On 25th October 2017, the Global Compact Network Italy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), organized a Conference called “The Sustainable Development Goals: Experiences and Progresses on Their Implementation in Europe” held at Palazzo della Farnesina in Rome.
The main objective of this event was to hold a debate, among the members of the mixed panel of speakers and between them and the public present, on the policies and trends registered so far in the support of the 2030 Agenda in various sectors and at various levels, as well as on future opportunities in terms of launching new multi-stakeholder partnerships for the Global Goals.
In December 2016, the Global Compact Network Italy (here in after GCNI) started working on a new collection of business practices focusing on the implementation of strategies, policies and projects to support the achievement of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
Since then, an intense and ongoing dialogue and research has been carried out involving 11 organizations belonging to the GCNI and has culminated in the publication of the Report “ITALIAN BUSINESSES: PRACTICES TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. Following the path defined by the Sustainable Development Goals”.
It was within the sphere of those companies that verify and select their suppliers and subcontractors on the basis of their sustainability performance that the agreement giving Bureau Veritas Italia the role of the operating branch of the Global Compact Network Italy (GCNI) was made.
The TenP Platform was developed by the GCNI Foundation to support companies involved in collecting, analyzing, and sharing information on their suppliers’ sustainability performance. It is based on an online self-assessment questionnaire, itself based on the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, taking into account the key international standards and conventions on business sustainability.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), represents a culmination of more than four decades of multilateral dialogue and debate on tackling environmental, social and economic challenges faced by the world community. It is the most comprehensive and shared blueprint to date for eliminating extreme poverty, reducing inequality, and protecting the planet.
The 2030 Agenda is universal in scope and commits all countries, irrespective of their income levels and development status, to contribute towards a comprehensive effort towards sustainable development. It also calls for the participation of all segments of society to contribute to its implementation: governments, businesses and civil society actors are considered as equally responsible for progressing and achieve it.
The Sustainable Development Goals reflects many of the European Union's priorities for sustainable development. They pose a unique opportunity for Europe and its Member States to generate real sustainable impact towards an innovative, prosperous and inclusive society.
For this reason the EU is committed to be a frontrunner in implementing them both in its internal and external policies and many of its Member States and the European continent at large are proceeding in the same direction. Likewise, both business and civil society organizations in Europe have explicitly expressed their commitment towards the 2030 Agenda and its Goals and have already started to work on this direction.
The inclusion of sustainability issues in Supply Chain Management activities implies the willingness of organizations to measure, monitor and evaluate their performance, taking into account the existing trade off between the economic, social and environmental dimensions from a triple bottom line (TBL) viewpoint. This approach allows companies to have a comprehensive, and above all, strategic vision of the Supply Chain: reducing supply and distribution costs; defining cooperation and coordination relationships with their suppliers; and improving customer satisfaction.
Eliminating corruption requires collective action by all stakeholders. By signing this Call to Action, you are not only encouraging governments to take action on corruption, you are also inspiring other companies to follow your lead.
Demand for business and human rights education is growing worldwide. Academic institutions are well positioned to prepare future business leaders to manage the human rights impacts of their companies.
The UN Global Compact in collaboration with the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) are asking companies to sign an open letter calling on academic institutions to integrate business and human rights into their curriculum.
The second edition of the “Business & SDGs High Level Meeting” was held at the Edison SpA headquarters in Milan on 18th May. It was sponsored by the GCNI Foundation as an opportunity to encourage a shared reflection at the highest level amongst prominent actors in the national sphere, regarding the role the private sector is called upon to play in support of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda. People from the highest offices (Presidents, Managing Directors, Leading Managers) of large and medium-sized Italian companies from various production sectors, with a solid sustainability profile, met together around the table: A2A, AirPlus International, Alcantara, BNL – Gruppo BNP Paribas, Borsa Italiana, E&Y, Enel, Edison, Gruppo Hera, Saipem, Salini Impregilo.
The second appointment of the "Business & SDGs Workshops" cycle promoted by the Global Compact Network Italy Foundation - as part of the 2017 Activities Program in support of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development - will be held on July 12th in Milan at the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Corso Magenta 63, from 1.30 pm to 5.00 pm. The meeting is organized in collaboration with Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Fondazione Sodalitas.
In pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda poses an unavoidable challenge: "to intensify multilateral partnerships that develop and share knowledge, skills, technological and financial resources" (SDG 17) into a collective action logic. Only through close collaboration between the different actors who are mutually and voluntarily engaged in innovative relationships to pursue shared goals is it possible to embark on an inclusive and sustainable growth program.
Multi-stakeholder partnerships have proven to be a strategic and essential tool in boosting the corporate world’s contribution to sustainable development. By putting together common skills and resources, they have created projects, actions and experiences of great value for the people and the needs that they aim to protect and promote.
On 18th May, the first of the four “Business & SDGs Workshops” to be promoted by the Global Compact Network Italy Foundation in 2017 was held in Milan, as part of the activities program aimed at supporting the implementation of United Nations 2030 Global Goals. This first event, dedicated to the theme of "Sustainable Finance in Support of SDGs", was organized together with UNEP Inquiry and kindly hosted by Edison SpA.
