UN compact inspires better business practices

I had a chance to speak with Denmark-based LM Wind recently. As a turbine blade, brake, and service supplier, I found out the company has signed a compact with the United Nations. CEO Roland Sudén explained that  the company has 43-GW of installed wind power capacity, but wanted to do more to make its commitment to sustainability more formal.

Lene Mi Ran Kristiansen, communications specialist at LM Wind, said the UN Global Compact was a good way to introduce a new company strategy. The compact  is a voluntary initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. In order for a company to participate in the compact, it must submit an annual report describing what it’s done to integrate the UNGC principles.

LM Wind is stepping back and taking a look at the way it conducts business. It is already compliant on the business ethics and humanitarian requirements of the UN Compact, but its new strategy renews focus on safety, industrial hygiene, emissions, waste, and environmental impact. Sundén explained that it’s about confronting the environmental and social challenges in the business and creating change. “We share this ambition with the other signatories to the UN Global Compact,” he said.

The compact is gaining popularity. It already has more than 8,700 corporate participants and other stakeholders from 130 countries. It’s the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world and it might just change the way business is conducted in the wind and other industries.

 

What do you think about signing a formal contract to adhere to business principles? What do you think of the UN's principals? Do you think they encourage better business?

 

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