Starting from the trends of participants in the initiative over the last few years, and proceeding with a focus on the activities carried out and the communication and financial results achieved by the Italian Local Network, we share with you another year of commitment, alongside companies and organizations, in order to promote sustainable development through the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN 2030 Agenda.
On 29 June 2022, Sanda Ojiambo - Assistant Secretary-General and CEO of the UN Global Compact, met with the Board of Directors of the UN Global Compact Network Italy. The meeting, held at the Circolo degli Esteri in Rome, was an extraordinary opportunity for discussion and exchange on achievements, challenges and future scenarios in the Decade of Action for Sustainable Development. The Italian Network presented also its trends over the last few years, showing a tremendous increase in the number of companies that support and apply the Ten Principles of the Global Compact and are engaged on critical issues such as Climate Action and Gender Equality.
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 4 million Ukrainians have left the country, losing their homes, jobs, and sources of income. Moreover, 79% of Ukrainian companies were forced to stop entirely or almost entirely operating. Even after the end of hostilities, Ukrainians will not be able to immediately return home due to economic crisis, destroyed infrastructure and other factors that will take time to resolve.
UN Global Compact Network Ukraine, together with UN Global Compact Network Poland, launched the “Give a job for UA project”. The initiative aims to help Ukrainian refugees with employment and offers businesses from around the world an opportunity to support Ukraine by hiring them.
UN Global Compact Network Italy launches the English version of the paper “Guidelines on Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace”. The paper was produced in December 2021 by the Italian Network of the UN Global Compact, in partnership with ILO - International Labour Organization (Italian Office) and AIDP - Italian Association of Staff Management, as final output of the D&I Observatory, established in the same year by the UNGCN Italy with the participation of 17 Italian companies adhering to UN Global Compact.
The guidance paper collects several business best practices related to “Principle 6” of the UN Global Compact, which promotes the elimination of all forms of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. The paper shows business initiatives, projects and strategic approaches on the topics of inclusive leadership, equal opportunities and treatment, considering specific groups of people: women, migrants and young people. Particular attention is also given to the disability management.
In the light of the analysis of the regulatory context and the experiences described, the Guidelines formulate a series of Recommendations addressed to business organizations and applicable across all levels and functions within them.
The UN Global Compact stands with the United Nations and world leaders in expressing our deep concern about the ongoing war in Ukraine and unequivocal demand for peace. This unlawful and unprovoked attack by Russia serves as a timely and tragic reminder that we need to reject conflict anywhere as an affront to peace everywhere.
The member states of the United Nations have responded to this war quickly and almost unanimously, deploring “in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.” The message is loud and clear: End hostilities in Ukraine — now. Silence the guns — now. Open the door to dialogue and diplomacy — now.
The security situation in Ukraine deteriorated rapidly following the launch of a Russian Federation military offensive on 24 February 2022. The intense military escalation has resulted in loss of life, injuries and mass movement of the civilian population throughout Ukraine and to neighbouring countries, as well as severe destruction and damage to civilian infrastructure and residential housing. For a rapid scale-up of principled and effective humanitarian response in existing and new areas of Ukraine for a duration of three months from March to May 2022, humanitarian partners require US$1.1 billion to help more than 6 million people in need.
» Learn how the private sector can help in this brief OCHA Business Guide to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis.
"We are seeing Russian military operations inside the sovereign territory of Ukraine on a scale that Europe has not seen in decades.
Day after day, I have been clear that such unilateral measures conflict directly with the United Nations Charter.
The Charter is clear: “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
The use of force by one country against another is the repudiation of the principles that every country has committed to uphold.
On 22 of May 2020, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Sanda Ojiambo of Kenya as Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact. As the second woman to be appointed in the role, she will succeed Lise Kingo of Denmark to whom the Secretary‑General is deeply grateful for her dedication and strategic leadership in steering the work of the Global Compact and broadening its contribution to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ms. Ojiambo, who assumes the role on 17 June 2020, will bring 20 years of experience to lead the UN Global Compact in its next phase to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders and bring the full weight of the private sector to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She has served as Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact, Safaricom Plc, Kenya since 2010. Ms. Ojiambo was also the Senior Manager of Safaricom and MPESA Foundations, Kenya from 2008 to 2010, during which she led the implementation of several public-private partnership initiatives between Safaricom and UN organizations. Throughout her career, she has cultivated and managed relationships with key business entities and civil society organizations, including her capacity development work in Somalia with UNDP and CARE International. Ms. Ojiambo holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota, USA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Development from McGill University, Canada.
