UNGC

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Frequently Asked Questions

The UN Global Compact is not a standard or legal obligation, and as such an organization cannot be technically compliant. Part of being a UNGC signatory, however, does require companies and organizations to commit to the UNGC principles and practices, and to communicate progress on these various areas of CSR and sustainability concerns, in order to maintain status as an active signatory on the UNGC list or database. This also helps companies determine their sustainability and CSR performance under the UNGC framework.

A very handy and comprehensive UN Global Compact Self-Assessment Tool is available by the Danish Institute for Human Rights, the Confederation of Danish Industries, the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs and the Danish Industrialisation Fund for Developing Countries in conjunction with the UN Global Compact. Structured around the four areas of the UN Global Compact (Human Rights, Labour, Environment, Anti-Corruption), the online tool enables participants to analyse their own performance under each area in detail, and elaborates on the various principles under the UNGC for those who would like further explanation. Each area is broken down into subsections and specific issues, and includes policies and additional considerations.

The Self-Assessment tool is also useful in compiling COPs (Communications on Progress) and is easy to use. Questions are answered with a single click, and the analysis will highlight areas of operations with advanced practices, as well as areas for improvement.

Pursuing responsible business practices can help any business enhance reputation and standing in building trust from stakeholders, generating sales, boosting enthusiasm and product innovation. It can be important to the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

For so many, social responsibility is just a new way to describe something they do already. In this context, CSR does not aim to reinvent the wheel. It is about building on existing practice, maximising its impact and making a link between CSR and your core business activities.

In many instances, SMEs are ideally placed to pursue such responsible workplace practices. SMEs often have longstanding contacts in servicing a local area and are well placed to understand and benefit from the community relations. Being more flexible and less formal than large companies, they can direct resources to CSR efforts more effectively. Certain CSR trends are already a part of SME culture. For example, SMEs in certain sectors are more likely to have family-friendly workplace practices in a less bureaucratic setting.

Your Source of Competitive Advantage.

Most businesses compete either on price, level of quality or service as their competitive advantage. Non-profit organizations often use efficiency, values of service or societal benefit to generate their competitive advantage. Can your organization or direct competitors tap on additional economic, environmental or social advantages that can be used for competitive purposes, such as community support, better brand identity, reduced waste disposal costs or better employee working conditions?

Today consumers, investors, governments and even employees have become more sophisticated and more aware of good corporate behavior, or lack thereof. In this new business environment, a company's reputation has become one of its most valuable assets, and CSR has become one of the key components of corporate reputation.
Positive CSR experiences build confidence and goodwill with stakeholders. Many organizations have developed clear CSR efforts as strategic branding and management approach in achieving a win-win outcome. Their number continues to grow. What about yours?

The Ten Principles of UNGC