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Annual Review

The Annual Review is a comprehensive annual study that assesses how – and to what extent – participating companies are implementing the ten principles; taking action in support of broader UN goals and issues; and engaging with the Global Compact locally and globally. At the center of the review are the findings from the Annual Global Compact Implementation Survey.

Global Compact Implementation Survey

The implementation survey is an annual, anonymous online survey of Global Compact participants worldwide, conducted to take stock of environmental and social performance and identify trends and developments related to corporate sustainability issues. All companies participating in the Global Compact are invited to take the survey - available in multiple languages - which is conducted annually in November/December. The survey is administered and analysed by a team of MBA and doctoral candidates at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

2011 Annual Review of Business Policies and Actions to Advance Sustainability

In 2011, 1,325 companies from over 100 countries responded to the Global Compact Implementation Survey – making it the largest annual study conducted on corporate responsibility policies and practices by business globally.

Selected Key Findings

  • 2011 was a year of unprecedented growth for the Global Compact, with 1861 companies joining the initiative – an increase of 54 percent over 2010 growth figures.
  • Nearly half (49 percent) of all companies report that their sustainability commitments are developed or evaluated at the management board level.
  • Only nine percent of all companies report that their government lobbying activities are aligned with their sustainability principles.
  • Corporate disclosure on sustainability issues is on the rise. Global Compact participants submitted a total of 4150 reports in 2011, contributing to what is now the world’s most extensive collection of corporate sustainability communications, with a total of nearly 14,000 reports.
  • Among the four issue areas covered by the Global Compact principles, companies are taking action on the environment and on labour standards at the highest rates. While anti-corruption efforts have increased steadily for two consecutive years, human rights action continues to lag behind.
  • While environmental risk assessments are becoming a standard feature of sustainability management, less than a quarter of all companies on average report conducting risk assessments on human rights, labour issues or on anti-corruption.
  • While 63 percent of respondents say their companies consider supplier adherence to sustainability principles, most are only taking limited action to support and incentivize such adherence.
  • A little over a quarter (28 percent) of all respondents ranked their company’s sustainability performance as advanced, most of those being larger businesses.

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Annual Review 2010

The Annual Review 2010 is organized following the three dimensions of the Global Compact Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership. This review assesses how – and to what extent – participating companies are implementing the ten principles; taking action in support of broader UN goals and issues; and engaging with the Global Compact locally and globally.

Selected Key Findings

  • Large and publicly traded companies are performing at higher levels on all of the Global Compact’s issue areas (human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption) than small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), pointing to the availability of greater financial and human resources to support extensive sustainability programs.
  • Reflective of the growing relevance of sustainability issues to business performance, more than 70 percent of all respondents indicate the active involvement of their chief executives in policy and strategy development. Nearly 60 percent of all publicly traded companies report active involvement of their boards of directors.
  • Companies across the board report having anti-discrimination and equal opportunity policies in place – one of the few issues to transcend size or sector. Yet, less than 20 percent of all respondents report conducting human rights impact assessments and less than 30 percent record instances of corruption, with dramatic differences between SMEs and larger companies.

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Annual Review 2009 (Anniversary Edition)

Takes stock of the efforts undertaken by business participants and other key stakeholders to advance the ten principles and development, as well as peace, responsible investment, business education and broader UN-business collaboration. Special focus is given to the 10th anniversary of the Global Compact. Milestones of the first 10 years of the Global Compact are featured throughout.

Selected Key Findings

  • Ninety-four percent of respondents said that the relevance of their participation in the Global Compact did not decrease last year in the wake of the economic downturn – with 25 percent considering the initiative more relevant.
  • Seventy-eight percent of respondents listed “increasing trust in the company” as a key reason to engage in the Global Compact.
  • While a majority of companies report implementation of key labour (74 percent) and environment (51 percent) policies, human rights (31 percent) and anti-corruption (32 percent) implementation continue to lag behind significantly.

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Annual Review 2008

The Global Compact Annual Review 2008 takes stock of the broad array of efforts undertaken by business participants and other key stakeholders to advance the principles of the Global Compact. Featuring the results of our annual survey of business participants, information is provided on key actions and depth of engagement in each issue area.

Selected Key Findings

  • As the global economic crisis highlights the need for longterm-sustainability and business ethics, corporations around the world are making progress in adopting responsible business practices. Yet, serious implementation gaps remain, particularly in supply chain management and subsidiary engagement.
  • Only seven percent of respondents currently require suppliers to join the Global Compact, while 27 percent reference the initiative in supplier contracts. Likewise, only 30 percent of companies with subsidiaries require them to implement the Global Compact and its principles and assess progress made.

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Annual Review 2007

The Global Compact’s first Annual Review provides a comprehensive picture of the initiative and the efforts made by business and other stakeholders to advance the Global Compact's mission and principles. The review reveals the results of the first in-depth survey of Global Compact participants looking at business actions across several key areas – management, policy implementation, partnerships and local involvement.

 

Selected Key Findings

  • A majority of survey respondents have policies in place related to human rights, labour conditions, the environment and anti-corruption.
  • 75 per cent of respondents have engaged in cross-sector partnerships with one or more of the following sectors: non-governmental organizations, business, academia, the UN, and other multi-lateral organizations.
  • 63 per cent of respondents said they participate in the Global Compact to increase trust in the company.

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Contact

Carrie Hall
Head of Communications
hallc@un.org

Sean Cruse
Research and Communications
cruse@un.org

Last updated: 2 August 2012