Their mission is a voluntary initiative principle-based system, to encourage companies to follow responsible business practices, to function as a guide to discover opportunities to become socially responsible, to open channels of communication such as an annual reports that allow companies to report their progress of achieving Global Compact’sprinciples, hence helping society to be more involved. The list of principles is short but fundamental: human rights, labour standards, environment protection and anti-corruption are the core subjects of the list.
The number of companies that are part of the UN Global Compact is 3800, and this number is increasing, this is a significant record, because among the companies we can find the most influentialand powerful companies.
About the UN Compact and the raising of corporate standards.
We are in a world that is on constant change and affects the way we see responsibility, 50 years ago the government had a regulatory mission that today many companies are taking the leadership because it is a foundation in the modern economic, companies are finally realizing the great importance and benefit ofbeen responsible. As companies start taking an active role in society they profit from it, social improvements are correlated to better margins. So it becomes an advantage to know what is corporate social responsibility and implement the principles in every business practice simply because is a competitive advantage. And this signifies a change of view that is crucial to understand the roll ofthe UN Compact.
I most confess that understanding the goals and the responsibilities of a social mission such as the UN Global Compact were difficult. But now that I understand the difference between their objectives and principles with the expected consequences, I can understand both the importance and the impact, specially because I come from México, a country that is in a social crisis. The UNGlobal Compact lives in a paradigm, in one hand it’s goal is to develop a cooperative and open communication with companies that want to do a sustainable work on the other hand is trying to incentive a better performance in a unconventional way. In short the expectations of society and the uncertainty in the global environment are not balance.
I see this conflict as the conflict of interacting asa teacher and not as a policeman towards a student and not a criminal. A teacher is incline to help students to learn by helping the pupils to implement knowledge and to avoid slacking, a policeman will try to enforce the law and hence avoid crime. Society in general associates the UN as the moral police but the purpose of the UN Global Compact is to be a mentor for global companies, and also amentor for the society.
In the article “Is the UN Compact raising corporate responsibility?” This dilemma is evident; Bart takes the devil’s advocate and points out that the UN Compact is actually not producing a direct change by not enforcing, like a policeman, the principles and lacking the mechanism to pin point companies that are enjoying the free ride, continuing violating the principles, hisargument is that there are many companies that enjoy the privilege of been part of the UN Compact and few are really taking responsibility, and once a bad company is caught nothing really happens. This would be a serious problem indeed if the objective of the UN compact is to enforce the principles. But George explains that the UN Compact was not intended to enforce regulations, but to helpcompanies to develop a guideline, to teach how to achieve normative dominance over the conventional market model, and have a internal managerial judgment, and so the Global Compact is not a failure but quite opposite the success is evident, companies are been more clear and are reporting, he also reminds Bart that almost 1000 companies have been written off the list. And that companies are taking...