The Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management served as the secretariat of the U.S. Network of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) from 2007 to 2012. The UNGC is the world's largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative, with more than 8,000 participants and stakeholders from 130 countries.
The compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses, NGOs and other institutions committed to aligning their operations with 10 universally accepted principles in areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. As secretariat, the Fowler Center organized at least two educational seminars per year on a topic related to the UNGC. Meetings included a May 2011 symposium on “sustainability reporting frameworks” in New York hosted by Deloitte and a November 2011 symposium on “Impact Investing and Social Business” in San Francisco hosted by Levi Strauss & Co.
The 10 principles of the UN Global Compact ask companies to embrace, support and enact a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labor standards, the environment, and anti-corruption:
- Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
- Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
- Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
- Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
- Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
- Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
- Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
- Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
- Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
- Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.