Think Lab on Business Integrity

Principle Ten of the UN Global Compact was adopted in 2004 and commits participant companies not only to avoid bribery and other forms of corruption, but also to proactively develop policies and concrete measures to tackle this issue internally throughout the organization and across the value chain.

Over the years, rising expectations from consumers, governments, investors and employees alike, along with corporate sustainability directives now widely adopted, have raised the bar for companies to not only be more accountable, ethical, transparent and inclusive, but to also address their impact on the environment and societies, while contributing to the public institutions, laws and systems where they operate.

Recognizing these priorities, the UN Global Compact launched the Call-to-Action from Business to Governments on the 20th Anniversary of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC, signed by over 500 companies from 91 countries, and delivered at the tenth session of the Conference of the States Parties to UNCAC (CoSP10), in December 2023, in Atlanta, USA. The Call-to-Action focused on governance and anti-corruption to promote a new social contract based on the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability, in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 of Agenda 2030.

In response, the CoSP10 Resolution: “Providing incentives for the private sector to adopt integrity measures to prevent and combat corruption” was adopted, committing 190 States Parties to take action. This breakthrough underscores the importance of business integrity in the corporate and regulatory landscape, which is further highlighted by the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group focus on incentives for the private sector, and the reestablishment of the B20 Task Force on Integrity and Compliance, this year.

These recent milestones, together with the 20th Anniversary of Principle Ten, have generated a propitious momentum to reexamine the notions of business integrity, ethics and anti-corruption compliance in the context of today. To that end, the UN Global Compact will launch the Think Lab for Business Integrity as the next step in private sector thought leadership.

The Think Lab for Business Integrity seeks the revision of the Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Programme for Business: A Practical Guide, issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), ten years ago.

While the standards set forth by the practical guide remain relevant, the business environment has shifted, creating new priorities and complexities for companies. Coming to the forefront are matters related to corporate sustainability regulations and reporting; gender and inclusion; talent recruitment and retention; the evolution of technology and artificial intelligence; stakeholder capitalism and corporate purpose; emerging risks resulting from geopolitical issues and converging crises; increased global supply chain interdependence; to name a few.

To help businesses navigate these challenges, Transformational Governance (TG) was created by the UN Global Compact and its participating companies. TG is a principles-based approach that calls on companies to drive responsible business conduct by not only doing what is legal, but what is right. With a TG lens, the guide will gain new relevance, providing critical insights for companies to better respond to new realities, both internally and in their operating environment, toward enhancing business integrity around the world. 

This Think Lab will:

  1. Define thinking, curate best practices and develop knowledge, guidance and tools that empower business sector action on business integrity.
  2. Deliver an updated Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Programme for Business: A Practical Guide using a transformational governance lens. 
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