The Global Compact Italy Foundation has joined the UNGC Action Platform "Pathways to Low-Carbon & Resilient Development" which was launched in March 2017 by the United Nations Global Compact with the dual purpose of providing support to the National Plans for the Paris Climate Agreement and specifically to promote the advancement of 3 of the 17 UN Global Goals: SDG7 – Affordable & Clean Energy, SDG9 – Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure, SDG13 – Climate Action.
The world leaders in sustainability will be meeting again in New York on 21st September at the initiative of the United Nations Global Compact.
At the UNGC Leaders Summit 2017, particular attention will be paid to the theme of public private partnerships for achieving the 2030 Global Goals. A consideration shared at the highest level on the ways to ensure a wider, more meaningful and effective engagement of businesses, institutions and stakeholder organizations in global action for sustainable development will be promoted and developed within the Summit.
The second edition of the Italian Business & SDGs Annual Forum will be held on September 27th 2017 from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm, in the town of Lucca at the prestigious Palazzo Pfanner. The Forum is promoted by the Global Compact Network Italy Foundation in collaboration with Sofidel Group, which kindly hosts the event, and it is organized with the support of A2A SpA and Edison SpA. The initiative will be held under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Municipality of Lucca, Confindustria Toscana Nord - Lucca, Pistoia, Prato.
In March five new companies with a CSR/sustainability profile already characterised by specific goals related to their business sector: BNL GRUPPO BNP PARIBAS (as “Founding Member”), than Autogrill Group, Ledvance SpA, San Servolo Servizi Metropolitani di Venezia and Tridente Immobiliare (as “Participants”) became part of the Global Compact Network Italy.
With the exception of BNL SpA (present for years in the UN Global Compact), for the other companies mentioned above joining the Global Compact Network Italy Foundation is the start of a process of getting closer to and more progressively involved in the UN initiative for corporate sustainability and its Ten Principles on human rights, labour, the environment, and anti-corruption.
From the launch of the 2030 Agenda (September 2015) until now, the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) have become a guide for businesses in countries around the world. Globally, in the political, economic and social spheres, the reaction of leaders to new challenges and priorities for sustainable development as set out by the United Nations has been impressive. A new awareness has gradually spread leading to new strategies, policies and initiatives in support of peace and world prosperity and the protection of the planet.
In late April two important events promoted by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) will be held in New Delhi in India as international-scale initiatives in support of the Global Goals 2030 and of the role of Local Networks within the governance system UNGC.
► “Making Global Goals Local Business – India” (New Delhi, 26th-27th of April)
The two days will bring together over 300 local and global leaders with the aim of promoting the development of innovative business models to support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Collection of "experiences and business practices related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)" is taking shape. The collaboration that was initiated with the first 10 companies that will be the key actors in the collection already profiles an interesting opportunity for future readers to explore from the review processes of strategy and business in order to integrate SDGs at corporate level, to the projects started to concretize specific objectives.
In fact the intention of the document is to analytically report the different approaches, visions and instruments adopted by the key companies with the common aim of "making the global goals opportunities for business at local level."
The Italian CSR Manager Network promoted the EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF SUSTAINABILITY PROFESSIONALS (EASP), a network of CSR practitioners from European organizations, with the aim to share each other's experience for the benefit of those who are interested in promoting sustainability as a development factor.
Activities started at the beginning of 2017 with a virtual meeting, the webinar "Stakeholder management & its impact on performance and reporting" which aims to understand how multinational enterprises are adapting their stakeholder management processes and explore different institutional contexts in which they operate in.
During 2016, in light of the new commitments which were adopted at international level with the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate, the GCNI Foundation worked to progressively assume an increasingly active role in terms of support to businesses in the integration processes of the SDGs to business strategies and enhancement of the experiences implemented within the network. A multi-year activities plan for firms, open to stakeholder organizations, was launched and has registered the first important results.
In particular, the first editions of the Business & SDGs High Level Meeting and the Italian Business & SDGs Annual Forum have highlighted three fundamental aspects: the private sector is widely recognized as the main actor of sustainable development and, for this reason, all the stakeholders (primarily, consumers and institutions) are called upon to encourage an orientation towards SDGs by businesses; the implementation path of the SDGs must necessarily be characterized as a participatory process to be managed through a collaboration between the parties; the new partnerships will involve all the actors of sustainable development in a coordinated way and by capitalizing on the specificities of each of them.
With the intention of making further progress, in the new year even more ambitious scenarios will open up, oriented firstly towards the launching of a shared project on the SDGs, to the promotion of a more widespread and effective involvement of SMEs in sustainable development, to the presentation of the SDGs Best Practice Collection in national and international spheres which is reserved for our members and which we are already working on.
(Marco Frey, President - Global Compact Network Italy Foundation)
With the aim of giving value to, illustrating and expanding knowledge with respect to the private sector’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Compact Network Italy Foundation (GCNI Foundation) has launched the "Collection of experiences and business practices related to the Sustainable Development Goals" project.