The United Nations Global Compact 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, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
For more on the UN Global Compact, see: www.unglobalcompact.org
> What is the Pacific Institute? What is the Institute’s role
with respect to the CEO Water Mandate?
The Pacific Institute is a non-profit research institute that works to advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity. The Institute is widely-recognized as a global thought leader regarding water and sustainability.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding established between the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact in May 2008, the Institute serves as part of the CEO Water Mandate Secretariat and as the “operational arm” of the initiative. In this capacity, the Institute coordinates the initiative’s working conferences and spearheads the advancement of projects and development of research outputs and good practice guidance on various areas of corporate water management.
For more on the Pacific Institute, see: www.pacinst.org
The Mandate is governed by a Steering Committee charged with strategic decision-making and administrative oversight. The Steering Committee is composed of ten endorsing company representatives, two each from five different geographic regions, and including ex officio representation from the Mandate Secretariat. Each member serves a two-year term. The Steering Committee also includes non-voting Special Advisors representing different stakeholder interests.
In practice, many of the initiative’s decisions are taken at endorser meetings at working conferences. The Mandate is also guided by working groups associated with each of the initiative’s workstreams that provide an opportunity for endorsing companies and key stakeholders to shape the direction of projects and workstreams.
Click here for more on the governance of the Mandate.
A list of CEO Water Mandate endorsers.
As endorsers of the Mandate, Chief Executive Officers commit their companies to implementing the six elements of the Mandate – through individual and collective efforts. As part of this commitment, companies pledge to disclose annually by means of a Communication on Progress – Water report that describes the ways in which they are implementing the Mandate elements.
Not necessarily. The CEO Water Mandate is a leadership platform, a call to action, and an aspirational pledge to pursue the initiative’s six core elements. The initiative is endorsed by a wide range of companies – some with advanced water policies and practices, some just beginning their journey toward being responsible water stewards. Ultimately, the Mandate is designed as a platform for companies to share practices and policies; discuss complex and thorny issues; identify practical solutions; and collaborate with stakeholders from the public sector, civil society, academia, and other sectors to advance more sustainable water management.
Yes. The UN Global Compact has and will continue to delist endorsing companies if they fail to fulfill their UN Global Compact obligations or meet the Mandate’s annual Communication on Progress – Water reporting requirements.
With respect to accountability, the CEO Water Mandate is governed by the UN Global Compact’s Integrity Measures, which include: i) misuse of the UN, Global Compact and CEO Water Mandate brands and logos; ii) failure to communicate progress; and iii) allegations of systematic or egregious abuses with respect to the Global Compact’s principles and related commitments.
CEO Water Mandate endorsing companies must be (or become) members of the UN Global Compact. The Mandate seeks to build an international movement of committed companies, both leaders and learners. In this spirit, the initiative is open to companies of all sizes and sectors, from all parts of the world, and at any stage in their water management journey.
A company wishing to join the initiative should indicate their endorsement of the CEO Water Mandate and its six elements by submitting a letter, signed by the Chief Executive Officer, to: email@example.com. Companies that are not already participating in the UN Global Compact have a six month grace period subsequent to their endorsement of the Mandate to become UNGC signatories.
A template sign-on letter can be accessed here.
The CEO Water Mandate pursues a multi-stakeholder approach to corporate water stewardship. As such, it highly values input from stakeholders from all sectors of society. Stakeholders support the Mandate by participating in its working conferences and providing feedback on projects as they evolve. In 2012, the Mandate will be establishing a mechanism through which stakeholder can formally support the initiative (details forthcoming).
Since the Mandate’s inception in 2007, the Secretariat has sought to build relationships with UN agencies addressing water issues. It has done so primarily by inviting UN representatives to participate in Mandate working conferences and in the advancement of its three workstreams. A representative from the UN Development Programme currently serves as a Special Advisor to the Mandate Secretariat. Further, the Mandate formally joined UN-Water in 2008.
In 2010, the Mandate partnered with UN Environment Programme’s Division of Technology, Industry, and Economics (UNEP DTIE) to produce the report Corporate Water Accounting: An Analysis of Methods and Tools for Measuring Water Use and its Impacts. This stocktaking exercise sought to clarify commonalities and differences, as well as strengths and weaknesses, among existing and emerging corporate water assessment methodologies and tools being used by the private sector.
The Mandate has developed an online capacity platform in collaboration with UNEP (housed on this site as the Assessment Tools section) for corporate water accounting and risk/impact assessment. This platform features a web-based and expanded version of the aforementioned report that discusses the uses of corporate water assessment; assesses current and emerging tools; and provides links to relevant websites, reports, and other resources. The platform will be continuously updated as this field and related tools continue to evolve.
The CEO Water Mandate holds periodic working conferences that convene endorsing companies and stakeholders from the public sector, civil society, academia, and other sectors to discuss salient water challenges and identify practical solutions. The goal of the working conference is to foster innovating thinking and solutions to complex water challenges. As such, an effort has been made to keep the gatherings at a size that allows for a manageable facilitated groups discussion (i.e., less than 100 people). To date, invitations to working conferences have been limited to Mandate endorsing companies and the roughly 300-400 “key stakeholders” that are currently in the Mandate’s contacts database.