2022: The Target Gender Equality Accelerator ran from March 2022 to March 2023. Eighteen companies joined the programme, setting and reaching ambitious goals for women’s representation. Throughout this initiative, these firms enhanced their commitment to the Women’s Empowerment Principles, aiming squarely at Sustainable Development Goal 5.5. Through their involvement, participants set confident targets for female leadership, leveraged dedicated learning and tailored action plans, gauged their gender equality standing through the WEPs Gender Gap Tool, connected with a broad range of peers and UN partners, and showcased women leaders at the forefront of Sustainable Development Goals' contributions. 18 participating companies were onboarded for this accelerator.
2023: we are not running this programme in 2023.
2022: From May to November 2022, the Climate Ambition Accelerator programme guided companies towards setting robust science-based emission targets in line with the 1.5º pathway. Supported by patrons Ørsted and Natura & Co and sponsorship from En+ Group, the initiative advanced credible climate action across a myriad of sectors. Building on the UN Global Compact's foundational endeavours like the Science Based Targets and the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, this accelerator facilitated businesses in undertaking significant emissions reduction commitments. 11 participating companies gained access to global best practices, comprehensive learning, and expansive networking opportunities.
2023: This Accelerator is scheduled to run from May 2023 to November 2023. Registrations for this term are now closed. We have onboarded 11 companies that participated in the 2023 programme.
2022: Annually, under the UN Global Compact's "Making Global Goals Local Business" campaign, SDG Pioneers are recognized. These are influential business leaders, regardless of their company position, championing the force of business for societal betterment, aligned with the 17 SDGs. Their endeavours, either within their organizations or by rallying other enterprises, not only target fulfilling various Sustainable Development Goals but also drive business prosperity. The 2022 Local winners were: Patrick Elie, CEO and Co-Founder of Metrio, BASF Canada’s Innovation and Strategic Partners Leader, Lorena Lujan Rubio, and Desirée Bombenon, CEO & Chief Disruption Officer of SureCall.
2023: The winner was Rachel Bonnon-Godffrey, VP, SDG Impact Leader from Stantec.
SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING PEER REVIEW
2022: Participants enhanced their sustainability reporting with candid feedback from industry peers through the Sustainability Reporting Peer Review programme. This unique platform allowed companies to benchmark their reports, exchanging insights with corporate sustainability professionals. They delved into shared experiences, learned from best practices, and refined their reporting methods. Whether it was a sustainability report or a Communication on Progress (CoP), all were welcomed. The programme's core benefits included receiving in-depth feedback, sharing industry best practices, and benchmarking sustainability initiatives. All discussions adhered to the Chatham House Rules, ensuring confidentiality while promoting knowledge sharing. 6 companies participated in this programme.
2023: 6 companies participated in 2023.
"The Reporting Peer Review Programme is a very good opportunity for companies to interact with other sectors or similar sectors in striving for continuous learning and improvement in the sustainability reporting space...For the purposes of our next sustainability report, we also received constructive feedback from our peers as well as ideas from the reports we reviewed which we would like to replicate as part of our continuous improvement journey...The post-review meet and greet were also highly beneficial as peers were able to engage directly with each other and discuss challenges they face when it comes to sustainability reporting which could be debated collectively with potential solutions provided. The feedback reports were also made available to Ivanhoe Mines for us to reflect on post the programme which again was highly valuable... - Ashleigh Maritz, Manager of Sustainability, Ivanhoe Mines
PEER LEARNING GROUP
In March 2023, the UN Global Compact launched Peer Learning Groups, offering a vital platform for sustainability professionals to navigate the evolving landscape under heightened consumer and shareholder scrutiny. These groups, focusing on climate action, gender equality, labour and human rights, and SME support, provided an arena for shared learning and collaboration. Notably, two groups facilitated by Local Network Canada – one for SMEs and another for Climate Action – saw active participation from 18 companies. They exchanged challenges and solutions, going beyond standard knowledge sharing to foster open dialogue, build a resilient community, and inspire ambitious sustainability actions.
In November 2022, we hosted the "Aligning the SDGs to Value Creation Workshop" in partnership with PwC Canada. This two-hour virtual and interactive workshop highlighted key trends and provided practical insights on how the SDGs were integrated into business strategies aligned with global priorities. Topics covered included materiality, target setting, strategy development, and corporate positioning to cater to diverse stakeholder needs, including investors. 25 individuals from participating companies attended this workshop.
In April 2023, we hosted "The Business Case for Transformational Governance workshop – The What, Why, and How of SDG 16." Attendees gained invaluable insights on how companies could implement transformational governance practices using the UN Global Compact's SDG 16 Business Framework. The workshop was interactive, enabling participants to engage with peers and benefit from the knowledge of expert speakers. 6 individuals from participating companies attended this workshop.