The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact to guide business leaders in responding to the crisis
The Global Compact, the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative, calls on business leaders around the world to unite to support workers, communities and companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A coordinated international plan, involving the private sector, will be critical to support the people and companies affected, limit further disruption to the economy and facilitate business continuity for a rapid recovery. The Ten Principles of the Global Compact can be a source of inspiration for companies to respond to the crisis and uncertainty of this time.
The Ten Principles and the SDGs are also an important guide to think about "afterwards", to continue working together – now more than ever – to create a new economy and a new society, both more resilient, healthy, fair and capable of living in balance with nature.
During the 8th edition of the Italian SRI Week last November, the Italian Sustainable Investment Forum (ItaSIF) published three reports on sustainable finance in Italy.
The studies provide insights on the action of the European Union for greening finance, the correlation between climate change and financial choices of savers, and the Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) policies of pension plans.
The "Italian Sustainability Photo Award" is the photographic competition organized by PIMCO with the aim of raising awareness of sustainability in Italy (with three special focuses on the environment, society and governance). The prizes will be awarded to the photographs that succeed in telling, with more effectiveness and quality, the progress of the Sustainable Development Objectives at the national level. The subject of the shots should be situations and aspects related to everyday life in its many facets.
A prestigious jury of international photographers, photo editors and journalists will award the prizes for Best Single Photo and Best Photographic History.
In addition, the best proposal in terms of photographic project will be selected and will receive a contribution of 10,000 euros.
The initiative is organized under the auspicies of the Italian Network of the Global Compact, which will take part in the final award ceremony.
Deadline for submission is 28 February 2020.
The United Nations Global Compact's Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform brings together representatives from governments, academia and business to determine how ocean industries can advance towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Platform's work is based on the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact, which outline the responsibilities of business in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.
The ocean is vital for the well-being and prosperity of humanity. To realize the global ambitions outlined by the SDGs, we face the need to expand our use of the ocean.
However, the production of food, raw materials, energy and transport services will need to be sustainable in order to contribute to the reduction of global warming and environmental degradation. Today, threats such as overfishing, marine litter and acidification have made ocean health very fragile.
For the second year, the Global Compact Network Italy launches the "SDG Pioneer Local Round" campaign to identify a new SDG Pioneer Italy.
Using business as a positive force to support SDGs: in line with this vision, the competition aims to identify and celebrate a Business Professional active at any level within a Global Compact member company (directly, or as a Subsidiary) and daily engaged in the advancement of Agenda 2030.
On 15 and 16 June, the Leaders Summit 2020 promoted by the UN Global Compact will be held in New York at the United Nations headquarters and the Jacob Javits Center. On the occasion, the 20th anniversary of the Global Compact will also be celebrated.
The ceremony will be held in the iconic UN General Assembly Hall.
It was on January 31, 1999, when former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan launched the Global Compact at the World Economic Forum in Davos, inviting all actors of sustainable development to join the newborn movement.
Developed by the UN Global Compact together with B Lab, the SDG Action Manager is the new web-based solution for companies committed to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, whatever the location, size and production sector. A new internal assessment tool on corporate performance related to sustainability, which allows to set growth targets in the most strategic areas where the development potential remains high. Internal assessment, such as dynamic self-assessment, benchmarking, and improvement.
More specifically, according to a logic “learn at every step”, the platform makes it easier for the company to: - select SDGs relevant to its business; - assess the impact of the business model and supply chain in terms of progress in Agenda 2030; - identify areas of risk/improvement; - plangrowth objectives and monitor them.
Dear UN Global Compact Participant,
Welcome to the Decade of Action: As we enter into 2020, allow me to share with you some reflections about my fears, hopes and great expectations for an important year — at the threshold of a critically important new decade that UN Secretary-General António Guterres has named the “Decade of Action".
I fear that we are running out of time: At the startline for the Decade of Action, the world is falling badly behind in the race to avert the climate crisis. 2019 was the hottest year on record, concluding the hottest decade on record. And the trend is set to continue. In November 2019, 11,000 climate scientists sounded the alarm, saying the Earth is “clearly and unequivocally” facing a climate emergency and warning that we are running out of time to reverse the trend.
We are all impacted by climate change. Heatwaves, wildfires, storms, droughts, floods and rising sea levels are threatening the livelihoods and safety of billions of people. For some, survival relies on global leadership and action NOW. In May 2019, the UN Secretary-General visited Tuvalu, a country that, together with other island countries in the Pacific Ocean, faces sea-level rise four times greater than the global average. And yet, despite hard scientific data and living proof, we all left disappointed from COP 25 in Madrid and its urgent call to Governments to transition away from dependence on fossil fuels. In fact, rather than falling, CO2 emissions continue to rise.
