Ethical Performance
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50 corporations will give help to ‘lower rungs’ mainstream

March 2011

A new CSR leadership programme has been set up by the United Nations, under which more than 50 large companies will work on a ‘sustainability roadmap’.

Project Lead, announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, aims to implement the UN Global Compact’s Blueprint for corporate sustainability leadership, introduced in June 2010, which lists 50 concrete actions businesses should take to improve their sustainability performance.

The companies will attempt to provide ‘inspiration’ for businesses on the ‘lower rungs’ in terms of size and CSR development, setting an example by implementing the 50 actions, which range from producing board-approved
CSR reports to promoting the Global Compact.

To this end, in addition to every company’s individual commitment to the blueprint, Project Lead’s activities will include: holding ‘specialized workstreams’ such as symposia and working groups for sustainability executives to explore solutions to pressing challenges; acting as an ‘incubator for collective action by leading companies in collaboration with UN entities’; and providing visibility and exposure to leaders and their sustainability efforts.

The 50 Project Lead companies, which include the China Development Bank, Nestle, Shell, and Unilever, are expected to share their knowledge through local networks in more than 90 countries.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, told the Project Lead participants: ‘The Global Compact has been driven by business leaders willing to move beyond the status quo. You can help guide the way to the level of sustainability performance our world requires from business today.’

United Nations | Global | Leadership

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