2022: The Raising Corporate Ambition for Environmental Sustainability webinar series, spanning four sessions, delved into topics like Canada's agriculture, blue economy, technology's climate role, and nature's business protection significance. Expert speakers highlighted economic activities' environmental toll and increasing climate change ramifications. They underlined the need for national and corporate resolutions in bolstering climate action and sustainability. Through a lens of adaptation, mitigation, and financing pillars emphasized at COP26, the sessions explored tools and partnerships businesses used to tackle Canada's environmental challenges before COP27. In essence, the series spotlighted businesses' pivotal roles in fostering climate action and environmental resilience in Canada.
The Academy is the UN Global Compact’s digital learning platform providing business leaders and practitioners with actionable skills to help companies move further faster in implementing the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals. Through innovative learning experiences across key topics and languages, the Academy offers companies actionable insights and best practices relevant to your specific challenges and needs, regardless of corporate function or where you are on your sustainability journey.
SUSTAINABILITY LEADERS INTERVIEW SERIES
In our 2022 Sustainability Leaders Interview Series, we engaged with leaders like Desiree Bombenon (SureCall), Marc Duchesne (Bell), Faisal Kazi (Siemens Canada), and Jasmine Igneski (Parkland Corporation). These candid discussions illuminated bold steps taken by industry trailblazers, offering insights into embedding the Global Goals and Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into core business strategies. Readers gain a deeper understanding of integrating SDGs seamlessly, effectively measuring sustainability impacts, and leveraging partnerships for reinforced commitment to a sustainable future. For 2023, we interviewed ETCH Sourcing for an exclusive session where Jane Zhang, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, and Nazifa Rahman, Operations and Sustainability Specialist of ETCH Sourcing showcased their sustainable procurement database. They elucidated how companies can harness this tool to achieve their organizational sustainability and procurement objectives.
October 2023: In the critical journey towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 'SDG in Action' podcast series by UN Global Compact Network Canada emerges as a catalyst. Amidst the global race to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this series becomes a beacon for businesses, particularly in Canada. Each episode offers actionable insights into specific SDGs, guiding Canadian businesses to integrate these universal objectives seamlessly. Proudly sponsored by Element Fleet Management, this initiative not only fosters understanding but also champions the role of businesses in driving substantial, sustainable change.
LEVERAGING A CIRCULAR ECONOMY TO FAST-TRACK THE SDGS GUIDE
In May 2022, the UN Global Compact Network Canada unveiled the "Leveraging a Circular Economy to Fast-track the SDGs" guide. Recognizing the circular economy as an influential model, it offers innovative solutions to address global sustainable development challenges, directly impacting Goals 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15. This guide, crafted in collaboration with participant companies, emphasizes the significance of visualizing the synergy between circular economy practices and the SDGs. It serves as a tool for businesses to integrate responsible practices, fostering the advancement of the SDGs.
NAVIGATING THE JUST TRANSITION ROUNDTABLE SERIES
In July 2023, the UN Global Compact Network Canada spearheaded the 'Navigating the Just Transition Roundtable' series, forging a path toward sustainable change. Recognizing the imperative of a Just Transition, this initiative is designed to offer Canadian businesses the support and insights necessary for an equitable shift to a low-carbon economy. Our tailored series, spanning multiple key sectors such as extractive industries, transportation, technology, and finance, serves as a collaborative forum to understand the unique challenges and opportunities each industry faces.
14 participating companies, joined this roundtable series.
In August 2023, the UN Global Compact Network Canada unveiled its revamped website, designed to simplify sustainable business navigation. Aiming at both current participants and those keen on sustainable practices, this user-centric platform resonated with NGOs, government officials, academics, and the general public. With features like the "Knowledge Hub", "Participant Portal", and detailed insight pages, the platform became an essential guide to responsible business in Canada.
The Future is Equal: Enabling Ecosystems of Support in Canada project 2022/2023
- Launch of initiative: February 2022 marked the launch of "The Future is Equal: Enabling Ecosystems of Support in Canada" by the UN Global Compact Network Canada as an Ecosystem Partner for the 50 — 30 Challenge.
- Collaborative effort: In collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion.
- Workshops conducted: Over 25 workshops on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Participants impacted: 234 participants of the 50 — 30 Challenge engaged.
- Policy revisions: 129 participants have revised their internal diversity and inclusion policies.
- Achievement in gender parity and diversity: 100 organizations have attained 50% gender parity and 30% diverse leadership representation.
- Acknowledgement of improved practices: 101 organizations recognized the improvement in their diversity and inclusion practices.
- Toolkit awareness: 134 participants became aware of the 50 - 30 Challenge toolkit.
- Overall impact: Significant progress towards creating more inclusive workplaces.
Accelerating Systemic Change: The Case for Gender Equality Leadership for Sustainable Recovery 2022/2023
Funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada through the Feminist Response and Recovery Fund, the UN Global Compact Network Canada launched the "Accelerating Systemic Change: The Case for Gender Equality Leadership for Sustainable Recovery" project aimed to enhance women's participation in the labour market and address discriminatory barriers in Canada. In 2022, the project team hosted 11 consultation sessions with various stakeholders, gathering valuable insights from women and non-binary individuals about their pandemic-era labour market experiences. In 2023, this initiative is evolving to create 20 case studies of Canadian companies championing gender equality and inclusivity. These case studies, along with a comprehensive report and other resources, will culminate in an informative toolkit scheduled for release in early 2024.
