“Looking back on 2015” – Letter from Helle Bank Jorgensen

Helle Bank Jorgensen looking back on 2015 and the strides the Global Compact Network Canada has made with the help of its supporters. Looking forward with excitement for the opportunities ahead.

Dear All,

In the last month of the year, the time is perfect to reflect on the highlights and accomplishments of the past 365 days and of course, to look ahead to the opportunities of the next year.

2015 was one of the most active and engaging years for the Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) so far.  We have come a long way since we launched the Global Compact Network Canada in 2013, and we are so proud and thankful for the growing support we have received from companies and organizations across Canada.

Together, throughout 2015 our network of companies and other stakeholders from across the country have engaged with us in high level events, activities and webinars on themes such as integrated reporting, children’s rights and business, human rights, anti-corruption, sustainable development goals, climate change, supplier sustainability compliance, investor engagement etc.

In 2015 we saw the successful publication and launch of many remarkable reports and documents prepared by our working groups that have worked collaboratively to tackle areas of importance to business such as human rights, long-termism vs. short-termism, communication and transparency, supply chain, and the environment.  These documents on Auditing the Implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Embedding the Ten Principles into Supply Chain Management, and Acting on Climate Change: Extending the Dialogue Among Canadians are accessible for you to view on our website. We will soon also be publishing some more reports and e-Books – one on Anti-Corruption, and the other on Transparency: Communicating the Good, the bad, & the ugly. We have also had a very successful launch of a multi-media project, which involves regularly scheduled Podcasts an excellent way to learn about topics such as SDGs, Human Rights, Transparency, Anti-Corruption, Rule of Law etc. from impactful industry leaders and renowned organizations.

Finally, we hosted two more rounds of the Reporting Peer Review Program, which is in its second year of running and has been consistently hailed by the now 18 participating Canadian companies as one of the best avenues for receiving qualitative and substantive feedback on their sustainability reports.

Globally, in 2015 we saw the UN Global Compact turning 15 years old and Lise Kingo, assuming role as the new Executive Director of the world’s largest voluntary sustainability initiative. In September, the 193 Member States of the United Nations ambitiously adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for achieving a better future for all and laying out a path over the next 15 years to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet. And finally, we have the COP21 – the most impactful climate change conference, which has now concluded with the new Paris Agreement. Within Canada, a new leadership emerged in 2015, bringing with it renewed hope and opportunities for Canadians. GCNC will be a crucial partner in this national action plan and will work closely with Canadian businesses and key stakeholders in the coming year to enable Canada and Canadians to do more.

As the concluding event of the year, on December 18th 2015 at Noon (EST), we will be hosting an interactive call with our network to discuss the results of our SDGs survey. We have also invited Elissa Golberg, Assistant Deputy Minister, Partnerships for Development Innovation and Deirdre KentDirector-General for International Development Policy from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to discuss with the GCNC Network the implications of the SDGs for Canada and the role of Canadian businesses in advancing the Global Goals. In this call, we will start a discussion about the priorities for Canadian businesses, the roadblocks, incentives and ideas on how to advance the SDGs in Canada and abroad, including discussions around how the Private Sector and Government can engage in innovative new partnerships. We will also be discussing GCNC’s Program for 2016 to help you leverage the positive momentum, drive good practices and capitalize on these growth opportunities.

We sincerely thank you for being with us on this journey, and we look forward to continuing to work with you in 2016!

We would also like to like to extend a big thank you to our Patron Supporters: TELUS, Barrick Gold, Bell Canada, B. Accountability, Baker and McKenzie, Teck Resources, Scotiabank; as well as to our exceptional Board Members Geoff De Bruijn, and Jonathan Drimmer.

On behalf of my team, I wish you a very joyful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Warm regards,

Helle Bank Jorgensen
Founder & President Emeritus
Global Compact Network Canada