Our world is at a critical juncture
Future advances in global integration, poverty reduction, protection of our planet and, ultimately, peace critically depend on our ability to collectively address the most pressing global challenges. Accelerating the practice of corporate sustainability and responsibility is an urgent task in these complex times, when crises – from financial market break downs to environmental degradation – are increasingly global and connected. The stakes could not be higher, given that climate change threatens the security of food, water and energy – the interlocking resource pillars which underpin prosperity and the productivity of the economy. To bring about a new era of sustainability, business everywhere must put long-term considerations, comprehensive risk management and ethics at the top of the corporate agenda.
Building a new era of sustainability
Chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2010 will provide the platform for organizations to convene, collaborate and commit to building a new era of sustainability – an era where environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are deeply integrated into business based on both material and ethical rationales. At the Summit, leaders will collectively tackle priority areas that are central to corporate leadership today and essential for the transformation to sustainable markets and the achievement of societal goals. With over 1,000 global leaders in attendance, this triennial Summit will be the most important UN-business event ever held.
The Summit will be divided into three parts:
Part I: Setting the Sustainability Agenda
Corporate responsibility has always been defined by and evolved within the broader context of politics, power and technological change, and responded to the call for the greater good. A confluence of factors – notably the financial crisis and climate change – has finally pushed this agenda towards a tipping point. It is now widely understood that our globalized marketplace requires a stronger ethical orientation, better caretaking of the common good, and more comprehensive management of risks.
Part II: Leading the Change
Corporate sustainability leadership today calls for a sophisticated and comprehensive approach to integrating ESG issues across the organization – from the Board, down through the organization and subsidiaries, and out into the supply chain. It requires connecting sustainability issues and actions – moving beyond silos – and meaningfully reporting progress and impacts. Corporate leadership today also calls for responsible engagement in public policy spheres.
Part III: Achieving Development
2010 will mark a decade since world leaders committed to reduce extreme poverty and set out the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be achieved by 2015. Much remains to be done – especially with negative impacts from climate change, food crises and the global economic downturn turning back advances. Poverty is a profound threat to global security, interdependence and building strong markets. Business can and must strengthen its role in finding strategic and effective solutions to combat global poverty, hunger and disease.
The Leaders Summit seeks to maximize interaction between participants. For the majority of the Summit, including plenary sessions, participants will be seated at tables of approximately 10 people – consisting of leaders from a variety of stakeholder groups. Sessions will begin with a panel discussion conducted in “Question & Answer” style, to be followed by round-table discussions by participants.
14 May 2010)