- The basics of post-globalization
- Today’s world is becoming more fragmented
- Globalization in figures
Sustainability in Troubled Times – Global Compact International Yearbook 2017
We live in times of uncertainty and global (dis)order. „Understanding global mega-trends is crucial. We live in times of multiple, evolving and mutually-reinforcing shifts“, says UN Secretary-General António Guterres. He adds: „These dynamics, of geopolitical, demographic, climatic, technological, social and economic nature, enhance threats and opportunities on an unprecedented scale.“ Therefore sustainability in troubled times is the key topic of the Global Compact International Yearbook 2017, edited by macondo publishing.
In the opening essay, Elmer Lenzen, publisher of the Global Compact International Yearbook, takes a critical look at the relationship between democracy and globalization. For decades this combination was a formula for success. Now both are experiencing troubled times. UN Global Compact founding director Georg Kell and Princeton professor Larry Diamond, who are well-known figures in this field, explain some of the reasons why in a profound interview. One reason is that today’s world is becoming more fragmented. So how can sustainability work in these times?
It can work if we focus on the needs of the present without compromising the abilities of the future, says Global Compact Action Platform fellow Richard Roberts, and by utilizing the advantages of tomorrow. But doing the right thing in critical times is also a question of attitude. The entrepreneur Richard Branson and the actor Colin Firth both show in their own ways that sustainability means authenticity.
Other issues are
Post-Paris Climate Accord: What´s next?
The Paris Climate Accord was one of the biggest diplomatic breakthroughs of the United Nations in the last years. It stands for the vision of multilateralism and the ability of the global community to set ambitious goals for itself. Therefore, the direction that the new US administration has taken is irritating, mainly because there is no way back – the global momentum must be continued, as CDP head Paul Simpson explains in his introductory review. Many new trends in financing climate change underpin this. The old fossil-fuels industry is losing ground because renewables have become competitive. Companies can substantially benefit from this, as the new Science Based Targets initiative of the Global Compact and others shows.
The Plastic Pledge
Worldwide plastic pollution is overwhelming our planet. Up to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year – threatening precious ecosystems and endangering human health. But it does not have to be this way. A growing number of companies are pledging to reduce their plastic consumption.
The Sustainable Development Goals in Japan
A critical aspect of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to leave no one behind. Cooperation between governments and the private sector that goes beyond geographical borders is imperative for achieving this goal. The global mission to propel the world a step closer to achieving the SDGs is one that intermittently intertwines business and individuals from various walks of life. However, it seems Japan and her people are too shy to transmit such efforts to the world. As a leader in technological innovation – a critical driving force in achieving the SDGs – Japan has great potential to also be a leader in bringing the world together to move forward with this collective goal. Introducing pieces by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs of Columbia University, and a joint report by IGES and GCNJ, this yearbook is the first attempt to offer an overview of the key players within Japan and the cross-country collaboration necessary for the country to grow into this role.
Corresponding to the idea of mutual learning, the Global Compact International Yearbook includes 37 good practices of corporate participants that showcase different approaches to the implementation of the Ten Principles of the Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The idea of sustainability is based on the certitude that we have planetary boundaries. The WWF vividly illustrates this with “Earth Overshoot Day.” It describes the day of the year on which human demands on natural resources exceed the capacity of the earth to reproduce these resources.
„We need new ways of living that will end the suffering, discrimination and lack of opportunity that define the lives of billions of people around the world, and that drive instability and conflict,“ says Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary General in his note in the new „Global Compact International Yearbook“, edition 2016.
What does this mean for corporate sustainability? Business must fit into planetary boundaries. This probably will not work with traditional business models. That is why we need new, fresh ideas. We need change, even when it happens in a rough, disruptive way, and the earlier the better. When you talk about the Sustainable Development Goals, you have to talk about sustainable innovation. The SDGs are the agenda, innovation is the pathway.
