPs Reporting Guidance

UK Network Working Group on Rio+20 Conference Call #1

4 April 2012
This working group is being formed to define and implement the UK Network’s engagement in the Rio +20 Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum. In addition to the UK Network event on best practice in sustainability reporting, there are several opportunities for active UK Network involvement. On this call, discussion centred on: Briefly introducing the operating structure for UK Network working groups; Electing a chairperson; Updating participants on opportunities for UK Network engagement in events and publications; Discussing our event’s format, participants, and objectives.

UN System Private Sector Focal Points Meeting

28-29 March 2012
Vienna, Austria
This meeting brought together UN staff from HQ and from the field, working with the private sector in various capacities. It also included a number of senior private sector, civil society and bilateral aid agency representatives and other partnership experts. For more information contact Melissa Powell at or read about UN-Business Partnerships.

Informal information and networking luncheon on the topic of Private Sector Participation at Rio+20

March 12, 2012
Hosted by IBLF
The London UK Network convened an informal informaiton and networking luncheon on the topic of Private Sector Participation at Rio+20.the luncheon gave UK Network members and IBLF corporate partners the opportunity to meet with senior representatives of the UK government, the Global Compact, and IBLF. Participants discussed how companies can add value to the inter-negotiations at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (20-22 June 2012 in Brazil).
The conference itself consisted of four speaker, cross-sector panel, including Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact (intergovernmental institution), Andrew Lawrence, Director of Green Economy and Strategy, Defra (UK government), Darian Stibbe, Director, IBLF (civil society) and Andrew Cave, Head of Group Sustainability, RBS (the private sector). Each speaker advanced their organisation’s views and perspectives on Rio+20 and engaged in a collaborative question and answer session in the end.

4th Annual Event on the Women’s Empowerment Principles

6 March 2012
New York
After the launch of the Women’s Empowerment Principles, representatives from the private sector, Government, civil society and the UN met in NYC to take stock of how the Principles have been operationalised to advance company efforts to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community and identify areas for improvement. With a view to RIO+20 (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) in 2012, this year’s event also explored the role of women’s empowerment in corporate sustainability as the business contribution to sustainable development.
For more information, please contact Lauren Gula. Please, also, refer back to the UN Global Compact’s Women’s Empowerment Principles.

First Quarterly Meeting: Business and Human Rights Meeting the Responsibility to Respect

5 March 2012
Hosted by Maplecroft, London
The backdrop for this event was the Human Rights and Business Dilemmas Forum, which has been produced jointly by the United Nations Global Compact and Maplecroft, and is funded by the GE Foundation.The Human Rights and Business Dilemmas Forum aims to enhance our collective understanding of human rights themes and to stimulate discussion about the dilemmas responsible multi-national companies may face in their efforts to respect and support human rights when operating in emerging economies. It does so using innovative online feedback mechanisms to allow users to propose, explore and discuss a wide range of dilemmas and potential good practice. The Forum also provides a series of case studies demonstrating realworld dilemmas faced by companies and other organisations around the world – as well as real-world efforts to manage or resolve these dilemmas in a responsible way.The meeting commenced with an introduction, by way of sharing the results of the 2012 Human Rights Risk Atlas (HRRA), an annual research project of Maplecroft’s, which assesses the extent and nature of human rights violations in 197 countries of the world in the period of 2010-2011. It then followed with a panel discussion on the Human Rights and Business Dilemmas Forum with discussions of various dilemmas businesses face in managing human rights issues in some challenging situations. Prominent speakers included Alyson Warhurts, Maplecroft, Rae Lindsay, Clifford Chance, Nicky Black from De Beers Group, Christopher Syder, liaison for ILO and IOE and Andrew Cave, RBS.

UNGC UK Network Webinar: Communicating the Global Compact

27 February 2012
Hosted by Reed Elsevier, Online
Many UNGC sigantories fail to maximise the benefits of Global Compact membership by communicating the initiative incorrectly or insufficiently. After a successful Webinar on the topic last October, the UN Global Compact UK Network organised another Webinar on how and why to communicate about the Global Compact both internally and externally. The prominent speakers Matthias Strausberg, Head of Public Affairs and Media Relations, Global Compact Office, and Marcia Balisciano, Director of Corporate Responsibility, Reed Elsevier gave valuable information to participants, seeking to enhance their commitment to and advocacy of the Global Compact.

Sustainable Communities and Renewable Energy Initiative for Liverpool & Merseyside

23 February 2012
Guildhall, London
Terre Initiative Limited hosted an event on ‘Sustainable Communities and Renewable Energy Initiative for Liverpool & Merseyside’, a topic particularly relevant in the eve of the upcoming Rio+20 Conference this year. The Terre Initiative through the International Real Estate Advisory Network, and its partners promoted a number of projects in the UK and internationally. These was focused on two UN initiatives to assists corporations in their CSR and carbon offsetting by linking them with local cooperative housing and energy projects. The main focus being ecological sustainability and the involvement of local people and communities.