UN Global Compact Launches the 101st Local Network in Canada
UN Global Compact Launches the 101st Local Network in Canada
Toronto, June 13, 2013 /3BL Media/– The UN Global Compact officially launched the Global Compact Local Network today in Canada. Attended by over 100 executives of Global Compact participating companies, and representatives from the Government of Canada, the United Nations in Canada and civil society organizations, the launch of the network reflects increased recognition of the importance of environmental and social responsibility by businesses operating domestically in Canada and throughout the world.
“A strong private sector is the cornerstone for developing economies to move themselves from poverty to prosperity. We want to see local, Canadian, and multinational companies of all sizes contribute their expertise and investments to achieving sustainable economic growth,” said Lois Brown, MP, Newmarket-Aurora, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation. “Private-sector led development is a win-win situation. Canada is eager to share ideas, facilitate partnerships and help drive innovation in order to help those most in need around the world.”
The effort was spearheaded by seven Global Compact participants – Barrick Gold Corp.; GlobeScan Inc.; Scotiabank; Suncor Energy Inc.; Teck Resources Limited; TELUS Corp.; and Unilever Canada – which joined forces to establish the network and enhance learning, dialogue and collective action among a broader range of Canadian companies. This group of likeminded companies follows the lead of 100 countries around the world that have established Local Networks to jumpstart corporate sustainability action and awareness at the local level.
The event featured the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by current Global Compact participants in Canada, represented by Helle Bank Jorgensen, Special Advisor to the Global Compact Office and the nominated representative of the Global Compact Network Canada. The memorandum provides for the formal establishment of the Local Network of the Global Compact in Canada. Seven additional companies also signed on to the Global Compact during the event.
“With the rise in global trade, the increased significance and complexity of global value chains, and growing calls for responsible business from investors, civil society and other stakeholders, Canadian companies see the need to collaborate, learn from each other and take action to advance corporate citizenship,” said Ms. Bank Jorgensen. Canadian participation in the Global Compact has nearly doubled since 2007, with close to 80 companies and other stakeholders now engaged in the initiative.
The event provided the platform to explore how the Canadian Local Network can advance the universal principles of the Global Compact in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and support broader UN goals through responsible leadership and implementation of sustainability practices. Representatives from the major global reporting frameworks including Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainalytics, International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) also participated, given the demand for increased communication on results of corporate sustainability.
Local Networks serve an essential role in rooting the UN Global Compact within different national contexts– and their distinct economic, cultural and linguistic needs. Participation in Local Networks provides companies the opportunity to engage with a variety of stakeholders, including other businesses and representatives from civil society, government, academia, business associations and investors.
The occasion will be marked by the Local Network opening the market at Toronto Stock Exchange tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.
For more information on the Global Compact Local Network Canada please visit http://www.unglobalcompact.org/NetworksAroundTheWorld/local_network_sheet/CA.html.
ADDITIONAL AVAILABLE QUOTES:
Doug Miller, Chairman, GlobeScan Incorporated:
"As a Canadian SME (small/medium-sized enterprise), our six-year membership in the UN Global Compact has helped differentiate us in the marketplace, meet like-minded clients and partners, and formalize our CSR reporting. It has helped us think bigger and get better."
Kaz Flinn, VP of Corporate Social Responsibility, Scotiabank:
"Scotiabank was proud to be the first Canadian bank to join the UN Global Compact in 2010. Banks, and the rest of the private sector, have a responsibility to support economic and social progress for a bright future for everyone. The network will enable us to benefit from the experiences of other networks globally, as well as share our successes, so we can work together toward building a more sustainable Canada.”
Patrick Payne, Chief Executive Officer, Quickmobile:
"We recognize that our success is a result of a variety of factors, including the support from our surrounding communities that have helped to create an environment where we can prosper. We owe it to all those who have helped QuickMobile along the way, and continue to support us, to lead by example and conduct our business the right way. QuickMobile's association with the UN Global Compact makes us a better company, allowing us to work with other likeminded organizations to build a stronger, more sustainable global community."
Kevin Coon, Managing Partner, Baker Mackenzie:
"The ten principles of the UN Global Compact embody the key issues facing global employers, such as those in the extractive sectors and operating in low governance zones around the world. The launch of the Canadian Network is an important step that will bring together those in the business community to share best practices on how to operationalize the principles and advance the agenda.”
About the United Nations 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 more than 7,000 corporate signatories in over 135 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. www.unglobalcompact.org
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