The focus theme of the Global Compact International Yearbook 2016 therefore is sustainable innovation, dividing the topic into the chapters disruption, decarbonization, talents and future markets. This categorization corresponds to this years SDG approach of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Other issues of the yearbook are:
Be the change that you wish to see in the world, Mahatma Ghandi said. In a time of profound political, environmental, and social upheavals, examples are more important than ever. In our category “Changemaker,” we introduce women and men who are making credible contributions to sustainable development. Most of us desire change, but there is only a small group of people who are acting to make that change happen. That makes them exceptional. And we are proud to introduce them through interviews and individual profiles.
With interviews and portraits of
• Angelina Jolie
• Alejandro Aravena
• Navi Radjou
• Robert Redford
• Sigourney Weaver
• Peter Singer
• Mina Guli
• Kevin McCloud
Cities of the future
To navigate the big challenges of the next decades, cities must be innovative, flexible, livable, and sustainable. By 2050, seven out of ten people on earth will live in cities. Urban living will be the norm, but life for many of these roughly 6 billion people will be everything else but normal. Water, waste, and transportation problems; the lack of housing, jobs, and security; and access to education, participation, and information will be just some of the challenges.
Future cities will not automatically be romantic, smart, zero-emissions sites. It is rather hard work to make cities places worth living in. on the path, many questions have to be answered: Where will our food come from? How can we overcome gridlock? How can we motivate locals for sustainable lifestyles? Can we create sharing cities? What do green buildings and green neighborhoods look like? Answers to these and other questions are given in our section “City of the Future.”
Corresponding to the idea of mutual learning, the Global Compact International Yearbook includes 29 good practices of corporate participants that showcase different approaches to the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in accordance to the Ten Principles of the Global Compact. The Global Compact International Yearbook is a product of the macondo publishing and United Nation Publications in cooperation with the Global Compact Offices and networks around the world.
The Global Compact International Yearbook is with more than 400,000 readers one of the worlds leading CSR publications. In the new edition Leonardo DiCaprio speaks about business and sustainability. Declares DiCaprio: “We need to change our thinking and our sense of urgency .” Leonardo DiCaprio may be one of the world’s top movie stars, but he would rather be defined and respected more for his work as a committed environmentalist. Over the years, he has personally funded as well as helped to raise tens of millions of dollars for a variety of green-related causes. He believes that his greatest legacy will be the progress he has helped make toward safeguarding the planet against the ravages of global warming, pollution, and species protection.
Other issues are
The state of CSR and 15th anniversary of the UN Global Compact
When the UN Global Compact was founded 15 years ago, globalization was just starting and so was the concept of corporate social responsibility. In fact, many early approaches were about fair global trade. Kofi Annan then came to the point, saying if we fail to make globalization work for all, then it will ultimately not work for anyone. Fifteen years later, this belief of Annan’s is still urgent. But the framework of the UN Global Compact and CSR comprises much more than globalization. It is about complex – sometimes too complicated – issues such as the depletion of planetary resources, global warming, and the understanding that we will have to change our lifestyles to make this one Earth habitable for all.
Private Inves tment and Sustainable Development
Private-sector actors have an inherent interest in seeing sustainable development succeed. As companies, markets, and economies become more global and interdependent, businesses and investors are becoming increasingly aware of the overlap between public and private interests. They realize that their ability to prosper and grow depends on the existence of a prosperous and sustainable society. Conversely, they see that social and income inequality, as well as environmental damage, are already having negative material impacts on supply chains, capital flows, and employee productivity. In this chapter, we highlight the role of private capital in financing the post-2015 sustainability agenda.
Voluntary Sustainability Standards
In today’s globalized world, national standards quickly reach their limits. Therefore, sustainable development needs the support of further partners. One concept is voluntary sustainability standards (VSS), which have progressed rapidly over the last decades. Some are governmental initiatives but most are set up by partners from civil society and responsible business. The standards are voluntary by definition, but once such a standard is adopted, compliance becomes compulsory, turning the standard into a kind of “soft law.” Considering the present global situation, VSS are among the best options we have to foster sustainable development. The following chapter offers profound insights into the evolution and different types of VSS. Implementation by businesses and implications for governance issues are also discussed.