The new UN Global Compact’s CFO Taskforce gets underway with a two-year programme designed to put corporate finance at the centre of the Sustainable Finance agenda to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Taskforce was launched, in Milan, with an event hosted by Borsa Italiana last December 17th.
There are four italian companies among the founding members of the Taskforce: Enel, Eni, Pirelli, Terna.
The main challenge for the Network in 2018 was to “transfer” at the local level the “One Global Compact” governance model launched by the United Nations and characterized by two original elements: closer coordination, compared to the past, between the New York Offices and the Local Networks around the world, and the launch of new tools and opportunities for exchange on sustainability issues at the international level (such as, for example, the SDGs Academy or the Action Platforms) in the face of a greater financial commitment in support of the initiative required of the profit organizations involved. In 2019, the new model has been consolidating at the local level, also strengthened by a continuous growth trend of the Italian base of the movement, as well as the progressive increase of "Founder members” to the Italian Network of the Global Compact (GCNI).
During the year that is about to close, the Foundation's statutory bodies were also renewed with the confirmation of the Chairman, of some members of the Board of Directors, and with the entry in the board of new companies with mature sustainability profiles and new propositivities. In September, Daniela Bernacchi – a professional with extensive experience in both multinational and non-profit companies – was appointed Secretary General of the GCNI.
The fourth edition of the Italian Business & SDGs Annual Forum, promoted by Global Compact Network Italy (GCNI), was held on October 14 and 15 in Trieste at the MIB Trieste School of Management. The event was hosted by Hera Group with the support of Assicurazioni Generali, illycaffè, Leonardo and MIB Trieste School of Management and under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Municipality of Trieste and Confindustria Venezia Giulia.
The Forum, which is the annual opportunity for multi-stakeholder discussion on the role of the private sector in achieving the SDGs indicated in 2030 Agenda, was attended by 140 participants, 60 companies, 11 non-profit organizations, 6 representatives of local and national institutions, 11 research institutions and universities.
Innovation for the 2030 Agenda
The fourth edition focused on the combination Innovation-2030 Agenda.
In order to meet the vision of the 2030 Agenda, which aims at achieving sustainable development that leaves no one behind, it is necessary for companies to go far beyond the logic of "business as usual" and to choose a transformative approach - characterized by innovative mindset, dissemination of new business models and testing of disruptive technologies - as well as unconventional partnerships.
All the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) contained in the Agenda are levers for innovation and experimentation of new solutions, with a positive effect in terms of increasing the competitiveness of the private sector.
As underlined by Sergio MERCURI - Minister Plenipotentiary, Coordinator for Sustainability Issues, Directorate General for Globalization and Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation - the European Union also identifies innovation as a transversal activator for the transition to sustainability and as an essential prerequisite for an EU economy in line with the SDGs.
The theme of transformation was topical in the exchange between Stefano VENIER, CEO of Hera Group, and Gabriele GALATERI DI GENOLA, President of Assicurazioni Generali - both companies having a strong presence on the territory and consolidated sustainability profiles. They stressed the central role of concrete actions in the process of advancing the 2030 Agenda. Indeed, according to the two leaders, it is not a matter of starting revolutions within companies, but rather of working day after day and continuously towards the process of transformation. To this end, it is essential to think in an integrated way, to look at the entire business model and to pay attention to the impacts of business operations on the territory and on the communities throughout the production chain.
The transformative approach must take into account both the work and the social dimensions of all corporate stakeholders, which are to be protected in a logic of inclusion and involvement. Therefore, it is fundamental to operate towards a "just" transition.
The institutional greetings and speeches of Stefano FANTONI (President of the Trieste International Foundation and Champion ESOF 2020), Maria Cristina PEDICCHIO (President of the National Institute of Experimental Oceanography), and Federico TESTA (President of ENEA) made it clear how important the role of partnerships among companies, research and institutions is for the achievement of sustainable development. In order to obtain concrete, measurable and achievable results, it is necessary to be open to the contamination of ideas and tools. It was underlined how much science should be connected to the problems of our societies in order to support a widespread welfare for everyone. In addition, the link between technological transformation and the needs expressed by the Italian entrepreneurial fabric, characterized above all by small and medium-sized enterprises, must be even more relevant.
Also, these speakers, highlighted how innovation can be "fair" if it produces a positive and widespread socio-economic impact.
