20 years and virtual: The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit unites business for a better world

Published on: 16/06/2020




20 years and virtual: The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit unites business for a better world

With much of the year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the most impactful events have taken place virtually. The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit is no different, and it goes online on the 15th and 16th of June.

The 2020 Leaders Summit marks the 20th anniversary of the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, whose mission is to unite businesses for a better world. This year, the virtual event promises to be bigger, better and more inclusive than any physical event.

Spanning 26 hours, the high-level programme will have a ‘chase the sun’ format, allowing all participants and Global Compact Local Networks to participate in their own time zones. It involves over 10,000 companies and 3,000 non-business participants across the globe.

 Uniting business

Established 20 years ago, the UN Global Compact aims to mobilise a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders to improve the world. The initiative supports companies to[1]: 

  1. Do business responsibly by aligning their strategies and operations with Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption; 
  1. Take strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation. 

It achieves this by providing a principle-based framework, best practices, resources and networking events. With a multi-year strategy to drive business awareness and action in support of achieving the SDGs by 2030, the UN Global Compact catalyses action, partnerships and collaboration.

Taking part

There are several ways to get involved. Companies can register to the UN Global Compact Summit to gain access to all plenaries and sessions, live questions and answers, networking, virtual exhibit hall and on-demand business sessions. Speakers include leading voices from the UN, government, business and academia.

Participating companies can gain the knowledge and skills they need to meet their sustainability objectives and achieve long-term growth through the initiative’s UN Global Compact Academy.

They can also engage locally through the Global Compact Local Networks, which help companies understand what responsible business means, make local connections with other businesses and stakeholders from NGOs, government and academia, and receive guidance to put their sustainability commitments into action.

Focused on the theme ‘Recover better, recover stronger, recover together’, the agenda of the 2020 UN Global Compact Leaders Summit can be found here.

[1] UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, Our Mission: https://www.unglobalcompact.org/what-is-gc/mission