Webinar: An Introduction to the SDGs for business
10 December 2015
Hosted by BITC, WBCSD and the UN Global Compact UK

This webinar provided an introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals. It explained what the SDGs are and how they came into being. It discussed why business should care about the Global Goals and how to align business activity to the goals.

Workshop: Embedding the Global Goals into Business: Practical Insights and Tools for Success
1 December 2015
Hosted by Anglo American plc

The UN Global Compact Network UK organised an afternoon workshop in collaboration with Business Fights Poverty, BITC, the Fairtrade Foundation, and The Partnering Initiative to help companies embed the Global Goals into their core business and social investment activities. The emphasis of the workshop was enabling action by sharing insights, approaches and practical tools from leading businesses as well as civil society organisations and initiatives. There were over 80 participants and workshop was divided into three main sessions:

  1.  Making the business case for supporting the Global Goals;
  2. Embedding the Global Goals in to the business and value chain: Tools and approaches to maximise opportunities and minimise risks;
  3. Building effective partnerships to enhance and scale impact.

Webinar: The impacts of climate change on humanity & supply chains, and what companies can do about it
24 November 2015

Human rights and climate change are often cited by CEOs as top sustainability priorities, but their interconnection is often ignored or misunderstood. This webinar raised awareness and enhanced understanding of the relationship between climate change and human rights, suggested actions, and identified best practices that address the adverse effects of climate change on human rights in global supply chains.

A recording of the webinar is now available on the Sedex website and can be found here.

Event: Early application of forced labour standards and regulations
16 November 2015
Hosted by the Global Business Initiative (GBI), the US Government, the UK Permanent Mission to the UN and the UN Global Compact UK

The UN Global Compact Network UK co-hosted a side event at the 4th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva with the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI), the US Government and the UK Permanent Mission to the UN at the forth UN Forum on Business and Human Rights held in Geneva. Over 200 participants joined our session to discuss the implications of Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) and parts 22 and 52 of the US Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); two pieces of legislation that have direct applicability to companies operating and trading internationally with global supply chains.

Speakers from the US Department for Labor, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, GE, Verité, Clifford Chance and the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition discussed the legal and practical implications for companies arising from both regulations.

Workshop: ‘Communicating Progress: The Essentials’
4 November 2015
Hosted by UN Global Compact UK

The UN Global Compact Network UK repeated its half-day training workshop on how to draft a Communication on Progress (COP) that effectively communicates with company stakeholders and complies with the UN Global Compact’s reporting requirements.

This workshop was aimed at those struggling to produce their COP and always get very positive reviews from participants. Presenters discussed COP requirements, materiality, links to GRI, data collection/metrics and effective presentation.

Event: Implementing the Modern Slavery Act 2015
13 October 2015

Hosted by Freshfields; in partnership with KPMG and Anti-Slavery International

This event focussed on the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which received Royal Assent in March 2015 thus becoming law.  Speakers included, Paul Bowden, Global Corporate Responsibility Partner and Paul Yates, Head of London Pro Bono from Freshfields, Nicola Cobb, Director of Risk Consulting at KPMG, and Klara Skrivankova, Slavery and Trafficking Expert from the Anti-Slavery International.  Speaking from their respective perspectives, each highlighted how UK businesses could effectively address the requirements of the new regulation. Over 80 participants attended the event.

The UK Network drafted a two-page briefing note which draws out the key points expressed during the event, with special reference to Section 54 which addresses transparency in supply chains [MSA Policy Brief].

Event: Harnessing supply chain data for innovation and sustainable change
15 September 2015
Hosted by RELX Group

This event considered how data has become a key component of most organisations’ operations. Typical product data management challenges can be complex, diverse and pervasive, creating a variety of supply chain headaches, including missed orders, long lead times, inefficient logistics and excessive inventory, which ultimately contribute to reduced profitability.  However, the right data can illuminate patterns of behaviour that would otherwise go unnoticed. It can give us ways to understand the impact our decisions make in the present and the past. Most importantly it allows us to predict and make decisions about the future.  Over 30 participants, mainly members of the UN Global Compact UK and Sedex convened to discuss this topical subject.  Round-table discussions were led by Dr Dominic Selwood. Partner, Arabesque Asset Management, Zoe Le Grand, Principal Sustainability Advisor, Forum for the Future, Steven Lowe, Programme Manager, Agricultural Landscapes, Fauna & Flora International, Jo Webb, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Sedex and Steve Kenzie, Director of the UN Global Compact Network UK.

This event was part of the joint series between  the UN Global Compact UK and Sedex to facilitate our the shared aims of driving improvements and convergence in responsible business practices.

Event: Unlocking value through sustainable supply chains
23 September 2015
Hosted by Accenture

Accenture Procurement hosted an event to explore the benefits that can be achieved through effective management of environmental impacts in corporate supply chains.

The programme featured a keynote speech from a Senior Accenture Leader followed by presentations on:

  1. Measuring and managing climate impacts in supply chains
  2. Why and how to set an internal price on carbon in your company
  3. New business models that capture the benefits of the “circular economy”

Workshop: Operationalising the UN Guiding Principles
2-3 July 2015
Hosted by De Beers

Facilitated by consultants, twentyfifty, ‘Operationalising the UN Guiding Principles’ was a two-day business and human rights workshop, aimed at those who are tasked with leading their company’s corporate responsibility programmes.  This training demystified human rights, gave a business orientation to the UN Guiding Principles, and provided simple, practical advice on its implementation. The workshop was:

  • tailored to the participants’ specific needs through pre-training assessment interviews
  • based on an action-learning model, supporting participants to apply the training to their practice
  • highly interactive, with small group work and discussions where participants contribute their own experiences using real world examples
  • useful, through helping participants navigate the many resources available and to identify practical steps to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Approximately 10 participants attended the training. For more information, please read the Workshop flyer.

