United Nations Global Compact launches 'Differentiation Programme' on sustainability performance and reporting

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10 Mar 2011

The United Nations (UN) Global Compact has officially launched the 'Differentiation Programme', a practical framework to help business participants improve sustainability performance and disclosure practices.

The UN Global Compact is a voluntary corporate responsibility initiative which currently involves over 8700 corporate participants and other stakeholders from over 130 countries.

The UN Global Compact seeks to ensure participating businesses commit to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The eighth principle involves undertaking initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility and includes consideration of communication and reporting tools such as corporate environmental reporting and sustainability reporting.

Participants in the Global Compact submit an annual Communication on Progress (COP) describing their levels of implementation of the ten Global Compact principles and related areas. The Differentiation Programme framework, partially developed in collaboration with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), allows companies to differentiate themselves based on the extent to which their COP describes their implementation.

Upon submitting their next COPs, companies will be categorised as "GC Active" or can self-declare themselves "GC Advanced" based on their disclosure on progress made in implementing the ten principles and contributing to broader UN goals. In an effort to demonstrate the synergies between the Global Compact and the GRI, the two initiatives are working together to imbed the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines ("GRI Guidelines") at both levels of the differentiation programme.

Click for UN Global Compact press release (link to UNGC website). Further information about GRI's participation in the initiative can be found in this GRI article (link to GRI website). Our sustainability reporting page can be found Here.

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