“How does this align with our corporate values?” It’s a question every corporate leader should continually ask themselves. When corporate values are treated as more than just a list of phrases on the wall, they shape how companies do business. At AT&T, we work to live our values every day. As part of this commitment, we look to external standards and principles to help guide us. Today, we’re pleased to announce that we recently became an official signatory to an important framework for corporate responsibility: the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).
The UNGC celebrated its 19th anniversary on July 26. Since 2000, it has been a force for good in the world, encouraging thousands of companies globally to commit to ten principles for sustainable business in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. The power of the UNGC lies in its simplicity and universality. The principles can be applied by any company, no matter the industry, size or geography.
To date, more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business entities from over 160 countries have signed on to the UNGC, making it the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world. The UNGC connects the global business community and mobilizes our collective resources to make a difference. That is now more important than ever because the most pressing challenges we face today can’t be solved by a single company or country.
At AT&T, we’ve long worked to advance social and environmental good through our policies, programs, and actions. The UNGC principles are embedded in our Company Values and integrated into many of our initiatives. And we know that we can multiply our impact when we work with others. We’re more effective in helping to protect human rights when we work with suppliers and industry groups. We’re more effective in mitigating climate change when we not just reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions, but also help our customers do the same.
Global issues are interconnected. The impact of climate change, for instance, goes beyond serious environmental consequences; it can also amplify human rights concerns, especially for the world’s most vulnerable populations. Joining the UNGC will help us accelerate the progress we have made to date and create new opportunities for collaboration to address these challenges.
We know that our long-term success is tied to the strength and health of our communities and our planet. By becoming a formal signatory of the UNGC, we reiterate our commitment to be a catalyst for good—and we’re taking another step to ensure our values are not just a list of phrases on the wall.
Karim Lesina, Senior Vice President, International External & Legislative Affairs