Fighting poverty and global warming are key challenges for mankind. „This year we are laying the groundwork for success in 2015 on three fronts: achieving the Millennium Development Goals, adopting a meaningful new climate agreement, and establishing a new vision for a sustainable future“, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in the 2014 edition of the Global Compact International Yearbook. Edited by macondo publishing the new yearbook offers insights to political as well as sustainability issues.
This years´ focus lies on the Post-2015 Agenda. We discuss the transition from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals. Question are among others: Are the concepts compatible? How does the architecture of a sustainable future look like? And above all: What role does corporate responsibility play in this context?
The second key aspect in our Post-2105 discussion is about measuring the SDGs. In the past indicators have been developed and used in reporting progress toward the MDGs, and now the approach to upcoming SDGs must be systematically developed. This section also includes lessons from innovation management and „big data“.
Climate change is another focus of the yearbook. It counts on very prominent authors like Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Sigmar Gabriel, Vice-Chancellor of the German government and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy.
Other issues are
1. Traceability: How certification brings positive impacts and better traceability to business. Elaborated NGO inputs by Karin Kreider, the Executive Director of the ISEAL Alliance and one of the world’s leading experts on credible certification and eco-labeling, as well as Markus Arbenz, Executive Director of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and Caroline Hickson, Director of Brand, Communications and Strategic Partnerships at Fairtrade International.
2. Mandatory CSR: When CSR discussions started in the late 1960s, early 1970s ethical and moral arguments were the drivers. Since then CSR activities have become more holistic and professional. This becomes a principle-based approach in which business seeks to identify smarter business models, products, and services. Elmer Lenzen illuminates the boder zone between voluntary and mandatory CSR.
The UN Global Compact is the world’s leading platform for corporate sustainability. In describing the future aims of the Global Compact, UN Secretary-General H.E. Ban Ki-moon says: “A growing number of business in all regions recognize the importance of reflecting environmental, social, and economic considerations in their operations and strategies. Now the challenge is to move from incremental process to transformation – in society and markets alike.”
The new 2013 edition of the Global Compact International Yearbook offers proactive and in-depth information on key sustainability issues and focuses on recent developments of stakeholder management such as managing corporate legitimacy, for example. Concomitant to this is the call for a more holistic reporting of companies’ financial and nonfinancial performance, which is expressed in the idea of integrated reporting. Furthermore, this edition highlights the connection between the sustainable development of African societies and the ways of managing and governing their natural wealth. The newest developments concerning the move toward a low-carbon economy are shown in the chapter on climate change, which emphasizes the importance of reducing the output of greenhouse gases.
Corresponding to the idea of mutual learning, the Global Compact International Yearbook includes 43 good practices of corporate participants that showcase different approaches to the implementation of the Ten Principles of the Global Compact. The Global Compact International Yearbook is a product of the macondo media group and United Nation Publications in cooperation with the Global Compact Office in support of the UN Global Compact and the global advancement of corporate sustainability. It contains 196 pages.
With over 8,700 corporate participants and other stakeholders from over 130 countries, the UN Global Compact is the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world. „I hope these diverse expressions of support for the UN’s global mission will inspire many more businesses to follow this path and bring corporate sustainability to true scale“, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in the 2012 edition of the Global Compact International Yearbook. Edited by the German publishing house macondo the new yearbook offers insights to political as well as sustainability issues.
Main issues are United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20 Conference):
Twenty years after the first international Conference on Environment and Development was held there, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) has again taken place in Rio de Janeiro. In our special the authors describe results and observations from the preparatory process, while others comment the outcomes and their expectations. A focus lies on the follow-up of the Rio+20 process where CSR-Manager.org is a new, advanced learning platform.
