UN chief asks leading companies to take bold action to address global risks

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UNITED NATIONS, June 15 (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday asked the world’s leading companies to take bold action to address environmental, social and governance risks.

Serious threats, including climate change, poverty, loss of biodiversity and widening social inequalities, could undermine the human future. And the coronavirus pandemic has underscored the world’s fragilities, which extend far beyond the realm of global health, Guterres told the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit.

Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world. It calls on companies to align their operations and strategies with 10 universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

“Now more than ever, as big decisions are made about our future, companies need to address environmental, social and governance risks holistically and move beyond business-as-usual,” he told the virtual event.

He asked companies to take more ambitious and comprehensive action across their operations and value chains by setting goals in line with UN best practice business benchmarks across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“It is especially important for you to support efforts to achieve emissions reductions of 45 percent from 2010 levels this decade, and to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century. The world also needs a business community fully committed to transparency and accountability.”

From its inception, the UN Global Compact has advanced the vision that when businesses unite, they can be a powerful force for good. In an unprecedented time of global uncertainty and crisis, this vision has never been more important, he said. Enditem

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