And so, here we are- the end of our journey through the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact. To close our series out, we will look at how environmental and corruption factors contribute to corporate sustainability:
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.
and lastly, Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
Environmental concerns take precedence in section three of the ten principles. Issues of global warming and water deficiency are raising questions about earth’s ability to sustain human life. With developing research on how to overcome these issues, principles 7 through 9 stress the responsibilities businesses must take to preserve and improve the natural world.
Principle 7 implores businesses to support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges. When operating a business and/or manufacturing products, it is essential to understand any environmental impacts it will generate. China Minmetals has developed a comprehensive environmental stewardship strategy to be proactive about the company’s impact on nature.
Principle 8 promotes undertaking initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility. The United States apparel company, Levi Strauss, instated water efficiency guidelines creating a maximum level for water contamination and has also extended guidelines to their 1st and 2nd tier suppliers, making their product as a whole environmentally friendly.
Principle 9 encourages the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies. Nokia, a technology company based in Finland, has improved environmental features on a number of their products, plans on conducting preliminary market tests on phones not requiring chargers, and has reduced energy consumption in their facilities. To keep our environment alive is to keep life alive, that in itself is a crucial social responsibility making it an even more of a prioritized corporate social responsibility.
The last section, containing principle 10, addresses anti-corruption. Principle 10 states that businesses should work against corruption in all the forms, including extortion and bribery. To remain in accordance with this principle, companies must remain transparent and accountable in their proceedings. A key component lies in reporting to the public, if this cannot be done truthfully, reevaluation must be done. Participating in corruption is a guaranteed risk of devaluing the brand. To avoid such violations, Microsoft created a Regulatory and Public Policy Committee Charter as a governing body to ensure all principles are upheld, maintaining transparency and strong anti-bribery/anti-corruption within the policies and systems.
Corporate social responsibility is a global challenge that is increasing in awareness. Today’s society cares more about the impact of the company than its market product. The license to sell is more about the perception and deliverance of expectations. If minimum expectations are not met, the perception of the company is devalued. Whereas if expectations are overachieved, perception is positively enforced. To act in accordance with the ten principles and abiding by human rights practices can benefit a company with a positive reputation and corporate social responsibility. A positive reputation can include increased staff morale, a rise in motivation and productivity, access to new markets, and better community relations. Investing in corporate social responsibility means creating awareness, providing useful initiatives, and strengthening unity with the company (internally, statistically, and publicly).
Thank you for following along and hope you’ve learned something new and useful!