IOSH has joined the United Nations' Global Compact UK Network to build on its commitment to the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.
Having engaged in the voluntary pact since March, the recent announcement that IOSH has joined the regional network acknowledges that global action starts at a grassroots level.
Regional networks underpin and drive the initiative and its Ten Principles (see below) 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 is proud to be a member of the UN Global Compact UK Network,' commented IOSH’s chief executive Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher. '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.'
She noted that 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,' she said.
#ICGN21 is delighted to welcome @IOSH_tweets as a new member of our global governance network. IOSH is the world’s leading professional body for people responsible for #safety and #health in the workplace. Find out more ➡️https://t.co/wNAom5e0En#corpgov #sustainability #CSR #HCM pic.twitter.com/3wVUV8oDHa— ICGN (@ICGNCorpGov) August 17, 2021
'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.'
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 3500 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 IOSH’s position on sustainability here.
The Ten Principles
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.