54 CEOs Help Launch UN Program to Ramp Up Sustainability

54 CEOs Help Launch UN Program to Ramp Up Sustainability

Image courtesy of UN

Chief executives from 54 companies around the world have joined forces with the United Nations to launch a new program aimed at raising the bar for corporate environmental, social and governance performance.

Members of the new platform, called Global Compact LEAD, will work to implement the newly unveiled Blueprint for Corporate Leadership, a roadmap released by the UN Global Compact last year.

The LEAD program's new members include Accenture, Intel, KPMG, Newmont Mining Corp., PricewaterhouseCoopers, Symantec, Coca-Cola, Novo Nordisk and Heineken, among others. All are also members of the UN Global Compact, an initiative for businesses that commit to 10 principles related to human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

"The Blueprint very clearly defines what it takes to drive performance and enhance value creation in a sustainability perspective," Lise Kingo, Novo Nordisk's executive vice president and chief of staff, said in a statement. "Novo Nordisk has worked systematically for more than two decades to actively manage our business with a Triple Bottom Line approach -- seeking to be financially, socially and environmentally responsible. And our motives for doing so are fully consistent with the objectives behind the Blueprint."

The Blueprint contains about 50 actions that help businesses improve their sustainability performance, such as making sustainability criteria part of goals and incentives for CEO and executive management, defining sustainability goals and strategies with key stakeholders, and participating in activities that further advance the UN Global Compact.

The program stresses the work that existing Global Compact businesses have already done to advance corporate responsibility, said Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell. "At the same time, Global Compact LEAD responds to the critical need for these leaders to scale up their efforts so that we can achieve tangible impact on global challenges."

Image courtesy of UN.