GCU joins worlds largest corporate citizenship movement

02 September 2013

United Nations building, New York

United Nations building, New York

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world.

The UNGC brings together a range of like-minded organisations under the UN umbrella to ensure that business, as a primary driver of globalisation, can help guide markets, commerce, technology and finance to advance in ways that work for the overall benefit of economies and societies worldwide.

Academic partners undertake research on the evolving issue of corporate citizenship, strengthening the business case for responsible management practices. They also have a key role to play in ensuring that the business leaders of tomorrow are equipped with the knowledge and tools they will need to meet pressing global challenges.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has invited GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE to attend the United Nations Leaders’ Summit in New York in mid-September. This meeting of chief executives, civil society leaders, and politicians will unveil a new global architecture for corporate sustainability. 

Professor Gillies said: “The values promoted by the UN Global Compact initiative chime with those long held by the University. At GCU we believe in equality of opportunity, good citizenship, partnership, responsible management, good governance and accessibility. I look forward to working with other leaders to explore how such principles can be applied to make the global marketplace a more socially and economically inclusive place.”

GCU is the first university in Scotland to join leading companies such as Burberry, BT and Unilever in the global movement. The UNGC is built around 10 guiding principles. It has around 10,000 members, of which 7000 are businesses.

The decision to join the UNGC builds upon the work currently underway to embed the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) across the University. PRME is a closely-linked UN initiative.  

GCU became a signatory to PRME in January 2012 and is currently changing the way business is taught and viewed across the University to ensure that the leaders of tomorrow are better equipped to manage the complex challenges faced by business and society in the 21st century.

Dr Alec Wersun, PRME Leadership Team, Glasgow School for Business and Society, said: “I am delighted that GCU has joined this worldwide movement of likeminded organisations, which are using universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, anti-corruption and the environment to make the world a better place.”