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Creating Alignment between Corporate Sustainability and Global Compact Initiatives

The UN Global Compact: Fair Competition and Environmental and Labour Justice in International Markets

ISBN: 978-1-78441-295-1, eISBN: 978-1-78441-294-4

Publication date: 28 January 2015



This chapter discusses how businesses can create alignment between their corporate sustainability (CS) efforts that focus on the triple bottom line of the financial, environmental, and social, and the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact in the four core areas of environment, human rights, labor standards, and anticorruption.


Based on the literature review, the relationship between CS and corporate responsibility is presented. Creating alignment between CS management and Global Compact initiatives requires knowledge of the Global Reporting Initiative (G4-GRI), third-party CS rankings, green supply chain management, and anticorruption strategies.


UN Global Compact is an international forum to promote and self-report CS and corporate social responsibility [Bitanga & Bridwell, 2010. CS is achieved through a triple bottom line – financial, environmental, and social (Hutchins & Sutherland, 2008). For CS management, businesses use four strategies including defensive, cost-benefit, strategic, and innovation/learning [Buchholtz & Carroll, 2008; Egbeleke, Journal of Management and Sustainability, 4(2), 92–105 (2014); Epstein, 2008; Epstein, Buhovac, & Yuthas, 2010]. The UN G4-GRI is the most widely used comprehensive sustainability reporting standard in the world (G4-GRI, 2013). Third-party, industry sector-specific CS ratings reinforce the self-reported sustainability reports. Each firm has to conduct their own CS cost-benefit analysis to determine how CS practices can lead to value creation for sustained competitive advantage. Creating alignment with Global Compact initiatives offers firms a marketing advantage. Conducting business in accordance with the Global Compact is a value-increasing business strategy [Kaspereit & Lopatta, 2011; Lopatta & Kaspereit, 2014; Michelon, Corporate Reputation Review, 14(2), 79–96 (2011)]. Green supply chain management is essential for CS (Penfield, 2014). Four prevailing anticorruption frameworks or intervention policy approaches include law enforcement, economics, moralism, and cultural relativism (Bellows, 2013). There is little sustainability reporting in the government and public-sector organizations (Adams, Muir, & Hoque, 2014).

Research limitations/implications

It is difficult to quantify the financial and social benefits of aligning the CS efforts with the 10 principles of UN Global Compact [Parisi, Journal of Management and Governance, 17(1), 71–97 (2013); Nilipour & Nilipour, Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 3(9), 1084–1092 (2012)]. The environmental impact can be easily quantified.

Practical implications

As the primary driver of globalization, businesses and other organizations can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology, and finance advance in ways that benefit environment, economies, and societies in both developed and developing countries leading to sustained development.

Originality/value of the chapter

The role of green supply chain management and anticorruption strategies in CS management is explored.



Chandan, H.C. (2015), "Creating Alignment between Corporate Sustainability and Global Compact Initiatives", The UN Global Compact: Fair Competition and Environmental and Labour Justice in International Markets (Advances in Sustainability and Environmental Justice, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 37-59.



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