The connection Innovation-2030 Agenda was explored more specifically toward the end of the day through four thematic focuses: inclusion, resilience, circular economy and sustainable finance. These themes were addressed thanks to the contribution of Barbara FALCOMER (Director General of Valore D), Andrea MAGGIANI (Director General of Carbonsink), Fabio IRALDO (Professor at the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna), and Francesco BICCIATO (Secretary General of the Forum for Sustainable Finance). Integrating these models into business is a source of competitiveness for the private sector: when the company is able to enhance diversity and be inclusive - especially in terms of gender - it has better business performances; developing adaptation and mitigation measures to tackle climate change and setting ambitious targets for reducing emissions makes the private sector more resilient and competitive, bringing it closer to the financial sector, which today is fairly green-oriented. The adoption of circular business models implies, on the one hand, making the use of resources more efficient and, on the other, redesigning the entire production process, increasing business opportunities at every stage of the product life cycle; finance oriented towards sustainability projects is an innovative investment tool and an ally for companies to implement concrete actions with impacts on the territory.
Tavoli di lavoro
Participants in the Forum discussed inclusion, resilience, circular economy and sustainable finance in Working groups in the morning of 15 October with the aim of developing proposals for action to be implemented in 2020 within the operational framework of Global Compact Network Italy.
The following issues were outlined as priority and transversal needs for companies: finding the right ways to involve the entire value chain, not only suppliers and sub-suppliers, but also citizens and customers, and creating awareness within but also outside the business context.
Seven proposals presented in plenary and voted by all the participants of the Forum emerged from the Working Tables. The side picture shows all the proposals and the voting outcomes. In particular, the first three proposals refer to: the organization of a workshop on Sustainable Finance; the creation of guidelines on circularity for the companies’ purchasing offices; the promotion of a CEO roundtable on inclusion and management of diversity within companies.
Regarding all these actions, GCNI was indicated as an ideal partner to support companies - in terms of training, insights and sharing of experiences - in their path towards sustainability.
"In the eleven years between now and 2030, we must move in a collective spirit. Companies must engage not only their production chains, but also citizens and consumers: in line with the global nature of the 2030 Agenda, everyone is expected are expected to contribute to the development of a more equal and inclusive society. We should not forget that, in the vision of the UN's Global Compact, there can be no sustainability without inclusion".
Marco FREY – President, Global Compact Network Italy
"The commitment of companies is one of the essential factors for the success of the transition indicated by the United Nations; the territory of Trieste, in this sense, clearly shows what a correctly oriented company can do (for instance, think about the new purifier that “speaks with the sea" in Servola, an important example of smart and innovative technology at the service of the environment and the community). The private sector as a whole, in order to make a real difference, must place sustainability at the very heart of its raison d'être, giving itself a long-term vision that is supported not only internally by adequate planning and economic resources, but also externally by coherent legislative frameworks, which direct the wide-ranging investments and re-industrialization processes that will be required in the coming years.
Stefano VENIER – CEO, Hera Group
"In the insurance business of Generali, environmental, social and governance responsibility is integrated with its objectives. Generali embraces the most advanced international principles for sustainability and particularly promotes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is demonstrated by initiatives such as, for example, investments for € 1 billion by 2021 in digital innovation and transformation, or the climate change strategy, approved in 2018, which provides for specific actions on investment and underwriting and identifies discussion and stakeholder involvement as a tool to facilitate the transition to a low-environmental-impact society".
Gabriele GALATERI DI GENOLA – President, Assicurazioni Generali
Daniela Bernacchi is the new Secretary-General of Global Compact Network Italy. Consequently, she will be the person guiding - together with Professor Marco Frey (President) and in synergy with the Network’s Board of Directors - the Foundation for the next three years. The Foundation was appointed by the United Nations to coordinate and promote the “Global Compact” - the UN project aimed at promoting global sustainable development - at the national level.
After a twenty-year career in the marketing of large and distinguished multinationals operating in the publishing (Gruner und Jahr-Mondadori), entertainment (The Walt Disney Company) and energy (Liquigas-SHV) sectors - reaching the position of Marketing Director - Bernacchi continued her professional experience in the non-profit sector. In the last 12 years, she has been Director General of two leading Italian non-governmental organizations, namely WeWorld and Cesvi Foundation, both engaged in Africa, Asia and South America with humanitarian and development programs, and focusing particularly on human rights and inclusive and sustainable growth. Until February 2019, she was also part of the Board of «Alliance2015», a network which brings together 8 important European ONGs committed to the promotion of the SDGs – the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations in 89 countries worldwide.