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UN Global Compact and Global Reporting Initiative Form Strategic Alliance

Move to Further Advance Responsible Corporate Citizenship

(Amsterdam, 6 October 2006) – The world’s two most significant international corporate citizenship initiatives announced today that they have united in a strategic alliance aimed at providing the global private sector with an opportunity to embrace a responsible business strategy that is at once comprehensive, organizing, integrated and enjoys near or total universal acceptance.

The United Nations Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) said they will undertake advocacy and other partnership efforts to encourage companies and corporate responsibility organizations to support the synergistic platforms of the Compact and the GRI.

While the UN Global Compact covers citizenship “implementation” through its 10 universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption, the GRI’s new “G3” Sustainability Reporting Guidelines provide guidance on transparency and how to report on performance results. 

Leaders in the corporate sector expressed their support for the new alliance. 

“Responsible corporate citizenship stands a crucial crossroads.  The embedding of values and principles into organizational strategies and culture has been widely embraced by a critical mass of corporations around the world” said Petra van Hoeken, Global Head of Sustainable Development at ABN AMRO. “However, a bewildering array of codes, standards, and initiatives have arisen resulting in a state of fragmentation with respect to corporate citizenship strategy and execution. This alliance provides companies with a focused approach, covering principles, implementation and reporting”.

Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, said the natural synergies between the Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative, along with the sheer volume of participants in these initiatives globally, made them a logical starting point for bringing some consolidation and harmonization to the field.

“Companies participating in both initiatives have long stressed the understanding that the GRI is a practical expression of the Global Compact”, Kell said. “While organizationally the Compact and GRI will remain separate and distinct, we believe that this alliance will increase the value proposition for companies around the world”.

The UN Global Compact today includes more than 3000 companies and stakeholders from approximately 100 countries, while nearly 1000 organizations from around the world are using the GRI Guidelines as the basis for reporting.

The first practical expression of this alliance is the release today of a tool (available online and in print) entitled “Making the Connection: Using GRI’s G3 Reporting Guidelines for the UN Global Compact’s Communication on Progress.” This guide shows how Global Compact participants can use the G3 Guidelines to fulfill their commitment to the Compact by reporting on their progress implementing the 10 principles.

To reinforce the alliance between the UN Global Compact and the GRI, a “call to action” has been issued from both parties to other leaders in the field. “The objective is to mainstream responsible corporate citizenship in order to build a more sustainable and inclusive world economy”, said Ernst Ligteringen, Chief Executive of the Global Reporting Initiative.

As part of the launch of the GRI’s G3 Guidelines, leaders gather today in Amsterdam to discuss the “call to action” by the UN Global Compact and the GRI, and to begin to map the way forward.  They include: Elisabeth Dahlin (Swedish Ambassador, Global Responsibility); Dan Gagnier (Senior Vice President, Alcan), Björn Stigson (President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development), Simon Zadek (Chief Executive, Institute of Social and Ethical AccountAbility), Georg Kell (Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact), and Ernst Ligteringen (Chief Executive, Global Reporting Initiative).

Download "An Alliance to Mainstream Responsible Corporate Citizenship: A Call to Action from the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative".


For interview opportunities contact Andrew Coogan of the Global Reporting Initiative (coogan@globalreporting.org), or Matthias Stausberg of the UN Global Compact (stausberg@un.org).

For further information about the the Global Reporting Initiative visit www.globalreporting.org