KATHMANDU, May 22: United Nations Global Compact (GC) is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. It offers a leadership platform for companies to develop, implement and disclose sustainability principles and practices.
Global Compact was initiated in Nepal in 2003 in partnership with Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce (FNCCI), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and International Labor Organization (ILO).
GC Nepal Chapter now has 32 business enterprises as its members.
Three Nepali companies that have adopted Global Compact principles shared their experiences with myrepublica.com.
Awareness should be raised
Laxmi Woodcraft Udyog
We have been a part of the Global Compact initiative from around 7 to 8 years. It is a wake up call for businesses. We joined it because we believe in its principles. These principles teach us ethical practices which are good for the long term sustainability of our industry.
Through GC, we got a chance to expose the good works that we had been doing way before we joined it. Among other things, we train and hire people suffering from leprosy.
Businesses should join it because it is a nice platform to share experiences and to learn from others. You get to interact with people nationally and internationally, in events and workshops.
Your business image will also improve if you are able to be a part of GC and follow its principles. Nepalese businesses are only involved when they get immediate benefit; they do not think for long term. It´s high time we changed this attitude.
FNCCI, which is the focal point of GC in Nepal, should think seriously about raising awareness about it.
Media can help in promoting it
Sulochana Shrestha Shah
We became a part of Global Compact (GC) seven years ago. We joined GC because we believe in its principles. If you want to run your business for a long-term period, you need to be concerned about human rights, labor rights, environment and anti- corruption, among others issues.
Formation Carpet has been taken as a model factory of Nepal and recognized by national and international stakeholders. In 2006, we were awarded by GC as the best practices in South Asia Pacific region. We recommend it to other companies because this is the trend now and your business will benefit from long term sustainability.
There should be awareness programs about GC among all the stakeholders. A steering committee has recently been formed and we are working on it. I think media can play a vital role in making GC more meaningful in Nepal´s context.
It´s a must to make business sustainable
DGM - Corporate Human Resources
We joined Global Compact (GC) six years ago. We were already focusing on labor and environment even before joining the GC, but its additional principles on human rights and anti-corruptions gives us more insights for responsible business.
The reason we joined is also because it is a UN initiative, and we get a wider recognition. After joining GC, we have taken some social-enterprise initiatives through which we are able to foster our value chain locally and reduce imports of some commodities and herbs.
You should join GC because you can benefit from sustainable business, good organization image, opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing.
GC can be improved in Nepal by making businesses more accountable to their voluntary commitments through scorecards and extending its members portfolio to reach more organizations, especially those bigger in scale, presence, and volume so that the impact could be substantial.
The reporter should be covering the on-going fight between FNCCI and CNI over the sharing of proceeds from issue of Certificate of Origin. This small reportage gives an impression of some kind of advertisement rather than coverage of an important issue. Global Compact is a dead issue here in Nepal. This lady Laxmi Shrestha may be a good enterpreneur but she does not even know what is meant by "collective bargaining" forget about labor rights and her interests in trade unions.