Fast-Paced, High-Powered Events Cover the Sustainability Agenda on First Day of UN Global Compact Leaders Summit

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Fast-Paced, High-Powered Events Cover the Sustainability Agenda on First Day of UN Global Compact Leaders Summit

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Read some of the highlights from Day1 of the historic @GlobalCompact Leaders Summit #LS2013! #sustainability
Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 7:30pm

New York, NY, September 19, 2013 /3BL Media / – Answers to questions on world prospects emerged from a full day of discussions, workshops and programme launches that opened the triennial Leaders Summit of the UN Global Compact, in New York.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will deliver a keynote address to the Summit tomorrow, 20 September, unveiling an architecture for corporate engagement with global priorities and announcing the launch of several new issue platforms for business.

Events that took place today at the Grand Hyatt:

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson spoke to executives on Corporate Water Stewardship, addressing economic drivers of action on water quality, reiterating his call to meet worldwide goals on access to sanitation, and challenging business to take a leading role.

Corporate leaders planned means for empowering women to lead the way to a low-emission, high-resilient future, including presentations by representatives from Turkish, Indonesian and US companies. “Women business leaders are playing a critical role,” said keynote speaker Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on (UNFCCC). “They are using a variety of tactics – from creating corporate sustainability initiatives, to looking at climate change risks and opportunities when investing, to cutting emissions from daily operations – that have the potential to accelerate green growth while maintaining the bottom line.” The event was co-organized by the Women’s Empowerment Principles (a joint initiative of UN Global Compact and UN Women), The Rockefeller Foundation and the UNFCCC.

A partnership between the UN Global Compact’s Social Enterprise Action Hub and GATE Global Impact was announced at an event on Impact Investments in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Action Hub is an online platform that allows social enterprises, corporations, investors, Governments and NGOs to advance innovative business models with social impact. GATE’s “GATEWAY Platform” will provide greater connectivity to potential investors in order to increase exposure, resulting in accelerated and broader funding for the Hub. In particular, it is expected that the partnership will drive investment to projects that most need it.

A kick-off event was held for a new Business for Peace platform, to be formally launched in a keynote address by the UN Secretary-General to Leaders Summit participants on Friday. “Joining this issue platform will help companies in troubled zones to better identify and manage risks, engage in dialogue, to establish local priorities and conciliate among groups, and benefit from experiences in other parts of the globe,” said Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, former Chairman of Royal Dutch/Shell Group and Vice-Chairman of the Board of the UN Global Compact. Forty-five companies and 15 country-based Local Networks of Global Compact businesses have signed on as founding members, and representatives of 30 of them were present to sign in-person.

A consultation on Responsible Corporate Engagement on Climate Change Policy took on the issue of how companies can influence government policies in a responsible manner. A study is being prepared by Caring for Climate – a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Programme and the UN Framework on the Climate Change Convention – the World Resources Institute, the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Carbon Disclosure Project, Ceres and the Climate Group to help companies, to be issued at the upcoming climate talks in Warsaw, Poland. Later in the day, Bank of America Board Chairman Chad Holliday briefed executives on the Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, of which he is chairman.

Businesses often control or participate in third-party relationships involving suppliers, distributors, partners or service providers, often spanning several jurisdictions. Corruption is a risk all along the chain. Executives discussed Collective Action in the Fight Against Corruption in Supply Chains, with input from Dimitri Vlassis, Chief of the Corruption and Economic Crime Branch of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

In recent times, publicly held corporations have been pressured to respond more directly to market pressures, while the private sector increasingly has followed an impulse to take into account the public good. A pioneering event on State-Owned Enterprises as Vehicles for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability examined what the two sectors can learn from each other, and how Governments can guide their companies toward sustainable development. Presenters were Indian Joint Secretary of Public Enterprises Ashok Kumar, Norwegian State Secretary to the Trade & Industry Minister Jeanette Iren Moen, Swedish State Secretary to the Minister of Finance Erik Thedeen, Sinopec Secretary to the Board of Directors Huang Wensheng, and Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Corporation Bank for Development and Economic Affairs Alexander Ivanov.

Other special events on the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit opening day were:

  • Building a stronger future through play by the LEGO Foundation
  • Executive Roundtable: Partnerships for Transformation
  • Global Environmental Impact of Food Waste
  • Partnerships for Sustainability: Cities, States, Corporations
  • Child Labour Platform
  • Brazil and the Architecture
  • Brainstorm: Searching for the Golden Age of the Green Economy
  • The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights & the Post-2015 Development Agenda
  • Local Networks as Catalysts for Development in Post-2015 Era
  • Global Compact LEAD – Innovation through Action
  • Launch of Global Top 10 of Sustainable Innovation
  • The Time is Now: Business Engagement for Global Education
  • Corporate Reporting Beyond 2015: Measuring and Managing Companies’ Contributions to Sustainable Development
  • Exclusive High-Level Symposium on Corporate Sustainability in the Middle East and North Africa Region

About the UN Global Compact
Launched in 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is both a policy platform and a practical framework for companies that are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. As a multi-stakeholder leadership initiative, it seeks to align business operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With 8,000 corporate signatories in 145 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative.

About the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit
Chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013: Architects of a Better World (19-20 September) brings together chief executives with leaders from civil society, Government and the United Nations to unveil a new global architecture for corporate sustainability. As the Millennium Development Goals 2015 deadline approaches, the Summit will set the stage for business to shape and advance the post-2015 development agenda – putting forward an architecture for business to contribute to global priorities, such as climate change, water, food, equality, decent jobs, and education, at unprecedented levels.

Media Contact

Kristen Coco
Public Affairs and Media Relations
UN Global Compact

+1 917-367-8566 / +1 917-288-0787





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