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Prepared by the SIOP-United Nations Committee, May 2016

What is the Global Compact?

The United Nations Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses, academic bodies, and other organizations that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

By working with these partners, who act as primary drivers of globalization, the Global Compact can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere.
You (and your organization) can help make our world better. Businesses, civil society organizations, business associations, labour organizations, academic institutions and cities are all invited to join us in shaping a sustainable future. Whether you are new to corporate sustainability or more seasoned in such efforts, there is a place for you in the United Nations Global Compact!

Why Should Businesses Join?

The United Nations Global Compact provides a universal language for corporate responsibility and provides a framework to guide all businesses regardless of size, complexity or location.

“Responsible business practices, combined with collaboration and innovation, can bring about powerful change in markets and societies – proving that principles and profits go hand in hand.”

The Global Compact currently has over 8,000 member organizations from across the world and more companies are joining every year.

It’s good for business. Corporate and organizational success requires stable economies and healthy, skilled and educated workers, among other factors. Additionally, sustainable companies experience increased brand trust and investor support. In a recent survey of Global Compact CEOs, 93% say sustainability is important to the future success of their business and 80% say it is a route to competitive advantage in their industry (UN Global Compact / Accenture CEO Study).

It’s good for society – and businesses really can make a difference. Companies offer fresh ideas and scalable solutions to society’s challenges – exactly what we need to create a better world. More than 8,000 business participants and 4,000 non-business participants in the United Nations Global Compact are already changing the world. They’re helping alleviate extreme poverty, address labour issues, reduce environmental risks around the globe, and more.

Joining this Global Compact allows your organization to align with SIOP’s recent efforts to define I-O psychology’s contribution to society. By connecting your organization’s goals and practices to the Global Compact principles, future I-O Psychologists are exposed to global issues that are at the intersection of business and society.

Benefits of Joining

  • Unprecedented networking access with United Nations Global Compact participants – representing nearly every industry sector and size, in over 160 countries
  • Access to partnerships with a range of stakeholders – to share best practices and emerging solutions
  • Best practice guidance – built on 15 years of successes
  • Tools, resources and trainings

  • Local Network support in 85 countries

  • The moral authority, knowledge, and experience of the United Nations

Joining is Simple

The Global Compact has made the process easy, with few obligations beyond ensuring that the principles are incorporated into organizational activities and bi-annual reporting.

  • Assess your organization for compatibility and potential amendments
  • Send a Letter of Commitment signed by your organization’s top leader to the United Nations affirming the desire to join the Global Compact (GC)
  • Complete the brief Online Application Form
  • Once accepted, create a formal (but conservative) plan of actions for the next two years
  • Keep records of all activities pertinent to the GC
  • Send a Communication of Progress report to the United Nations every two years detailing the efforts of the program
  • Publically communicate results and activities to relevant stakeholders

Sample Process

We recognize that each organization is different and will take a different approach to gaining support for Global Compact Participation. The Global Compact application guidelines request the letter come from the “highest level of authority” (which can be interpreted in a number of ways) but is typically the president or CEO of the organization.

  • A “pitch” presentation, to share with senior leaders in your organization to obtain buy-in.
  • Gain approval with other relevant stakeholders such as legal and public relations.
  • Draft and solicit feedback on the application/commitment letter
  • Have the final letter co-signed by the organization’s Chief Executive or equivalent.
  • Complete the online application and uploaded the letter.

Sample Materials

This tool kit includes all of the materials used by Purdue University to join the Global Compact. These can be used as templates, and programs are welcome to leverage any parts, verbatim, in any way seen fit.

Support and Questions

Please keep us abreast of your efforts--we'd love to feature your organization’s experience and successes in our TIP column or during the 2017 annual conference!

The SIOP-UN Committee is available to answer questions and support your efforts in any way they can.

John Scott   JScott@APTMetrics.com
Deborah Rupp   ruppd@purdue.edu  (Global Compact lead contact)
Lori Foster Thompson   lfthompson@ncsu.edu
Lise Saari   lise.saari@nyu.edu
Mathian Osicki   mosicki@us.ibm.com
Kristin Charles   kristinc@amazon.com