Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the main benefits of being a member of Global Compact LEAD?

Global Compact LEAD is:

  • A unique space for knowledge-sharing and innovation among sustainability champions on trends, challenges and opportunities in the realm of corporate responsibility.
  • A forum for collective action with other leading companies, UN entities, NGOs, and governments. 
  • An opportunity to build strong linkages to investors and business schools.
  • A platform for advocacy and corporate diplomacy on issues related to sustainable development and global governance.
  • An opportunity to demonstrate extraordinary commitment to and strong engagement with the UN Global Compact.
  • For more detail see sections on LEAD activities, integration within the Global Compact and strategic linkages.

2. How will Global Compact LEAD contribute to the mission of the United Nations?

  • One of the main goals of Global Compact LEAD is to bring to life the second dimension of the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership – Taking Action in Support of Broader UN Goals and Issues – by becoming an incubator for collective action to solve challenges common to the UN and the business community. 
  • In addition, Global Compact LEAD will broker engagement between companies and UN entities in cases where they can mutually benefit from such partnerships.

3. How have the companies that receive an invitation to Global Compact LEAD been selected?

  • Companies have been invited either because they have a history of strong engagement with the UN Global Compact at the global level and/or because they have been nominated by a Global Compact Local Network as a company that has shown extraordinary leadership at the local level.
  • Ensuring global representation in Global Compact LEAD is essential for an inclusive and truly global initiative.  To this end, regional target quotas were set and the most engaged companies in these regions received an invitation to join. Sector diversity was also considered.
  • To join Global Compact LEAD, companies must commit to work towards implementation of the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership and include a description of progress made in this regard in their annual Communication on Progress. One year after joining Global Compact LEAD, companies must also be active participants at both the local and global level as described in the membership criteria.
  • For more details, see section on Membership.

4. How does the Global Compact make sure that LEAD members are fulfilling their commitments??

  • There are several indices and metrics that measure corporate sustainability performance.  Membership in Global Compact LEAD is not an indicator of a particular performance level. 
  • Members of LEAD are required to take an active leadership role at the global and local level and are also required to report on their activities in yearly COPs.  By fulfilling this criteria, companies are leading the Global Compact initiative.
  • Companies that are not demonstrating active involvement in the Global Compact and not reporting implementation of the Blueprint through the annual COP will be removed from participation.

5. Why is there a fee associated with Global Compact LEAD?

  • Global Compact LEAD will offer a range of new opportunities for leading companies to engage with the UN Global Compact and its wider institutional environment, including the UN, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). A number of specialized work streams, services, and resources will be developed and delivered to members. 
  • Global Compact LEAD membership fees will be in lieu of the general contribution to the UN Global Compact and also in lieu of any contributions associated with UN Global Compact working groups and/or sub-initiatives that companies may already be participating in.

6. I am interested in doing business with the United Nations. Will LEAD increase my chances of securing a contract?

  • No. Global Compact LEAD is not in any way linked to UN procurement.

7. Doesn’t membership in LEAD and the use of a LEAD logo equate to bluewashing?

  • Absolutely not. Although Global Compact LEAD companies will receive recognition for their efforts, this does not imply a seal of approval by the UN Global Compact or the United Nations. Membership in Global Compact LEAD rather indicates that a company has committed to a higher level of performance as outlined in the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership. As part of LEAD, companies will be required to communicate annually on their implementation progress. Any logo usage will be in strict accordance with the LEAD logo policy.

8. If my company has not received an invitation, can we join Global Compact LEAD?

  • To join LEAD, companies must either have a history of strong engagement with the UN Global Compact at the global level and/or be nominated by a Global Compact Local Network due to extraordinary leadership at the local level. See Membership section for more details.
  • Although space is limited, Global Compact LEAD will continue to grow proportionally to the Global Compact’s participant base growth and the most engaged companies of the Global Compact will continue to have opportunities to join LEAD.
  • If your company would like to join Global Compact LEAD, please contact us at

9. How will the Global Compact LEAD be governed? 

  • An Advisory Group of approximately 15 members will be established to help oversee the priorities and activities of Global Compact LEAD.  The Board of PRI and the Advisory Committee of PRME will be invited to appoint one member each to ensure the maximization of synergies with these initiatives.

10. Is Global Compact LEAD open to non-businesses?

  • LEAD will reflect the multi-stakeholder nature of the Global Compact and involve key non-business stakeholders in the operational aspects of the platform. However, “membership” relates to companies only.

11. Does company size, region or industry matter to join Global Compact LEAD?

  • No.  A company that meets the criteria for participation can receive an invitation to join Global Compact LEAD. Efforts will be made to ensure global representation of the group; a tiered fee structure based on revenues/ sales facilitates the inclusion of smaller companies.

12. What happens if companies in Global Compact LEAD do not meet the requirements after the first year of participation?

  • After the first year of Global Compact LEAD participation, companies are expected to meet all three criteria outlined here in order to maintain their participation.


(Last Update 22 March 2011)