Call for Sophisticated Sustainability Leadership
11 November 2010 at 10:54 am
The former Global Chair of Shell and Anglo American has addressed Australian business leaders calling for a sophisticated and comprehensive approach to corporate sustainability leadership.
According to Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, who is now the Chair of the UN Global Compact Foundation, corporate sustainability leadership needs to integrate the four key areas of the UN Global Compact – human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
In an event hosted by ANZ earlier this week, business members, signatories and colleagues of the Australian Network of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) were joined by Sir Mark Moody-Smith to hear that businesses need to go both “wide and deep” on the principles that make up the four areas of the Global Compact.
Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chair, UN Global Compact Foundation; Rosemary Sainty, Head, Secretariat, GCNA; Graham Paterson, Chair–elect, GCNA and Head of Group Sustainability, Westpac
Moody-Smith, who has featured on the movie “The Corporation”, has been a champion and a steward of the UN Global Compact since its inception in 2000 – now the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative. In addition there are more than 80 local or country Networks of UNGC signatories globally.
The Australian Network was launched in Parliament house in 2009 by the then Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, Senator the Hon Nick Sherry and Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.
Over the past year the Australian Network has seen more than a 50% increase in signatories in Australia with businesses such as the Commonwealth Bank and Woolworths joining signatories such as BHP Billiton and Westpac, together with a raft of smaller businesses.
Companies sign on for their entire corporate group, therefore Australian companies that are subsidiaries of international companies are now becoming activated through the Australian Network, such as Nestle Australia, Shell Australia and UBS.
According to Moody-Smith local Networks, wherever they are, provide an opportunity for companies large and small, national and international, to set priorities for their country in relation to the ten principles and to choose which areas to work
He says if this can be done in conjunction with civil society and labour organisations under the safe umbrella of the UN Global Compact the results can have a bigger impact.
Rosemary Sainty, heading the Secretariat of Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA) – says the GCNA reflects an Australian operating context and provides Australian businesses both large and small the opportunity to engage collectively on the international platform of sustainable, responsible business practice, dialogue and activity.
The Network is currently preparing to launch its first business working group on the first two principles of the Compact- in the challenging area of Business and Human Rights.