Empowering Canadian Businesses using the SDGs: UN Global Compact Insights, Initiatives, and the ‘Forward Faster’ Campaign

Established in June 2013, the UN Global Compact Network Canada is an independent entity collaborating closely with the UN Global Compact Head Office in New York, and is committed to engaging Canadian companies in advancing the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To achieve the SDGs, the UN Global Compact Network Canada consolidates and builds capabilities of the Canadian private sector in adopting sustainable practices through the facilitation of opportunities for multi-stakeholder collaboration. 

Earlier in November, the UN Global Compact Network Canada hosted an open house with key speakers, including Jen Brundage, Engagement Manager at the UN Global Compact Network Canada, and Carol Paci, Senior Manager and Participant Engagement, Americas & Iberia at UN Global Compact. The presentation is focused on opportunities at Network Canada and the new Forward Faster campaign, encouraging businesses to commit to ambitious targets in areas such as gender equality, climate action, living wage, water resilience, and finance and investment. The presentation also highlights the importance of measuring progress through the Communication on Progress (CoP) platform and annual contributions based on revenue.

Elizabeth Dove, Executive Director at UN Global Compact Network Canada, emphasized the crucial role companies play in reflecting on their responsibilities and setting a course for the SDGs. She noted the urgency of the current situation, with 85% of SDG indicators off track toward achieving the 2030 goals. Carol Paci introduced the UN Global Compact as an initiative supporting companies in adhering to principles related to human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. The initiative encourages companies to go beyond basic principles and work toward the SDGs. The UN Global Compact Network Canada also offers various opportunities and initiatives, including two new Accelerator Programs targeted at scaling up corporate climate action (SDG 13) and commitment to human rights and labour.  

The Forward Faster campaign is a call for companies to commit and take action on ambitious SDG-aligned targets in the following five action areas: gender equality, climate action, living wage, water resilience, and finance and investment.  These five action areas have been selected because they have the potential to generate the most impact across all 17 SDGs in the private sector by 2030. 

The presentation concluded with a call to all businesses to take action for a more sustainable and equitable future. If you are interested in joining the UN Global Compact, you can find more details on their website.