2023 Regional Local Network Canada Participants Networking Event in Toronto
In May 2023, the UN Global Compact Network Canada hosted its first Regional Networking Event in Toronto, centering on Sustainable Finance in partnership with Manulife Financial. This event gathered professionals for in-depth discussions and networking, featuring a keynote address by Jennifer Reynolds, CEO of Women Corporate Directors Foundation. The occasion provided a unique platform for participating companies to exchange ideas, gain insights, and forge connections, fostering a collective understanding of integrating sustainability into financial strategies. This convergence of thought leaders and experts marked a significant step in advancing sustainable finance practices within the Canadian business community.
Fireside Chat with UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Slavery, Tomoya Obokata
In August 2023, the UN Global Compact Network Canada, partnering with Rogers Business, hosted a Fireside Chat featuring our Executive Director, Elizabeth Dove, and UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Slavery, Tomoya Obokata. Centered on Canada’s new Modern Slavery Act, the conversation illuminated an awareness gap, especially among SMEs. Professor Obokata emphasized a holistic approach to stakeholder engagement and the critical role of SMEs in ethical practices. He spotlighted the potential of technology, like AI and blockchain, for human rights compliance.
Unlocking Digital Innovation for Corporate Sustainability Fireside Chat
In September 2023 during UN General Assembly week, the UN Global Compact Network Canada and SAP convened for a fireside chat, navigating the junction of digital innovation, sustainability, and the Global Goals. Guided by Elizabeth Dove and SAP's Martin Heinig and Peter Selfridge, the discourse explored the Fourth Industrial Revolution's interplay of technology and ethics. With SMEs comprising 60% of Canada's private sector, their role in leveraging tech for net-zero goals was accentuated. Central to the discussion was ensuring tech equity, enhancing supply chain transparency, and the balance between climate adaptation and mitigation. Emphasizing partnerships, SAP's global initiatives showcased commitment to shared sustainability. The key insight from the discussion was that integrating technology with ESG values is fundamental to achieving a sustainable future.
UN Global Compact Leader Summit 2023
During the UN General Assembly week, the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit gathered global business, UN, government leaders, and SDG stakeholders to critically assess the private sector’s role in advancing the SDGs. The Summit addressed leadership in times of crisis, the importance of a principles-based approach, global trends, and essential tools and partnerships for achieving the 2030 Agenda. In this context, the 'Forward Faster' initiative was launched, mobilizing over 130 companies to expedite actions aligned with SDGs in areas like gender equality, climate action, living wages, water resilience, and finance & investment, steering them towards a more impactful, sustainable future by 2030.
Local Network Canada Speaking opportunities
- CCDI UnConference, March 2, 2023
- CCDI Leader Talks Podcast (Season 2, Episode 4)
- Jamieson Wellness International Women’s Day Event, 2 March 2023
- Kinross Gold International Women’s Day Event, 7 March 2023
- EDC International Women’s Day Event, 8 March 2023
- NEO Stock Exchange Keynote for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023
- Assent Allyship Week Event, 22 March 2023
- Together | Ensemble, 8 June 2023
- Assent Executive Allyship Event, 20 June 2023
- WEAR Conference, 12 October 2023
- IDEAS4GenderEquality Event, 18 October 2023
- Responsible Investor Canada Conference, 18 October 2023
- Atkins Realis Executive Event, 25 October 2023
- Economic Sustainability Group Fall Mixer, 26 October 2023
- St. Michael's College Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Graduate Diploma Program, 6 November 2023
- Globe & Mail Presents Sustainable Development Goals - Driving Climate and Social Action in Business, 28 November 2023
SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS
In October 2022, the UN Global Compact Network Canada launched a significant social media campaign in honour of Women's History Month. Celebrating female trailblazers, the campaign highlighted women leaders, activists, and innovators from participating companies. Providing a unique platform, the initiative offered a branded asset, shared across the network's channels, allowing organizations to echo their recognition of the month. Companies joined by submitting photos and poignant quotes from their chosen women, answering curated questions on the meaning of Women's History Month, the significance of workplace equity, and wisdom for women embarking on their careers, magnifying the campaign's impact on advancing gender equality.
In June 2023, the UN Global Compact Network Canada commemorated its decade-long dedication to bolstering corporate sustainability, launching a pivotal social media campaign to mark its 10th Anniversary. Established in 2013, the network has since unified over 200 Canadian entities across sectors, endorsing the UN Global Compact's Ten Principles. The campaign, hashtagged #TogetherForSustainability and #TenYearsOfProgress, sought to amplify its legacy and vision, with the tagline "Creating impact through responsible business." Through poignant testimonials from participants, the initiative spotlighted the transformative influence of the network on businesses, echoing their journey of integrating responsible practices. The campaign successfully elevated awareness and engagement, reinforcing the network's commitment to a sustainable future.