Commitment vs. Practice: A Comparison of CSR Performance of the UN Global Compact Signatories and Non-Signatories

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6 Commitment vs. Practice Executive Summary Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by all United Nations members states in September 2015 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), businesses worldwide are becoming increasingly active in pursuing responsible business practices. This shift is amplified by growing reputational and operational risks linked to environmental, social and ethical performance of companies. In addition, we have seen an emergence of mandatory social and environmental reporting requirements driven by regulatory bodies, stock exchanges, market forces and governments. In this context, the UN Global Compact has established itself as the most prominent and comprehensive corporate sustainability initiative in the world. It aims to support businesses as they accelerate their sustainability performance and take action on the SDGs. This report explores the link between the adoption of the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and advanced sustainability performance. It offers encouraging evidence that companies that have adopted the UN Global Compact Principles are stepping up to the challenge and adopting management systems that help them mitigate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) risks within their operations and extending into their supply chains. 1 Sustainable Development Goals The Sustainable Development Goals follow the effort started by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with a contemporary and ambitious agenda to transform the world by 2030. With 17 goals and 169 targets, the UN strives to tackle wide-reaching global issues, such as abolishing hunger and poverty, reducing inequalities, and making cities more sustainable. Companies, large and small, can contribute to achieving the SDGs primarily by doing business responsibly. The UN Global Compact, along with its Ten Principles, aims to be a guide for businesses to act responsibly. Furthermore, companies should strive to find opportunities to contribute towards sustainability in their own spheres of influence. The UN Global Compact, supported by its large corporate community and its more than 70 Local Networks, is well positioned to support companies to pursue best practices and innovative change that advance the SDGs. Achieving the SDGs requires the partnership of governments, private sector, civil society and citizens alike. 2 At EcoVadis, we strive to contribute to adoption of the SDGs, both as a partner and as a service provider by raising awareness among our business partners and integrating the SDGs into our rating methodology. 1 2 United Nations Development Program. http://www.undp. org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable- development-goals.html

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