IOSH and UN Global Compact – from global commitment to local impact

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is building on its relationship with the United Nations (UN) Global Compact to help create the sustainable world we all want.

Having engaged in the voluntary pact – the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative – since March, IOSH has now joined its UK Network, acknowledging that global action starts at a grassroots level.

Regional networks underpin and drive the initiative and its Ten Principles in areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption within a particular geographic context. They help organisations with local and national operations and supply chains around the world appreciate what responsible business means through making local impacts.

Participation not only highlights IOSH’s commitment to adopting responsible policies, but it also ensures occupational safety and health (OSH) issues are at the forefront of sustainability conversations and gives the UN-led initiatives access to the profession.

IOSH’s Chief Executive Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher said: “IOSH is proud to be a member of the UN Global Compact UK Network.

“There’s a pressing need to strengthen business sustainability, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and other environmental, social and business challenges, not just in the UK but around the world.

“IOSH advocates that OSH is a fundamental right for all workers, as per the Compact’s principles on human rights and labour. And businesses cannot be sustainable without healthy workers.

“Being part of the UK Network gives IOSH, as a UK-based international non-governmental organisation, the chance to participate and influence at local level with organisations – ranging from small business to multinationals – that share our commitment to sustainability. It will also help us contribute globally, as national networks are well-represented on regional and local councils within the UN Global Compact.

“Another great aspect of the networks is that they work closely together, exchanging country or region-specific knowledge and information that ultimately benefits all participants.

“The UN recognises the power of OSH through these movements and their commitments, and IOSH is equally pleased that we can utilise these networks to share our expertise, such as our extensive resources on returning safely to the workplace after lockdown.

“We can also give members access to our profession to help achieve a safe and healthy working world.”

Steve Kenzie, Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network UK, added: “We are delighted and encouraged by IOSH’s endorsement of our initiative.”

Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact represents a call for companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles and members are urged to act in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals.

More than 12,000 companies and 3,500 non-business signatories based in 160-plus countries have made the commitment so far, and there are 69 local networks.

With 640-plus participants, the UK Network enables collaboration across business sectors, civil society and government. It has four workstreams and a host of engagement opportunities, including working groups, webinars, roundtables and conferences.

Learn more about the UN Global Network UK work streams and IOSH’s position on sustainability.

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Alison Barlow
Content Officer +44 (0)116 257 3117
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