Global Policy Forum

Global Compact Annual Learning Forum Meeting

UN Global Compact

Berlin, December 11 – 13, 2002
Descriptive Agenda
Plenary sessions:
Session 1:
Welcome: Interactive Session
Speaker: Georg Kell, Executive Head of Global Compact
The Global Compact Learning Forum promotes learning and knowledge sharing among participants. But what sort of knowledge are we seeking? What are the burning issues? How does transparency build trust among stakeholders? Do we have a common understanding of corporate social responsibility, business ethics, socially responsible investment, stakeholder engagement, and other modern-day movements? Through a dynamic activity, participants will bring their expertise and knowledge to bear under the umbrella of the Global Compact.

Opening Address
Speaker: Lady Minister Wieczorek-Zeul, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Session 2: Analysis of Experiences of Integrating CSR into Core Business Activities Speakers: Andrew Wilson, Ashridge Business School
Elena Bonfiglioli, CSR Europe
Aron Cramer, Business for Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is not just good for the soul…it's good for business. As the evidence has mounted supporting the business case for CSR, more and more companies have declared CSR – and a focus on the "triple bottom line" – a strategic management priority. However, there remains a wide gulf between the "learners" and the "leaders", between companies that are reactive and those that are proactive in adopting what has been called the 21 st century management philosophy. This session will examine how companies are mainstreaming CSR into their core business operations and uncovers the expected and unexpected benefits.

Session 3: New Challenges for the Global Compact
Speakers: Jeremy Brooks, Transparency International
Salil Tripathi, Amnesty International
Sophia Tickell, Oxfam
Prof. Dr. Leisinger, Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development
The Global Compact is an open network of partners. One of the challenges of the Global Compact is to remain relevant – even avant garde – in terms of the issues and emerging trends it addresses. Indeed, the various stakeholders in the Compact regularly encourage the initiative to add new topics to the agenda – some of them topics that companies and other social actors are just beginning to grapple with. These include how business should approach human-rights isssues; transparency and trust building; and sectoral analysis as a management tool. These three areas will be examined in this session with an emphasis on current, real-world examples.

Session 4: Multi-Stakeholder Approaches for Sustainable Solutions
Speakers: Hans Peter Schipulle, BMZ
Pedro Ortun, EU
Denise O'Brien, UN Global Compact
There is a growing consensus that sustainable solutions to global challenges can only be achieved through multi-stakeholder engagement and partnerships. This session will examine the main characteristics of such partnerships, including the benefits and challenges, and how to improve the quality of stakeholder engagement. Issues related to measurement and communications will also be discussed.

Session 5: Sustainability in Media, PR and Marketing
Speakers: Gavin Power, Global Compact
Nigel Middlemiss, ECHO research
Cornis Lugt, UNEP
Many experts predict that the media will have the most profound impact in shaping people's perceptions about CSR and sustainable development in the coming years. At the same time, today's emphasis on transparency is pushing companies to actively utilize marketing, public relations, media relations and other methods to communicate their activities. Nevertheless, the public remains distrustful of both big media and big business. In this environment, how are messages being credibly communicated? Are media outlets becoming true believers of CSR and sustainability? What are the advantages and disadvantages of paid versus non-paid editorial coverage? This session is designed to create awareness and understanding about the role of communications and various media sectors, including a discussion of good and bad practices.

Session 6: Panel Discussion - Learning Methods and Knowledge Gaps
Speakers: Sandra Waddock, Centre for Corporate Citizenship, Boston College
Prof. Gilbert Lenssen, European Academy of Business in Society
Judy Samuelson, Aspen ISIB
The lightning-fast exchange of information is not enough to fulfil the demand of corporations to implement better practices. What's required is that information is transformed into knowledge that can be practically implemented. What "knowledge gaps" are missing from the current inventory of corporate intelligence? How do we ensure that information is transformed into knowledge that is relevant to business? What's the role of formal business education? How can the Learning Forum fully leverage its capabilities? At this session, an analysis of information presented at the working groups will be discussed as a first step in identifying knowledge gaps.

Session 7: Global Compact Learning Forum – New Perspectives
Speaker: - Ellen Kallinowsky, UN Global Compact
This session will address the future priorities of the Learning Forum and feature a discussion of the respective roles and responsibilities of the various actors of the Learning Forum. How will the Learning Forum evolve? How can companies contribute and benefit from the Learning Forum? What methodologies will be utilized to showcase company action and commitment to the nine principles? How will the Learning Forum contribute to the development of higher benchmarks? What will be the role and expectations of different participating groups and stakeholders in the Learning Forum?

Dinner Session: Post WSSD – New Challenges for the Corporate World
Speaker: Dr. Klaus Toepfer, United Nations Environment Programme

Breakout Sessions: Case-Study Roundtable & Discussion Working Groups
Case-Study Roundtables:
One of the strategic priorities of the Learning Forum in 2002 was creating the groundwork for the development of case studies that will delve into companies' experiences in implementing the Global Compact's nine principles. These roundtables will highlight specific examples of individual company action for discussion in small working groups. Each case study will be presented by an independent case author – from the recently established academic network – with the company representative participating at the roundtable. Perspectives from both academia and business should lead to a lively discussion about solutions to the many challenges confronting companies.