Conference: Global Compact +15: Business as a force for good 
23/25 June 2015
New York City

Marking the UN Global Compact’s 15th anniversary, this three-day conference brought business and civil society to the United Nations to show how the private sector is taking action and partnering to advance societal priorities with an emphasis on the United Nations global agenda for sustainable development to be released later this year.

There were numerous opportunities for signatory organisations to participate over the three days through focused meetings on human rights and labour, children’s rights, climate, peace, anti-corruption, supply chain, and UN-business partnerships was convened by UN Global Compact platforms and working groups. On the final day of the conference there was a special high-level luncheon session for CEOs.

Farewell Address from Georg Kell, UN Global Compact Executive Director
9 June

Hosted by KPMG

Georg Kell has been the Executive Director of the UN Global Compact since it was formed in 2000. Over the last 15 years, he has led the debate on corporate citizenship and responsibility, working with some of the world’s largest companies. This lecture provided the audience with an opportunity to hear about his experiences promoting business ethics, environmental sustainability and human rights, as well as his views on future trends.

For a summary of Georg’s lecture, please click here.

Communicating Progress: The Essentials
2 June 2015

Hosted by the Secretariat

The Global Compact Network UK offered a half-day training workshop on how to draft a Communication on Progress (COP) that effectively communicates with your company’s stakeholders and complies with the UN Global Compact’s reporting requirements. This workshop was aimed at anyone struggling to produce their COP or for companies who have never submitted one.  Presenters discussed COP requirements, materiality, links to GRI, data collection/metrics and effective presentation. There was a participation fee for this workshop, with a substantial discount for Network members.

Meeting: Empowering women across the business
14 May 2015

Hosted by Unilever

The UN Global Compact Network UK and the UK National Committee of UN Women convened a meeting ‘Empowering Women Across the Business’ on 14th May 2015. The meeting brought together representatives from companies working to support women’s advancement and gender equality in their operations as well as government and civil society representatives tasked with advancing women’s and children’s rights.

The meeting was divided into three sessions. In the first, Marcela Manubens, Global Vice President for Social Impact at Unilever highlighted how her company advances women’s empowerment across its business. In the second session, Steve Kenzie, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network UK (UNGC-UK) presented preliminary findings from a UNGC-UK research project on the Women’s Empowerment Principles. The final session consisted of three parallel round-table discussions where attendees shared their views on a range of issues related to women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Conference: Living Wages: desirable,feasible, inevitable
29 April 2015

Hosted by KPMG

This conference on the Living Wage explored where UK-based companies are on the living wage journey and heard from pioneers who have taken practical steps towards achieving this goal. The conference included a mix of keynote speeches, panel discussions and group work. Speakers included Archbishop John Sentamu, Chairman Living Wage Commission, Mike Kelly, Chairman Living Wage Foundation & Head of Living Wage, KPMG, as well representatives from business, organised labour, academia and civil society who have been leading on this challenging issue.

Further information on this event is available here.

Webinar: Improving worker well-being in the workplace
22 April 2015

This webinar was part of our successful ongoing events partnership with Sedex in which we explored challenges of implementing the UN Global Compact principles in supply chains. Presentations were provided by Cindy Berman, Head of Knowledge & Learning at the Ethical Trading Initiative, Helen McTaggart, Ethical Trade Manager at M&S Foods and Jo Webb, Head of Stakeholder Relations at Sedex.

Stakeholder consultation: Responsible Business Best Practice Toolkit for Land, Construction & Real Estate
19 March 2015

Hosted by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

This stakeholder consultation workshop on the UN Global Compact and RICS’ Responsible Business Best Practice Toolkit for Land, Construction & Real Estate was the last in a series of global consultations on the proposed Best Practice Toolkit. The workshop collected key inputs to the development of the Best Practice Toolkit and captured existing best practices from attendees. This was a small consultation open to Network members and signatories of the UN Global Compact from the Land, Construction and Real Estate sectors only.

Event: The UN Guiding Principles: Realising the third pillar*
11 March 2015

Hosted by Clifford Chance

This event brought together a range of leading speakers in the business and human rights field to explore the third pillar of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  The following presenters spoke on the challenges, obstacles and opportunities associated with  realising the third pillar, which focuses on access to remedy:

– Serge Bronkhorst, Managing Director, ACCESS Facility
– Peter Frankental, Economic Relations Programme Director, Amnesty International UK
– Jan Klawitter, Group Government Relations Manager, Anglo American
– Elodie Aba, Legal Researcher, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
– John Morrison, Executive Director, Institute for Human Rights and Business
– Frances Goodwin, Head of Ethical Trading (Group Procurement), Tesco
– Janet Williamson, Senior Policy Officer, Trades Union Congress

Francis Evans, Senior Policy Officer at BIS, Danish Chopra, Senior Policy Advisor for the UK National Contact Point and Stephen Lowe, Head, Business and Human Rights and Freedom of Expression team at the FCO provided an update on the UK Government’s implementation of the Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, which will be revised later on this year.

John Morrison’s keynote speech is available here.

*This event was run in partnership with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Webinar: Operationalising the UN Guiding Principles*
24 February 2015

This webinar provided an introduction to the topic of business & human rights and the UN Guiding Principles through an extensive Q&A session with Andy York, Ethical Trading Manager at N Brown Group and Jan Klawitter, Group Government Relations Manager at Anglo American.  Through highlighting the processes they have adopted, Andy and Jan presented on how their respective companies have operationalised the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights that were published in 2011.

*This event was run in partnership with Business in the Community.