Strategic Philantrophy:Philanthropy is about donating to charity without expecting a return. Companies have historically contributed to society in this way. Strategic philanthropy, which is a more modern approach, is about directing corporate giving to a cause that is aligned with the core business. Yet in the 21st century, strategic philanthropy does not suffice in providing leadership. There is a growing demand for companies to move beyond strategic philanthropy to modern community partnerships, co-creating solutions to pressing societal and environmental problems by contributing core competencies and truly aiming for impact. In the process, shared value creation for both society and the company is not only desirable for companies, but also to stakeholders.
Over the last several years, the United Nations has become a trailblazer in promoting corporate responsibility. “In the 11 years since its launch, the United Nations Global Compact has been at the forefront of the UN’s effort to make the private sector a critical actor in advancing sustainability,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in the 2011 edition of the Global Compact International Yearbook. Edited by the German publishing house macondo, the new Yearbook offers insights on political as well as sustainability issues.
Exemplary entrepreneurial commitments can foster and create incentives for other companies. To guide companies along this road, they need a blueprint for corporate sustainability. This is the focal topic of the new Global Compact International Yearbook. Guidelines for consumer standards and labels, an analysis of the new ISO 26000 SR Standard, and a debate about the historic changes in the Arab world are other major topics explored. Among this year’s prominent authors are Lord Michael Hastings, NGO activist Sasha Courville, and the former Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Sergei A. Ordzhonikidze.
A profound retrospective of the first decade of the UN Global Compact, challenges in the light of the year of biodiversity, and instruments for an adequate Corporate Citizenship are some of the issues highlighted in the new 2010 edition of the “Global Compact International Yearbook”. Among this years prominent authors are Ban Ki-moon, Bill Clinton, Joschka Fischer and Achim Steiner. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “As the Global Compact enters its second decade, it is my hope that this Yearbook will be an inspiration to bring responsible business to true scale.” Formally presented during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York, the yearbook is now for sale. Looking back at the past ten years, the United Nations Global Compact has left its mark in a variety of ways, helping shape the conservation about corporate responsibility and diffusing the concept of a principle-based approach to doing business across the globe.
Chapter two deals with Biodiversity: UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner emphasizes the importance of protecting the nature: “Climate change has been described as the biggest market failure of all time – the loss of biodiversity and nature’s economically-important services must surely be running a close second, if not an equal first. Year in and year out, the world economy may be losing services from forests to freshwaters and from soils to coral reefs, with resulting costs of up to $4.5 trillion or more. Decisive action needs to be taken to reverse these declines or the bill will continue to climb – and with it any hopes of achieving the poverty-related Millennium Development Goals and a sustainable 21st century for six billion people, rising to nine billion by 2050.” Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, adds: “Now is the time for concrete action from the business community to save life on earth. The alternative is an impoverished planet that can no longer support a healthy, vibrant global economy. The stakes in this fight could not be higher. As the slogan of the International Year reminds us, ‘Biodiversity is life. Biodiversity is our life.’”
The road to Copenhagen is the catchphrase: Climate Change is the top issue of inaugural edition, on the market since 1th of august 2009. In a very personal and exclusive foreword, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stresses the urgency of multilateral action: „One underlying message of this Yearbook is that a global, low-carbon economy is not only technologically possible, it makes good business sense“, said Ban. „We need the voice and energy of business to help us combat climate change.“ Sir Anthony Giddens adds the importance of the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Summit: „It is an important year, and everybody knows it because it is the year of Copenhagen. It’s a key for climate change policy. I do hope the Copenhagen negotiations will be successful, but there are reasons I have to be worried. “
Another key issue of this edition is the global economic crisis: 2008 will be remembered as the year of crises. The breakdown of financial institutions and markets and the subsequent worldwide economic downturn have put the spotlight on issues that the United Nations Global Compact has long advocated as essential responsibilities for modern business and today’s global markets: comprehensive risk management, long-term performance, and ethics. Georg Kell, Executive Director of the Global Compact, writes: „Restoring confidence and trust in markets requires a shift to long-term sustainable value creation, and corporate responsibility must be an instrument towards this end. If the crisis is any indication, it is now time to build on the advances made over the past 10 years by companies and investors in the area of ESG performance and bring this discipline to the mainstream. “