1 st Roundtable: From Principles to Practice
For companies participating in the Global Compact, one of the main challenges is how to take a "holistic approach" in the sense of implementing several principles from the three Global Compact areas – human rights, labour and environment – at once. This requires a values-based management philosophy that roots corporate citizenship into the very marrow of the organization. But there is no single approach, as the experiences of individual companies shows. This roundtable will examine how three very different companies are approaching values-based management: Novartis, with a top-down approach; Designworks, which customized the corporate policy of its parent, BMW; and Spedpol, which uses a bottom-up approach involving employees in the development of a code of conduct.

2 nd Roundtable: Products, Profits and Development – A Perfect Match?
One important aspect of the implementation of Global Compact principles is how it adds value to companies. Often, this can take the form of new products and services that incorporate, in some fashion, environmental and social concerns. This roundtable will focus on how companies are identifying market opportunities for sustainable products, services and processes, and how such strategies are being received and recognized by the investment community. At this session, the International Finance Corporation will discuss their new benchmarks for decisions on financing private sector projects. Thereafter, case studies will be presented by three companies that have developed new products in keeping with sustainability practices: HDFC, an Indian financial institution that has developed a mechanism for extending credit to poor sectors in partnership with an NGO; Broad Air Conditioning, a Chinese enterprise that is bucking its industry by marketing products utilizing clean energy; and BASF, the German chemical company that developed a new instrument to assess the eco-efficiency of processes and products not just for its own operations, but for the industry at large.

3 rd Roundtable: Sustainable Management Experiences: Decision-Making Processes and Stakeholder
Sustainable management approaches are being increasingly adopted by corporations that are facing environmental and social demands. This roundtable will present three experiences related to how companies are tailoring sustainability programs to suit their own needs and dilemmas. The UN Environment Program will present their views and experiences on the business rational for sustainable management. Three case studies will be presented: Eskom, of South Africa, on scarcity issues related to the management of water and electricity; Samarco, of Brazil, on the development of an environmental management system in partnership with local communities; and a Japanese case, focusing on environmental issues.

4 th Roundtable: Labour and the Workforce in the 21st Century: A Regional Perspective
For decades, labour rights and workplace conditions have been central issues in the global corporate citizenship debate. However, there are distinct regional issues that the Learning Forum is seeking to emphasize. This roundtable will present two case studies – one related to diversity and discrimination in the workplace of Yazaki Torres of the Philippines; the other of DaimlerChrysler focusing on how the company is coping with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Discussion Working Groups:
The Learning Forum seeks to be proactive in facilitating forums that are designed to share knowledge on emerging globalisation topics that impact – and are influenced by – the private sector and other global actors. The following sessions were created to address the critical issues that are on the minds of global stakeholders and to motivate companies and researches in getting engaged in those issues.

1 st Session: Transparency and Conflict Prevention
Increasingly, transparency associated with organizational policies, practices, financial management and performance is becoming a critical strategy for any entity that is interested in securing credibility with its stakeholders and protecting the reputation of the organization. However, the way in which organizations define transparency is not just determined by internal decisions about the who, what and how of disclosing information. It is a process that is also driven and shaped by identifying, engaging and understanding stakeholder concerns and interests. This session will present experiences from ABB dealing with transparency and corruption and Transparency International, focusing on a policy paper on transparency that was developed during one of the Global Compact Policy Dialogues. The participants will discuss those experiences and will identify some key issues related to transparency for which they think the Global Compact should increase its efforts.

2 nd Session: Cross Border Supply-Chain Management
In a global economy, responsible supply-chain management becomes a critical success factor for multinational companies and their trading partners around the world. This session will focus on the different approaches that companies are utilizing in embedding values and principles throughout global supply chains. The session includes examples from Otto-Versand, ITT Flygt AG and Volvo Car Corporation as well as presentations from Warwick Business School and UNDP. Discussions about the benefits and limitations of specific social standards and guidelines related to supply-chain management – including SA8000 and OECD guidelines – will be discussed.

3 rd Session: Employment Challenges in a Global Economy:
In 2003, the Global Compact Policy Dialogue will focus on the twin themes of workplace conditions and labour rights. The purpose of this session is to discuss and identify, through a multi-stakeholder forum, specific issues that should be included in the forthcoming Policy Dialogue. The session will feature experiences, perspectives and expectations from ICFTU, IOE, and Volkswagen. Key questions: What are the new challenges? Which problems lend themselves to a multi-stakeholder approach at the global level?

4 th Session: The Global Compact Performance Model
One of the Policy Dialogue working groups developed a Performance Model, which is a management instrument that can assist companies in implementing the Global Compact. In this session a representative from the WBCSD will present the Performance Model. Under moderation by the University of Dallas, the participants will delve into the operational aspects of the Performance Model in an effort to broaden its adoption and application. The primary goal will be to set benchmarks for the model and develop tools for the implementation of its 10 elements. In addition the session will address how the Global Compact can use the Performance Model as a framework for the Learning Forum examples and case

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.