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Published by:
Copenhagen Business School (CBS) (2018)
13 pages
Data source:
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This item is part of a free case collection. For terms & conditions go to www.thecasecentre.org/freecaseterms


The case discusses the birth and maturing of the world's largest voluntary initiative for corporate responsibility and sustainability: The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). In just a few years from its creation in 2000, the UNGC made impressive progress. By 2018, more than 9,800 companies from 163 countries had signed up to the initiative. The UNGC managed to establish local networks (ie clusters of participants) in nearly 70 countries, and many praised the initiative for transforming the corporate sustainability movement. However, there were also many problems. Until 2018, the UNGC had to expel more than 8,000 firms, because they didn't meet the minimum participation requirement: to submit an annual report that outlines implementation progress. This reinforced the view of critics who had long argued that the initiative lacked 'teeth' and that it rather impeded progress in the area of corporate sustainability. This case is part of the CBS free case collection (visit www.thecasecentre.org/CBSfreecases for more information on the collection).

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education courses.


Strategy; International organizations; Standards for sustainability; Leadership; Contextual nature of corporate sustainability


Geographical setting


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Company name:
United Nations Global Compact

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