The UN Global Compact: Advancing or Impeding Corporate Sustainability?

Research output: Other contributionTeaching case


The case discusses the birth and maturing of the world's largest voluntary initiative for corporate responsibility and sustainability: The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). In just a few years from its creation in 2000, the UNGC made impressive progress. By 2018, more than 9,800 companies from 163 countries had signed up to the initiative. The UNGC managed to establish local networks (ie clusters of participants) in nearly 70 countries, and many praised the initiative for transforming the corporate sustainability movement. However, there were also many problems. Until 2018, the UNGC had to expel more than 8,000 firms, because they didn't meet the minimum participation requirement: to submit an annual report that outlines implementation progress. This reinforced the view of critics who had long argued that the initiative lacked 'teeth' and that it rather impeded progress in the area of corporate sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School, CBS
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesCBS free case collection

Bibliographical note

Case - Reference no. 319-0002-1


  • Strategy
  • International organizations
  • Standards for sustainability
  • Leadership
  • Contextual nature of corporate sustainability

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