Skip to main content

Deloitte Creates Six-Step Plan to Corporate Sustainability

To recognize the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Global Compact, the firm has pulled from its work with the world's leading companies to outline and define the steps any organization can take to move toward social and environmental responsibility.

The result is the U.N. Global Compact Management Model, an in-depth guide to help companies incorporate the Global Compact's 10 principles into their daily operations, as well as to work toward continuous improvement.

"While the U.N. Global Compact has evolved in countless ways over the past decade, there has been one unshakable and non-negotiable constant, and that is the aim of translating the core ten principles into value-enhancing management practices," Georg Kell, Executive Director of the U.N. Global Compact, said in a statement. "It is our hope that through the application of the new Management Model, our signatories will attain ever-higher levels of performance and, in the process, generate real and lasting value for their business, stakeholders, and society at large."

Management Model CoverSignatories to the Global Compact commit to meet 10 principles of human rights, labor standards, environmental performance, and anti-corruption. And the new Management Model lays out simple method for companies seeking to meet and improve upon their goals.

"Recognizing that a company's ability to integrate the ten principles evolves over time and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach," the report's authors write, "the Model has adopted the shape of a circle to suggest that progress requires an iterative and ongoing process... After all, there is neither a right entry point nor end point to a company's sustainability journey, nor an approach that ensures the company will get every part of its strategy right during an initial pass."

The chart below lays out the six steps of the process, one that can also be envisioned as an upward spiral, with the sixth step leading directly back into the first.


Six Steps to Sustainability in the UNGC Management Model


The Management Model was developed to be applicable for all companies, regardless of size, sector, location or "sustainability maturity." For companies that are new signatories to the Global Compact it offers a roadmap to follow. Firms that have already made progress in meeting the 10 principles, the Model includes a set of "Leadership Practices" that can inspire further improvement and help shape larger, long-term goals. to serve as both inspiration for further improvement and aspiration as these companies set and work toward long-term goals.

"We have seen time and again that strong values and principled leadership are crucial to generating long-term rewards for companies," Deloitte's Global Chairman of the Board, John Connolly said in a statement. "We have also observed a dramatic shift in society's expectations of business -- a shift away from the idea that business is only about profit-making ahead of all other motives, and towards the notion that companies must actively foster the social and environmental conditions that make profitability possible. It's our fervent hope that the U.N. Global Compact Management Model serves as the bridge that links these two drivers of corporate behavior."

The six steps are as follow:

Commit: Leadership commitment to mainstream the Global Compact principles into strategies and operations and to take action in support of broader UN goals, in a transparent way. 

Assess:Assess risks, opportunities, and impacts across Global Compact issue areas.

Define: Define goals, strategies, and policies.

Implement: Implement strategies and policies through the company and across the company's value chain.

Measure: Measure and monitor impacts and progress toward goals.

Communicate: Communicate progress and strategies and engage with stakeholders for continuous improvement.

The full U.N. Global Compact Management Model is available for download from; for more information about the Global Compact, visit, and for more information about Deloitte's history with the Compact, see

Photo CC-licensed by Flickr user extranoise.

More on this topic