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Building belief in the future with the United Nations’ Global Compact

18 July 2022 7 min read

We’re excited to share that SR has joined the United Nations’ Global Compact (UNGC)! This is a significant step for us as we continue to make sustainability a bigger part of our business. It also gives each of us an opportunity to contribute to a better future.

What is the UNGC?

The UNGC is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. Over 19,000 organisations from over 160 countries have joined. The UNGC’s goal is to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders to create a better world.

If you have seven minutes to spare, we encourage you to watch the following video for a great, short introduction: 21 Years of the UN Global Compact Uniting Business for a Better World.

To make this happen, the UNGC supports companies like us to:

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

Many of our clients, like Sino Land, Keppel and SATS, have also joined the UNGC.

What are the Ten Principles?

The Ten Principles are the UNGC’s ideas for how all businesses can operate responsibly and sustainably. Following these principles helps companies meet their basic responsibilities to people and our planet. It also helps set the stage for long-term business success.

By joining the UNGC, we have publicly committed to making these Ten Principles part of our strategy, culture and day-to-day operations.

Human Rights

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.

Behaviour targeting someone for who they are (gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, political opinion, etc.) has no place at SR.

We make sure our colleagues are treated fairly and equally, and we expect our business partners do the same.

We ask colleagues to report any suspected human rights violation immediately.

Labour

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.

Our colleagues are free to join groups both within and outside of SR, from trade unions to political parties.

We keep our workplace free of any form of discrimination or harassment and we follow labour laws and standards like the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

We expect our business partners to respect labour rights and prohibit any form of modern slavery or underage labour that is harmful or precludes the completion of education.

Environment

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.

We do our work in a way that minimises environmental impact – from using the printer as little as possible to shutting off lights when rooms are not occupied.

We promote environmental understanding and action among our colleagues through internal updates and workshops.

We encourage our clients to consider sustainability not only through our Sustainability practice, but whenever possible. For example, we specify environmentally-responsible materials and inks for annual reports and other printed publications if project parameters allow.

Anti-corruption

Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

We do business ethically and honestly at all times, and set clear guidelines on bribery and corruption in our Ethical Behaviour policy.

We ask colleagues to raise concerns about bribery or corruption as early as possible.

How does this benefit SR?

Joining the UNGC will help us operate more responsibly and sustainably. It’s naturally aligned with our purpose to Build Belief in the Future. It also helps us communicate to our clients that we are serious about sustainability.

Going forward, we will work to implement the Ten Principles in our business. We are already exploring ways to do this, for example, by looking to start recycling and food waste programmes, and reducing electricity use in our Hong Kong office to limit our impact on the environment.

By joining the UNGC, we have also committed to engage in collaborative projects to advance the broader development goals of the United Nations, particularly the SDGs. Our ongoing engagement with organisations like the Shared Value Initiative and the Mekong Club will continue to help us fulfil that commitment.

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