Global Compact Network Kenya

The connection between the bottom line and a company’s environmental, social and governance practices is becoming clear. The well-being of workers, communities and the planet is inextricably tied to the health of the business. The smart choice is to proactively manage a company’s operations and value chain – looking at risks and opportunities through a wide lens.

As part of its efforts to increase business competitiveness, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) is encouraging all its members and the wider privates sector to embrace and integrate sustainability within their business strategies and operations. KAM has adopted the UN Global Compact Network as a universally accepted framework businesses can use to address sustainability issues within their sphere of influence.

KAM hosts the UN Global Compact Kenya chapter whose mission is to inspire, guide and support companies to do business responsibly and take action for a more sustainable future.  The Global Compact Network Kenya currently has over 100 members and is a platform business and other stakeholders come together to:

  • Share best and emerging practices to get solutions to common challenges faced
  • Access UN Global Compact management tools and resources on relevant business issues
  • Explore and form partnerships with a range of stakeholders to scale up initiatives in support of sustainable development
  • Access advice, guidance and trainings on corporate social and environmental sustainability and integration
  • Work collaboratively to lobby government on key thematic issues affecting business such as Corruption, Climate change among others

Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya

In 2011-2012, the Business community in Kenya came together to develop a local guiding framework for ethical business practice. This resulted in a successful launch in March 2012 of the Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya in which 44 leading companies from various sectors of the economy signed up to adopt the Code. By adopting this voluntary Code, a company commits itself to conduct ethical business with all its stakeholders- shareholders, employees, government, consumers, environment, society, suppliers, contractors and agents.

Founded on the UN Global Compact Principles, the commitments revolve around the keys areas of anti-corruption, environment, human rights and labour standards. As a show of commitment, a company, through the CEO, signs a commitment letter which is renewed annually. A company will be required to compile a report on progress on implementation of the Code. The first report is expected after 2 years since the sign-up date.A copy of the commitment letter and the report will be kept at the Kenya Association of Manufacturers which is coordinating the initiative through the Global Compact network.

Why Sign Up to the Global Compact and the Code of Ethics?

  • It’s the right thing to do! Responsible Business is an obligation for a sustainable society. This is an excellent platform for this undertaking.
  • Self-regulation is best for Business. It is noted that where there is an absence of self-regulation in the private sector, heavy government regulation reigns, which tends to create an unfavourable business environment.
  • There is strength in numbers. A huge network of ethical commercial enterprises lends credence and strength to the business advocacy agenda. A critical mass of business with the same interests has the potential to cause transformative change.
  • A company benefits from capacity building (trainings, seminars, awareness, peer exchange forums, mentoring etc) that are supported under this initiative.
  • It’s an opportunity to speak to the public and stakeholders about your commitment to sustainability, hence create confidence to your clientèle and help shape a favourable public image.
  • The current constitutional dispensation and legal framework presents new obligations and expectations from businesses even as it creates a more enlightened and demanding society. This speaks of risks and costs which have to be managed.

To learn more and join the Global Compact Network, go to http://www.globalcompactkenya.org

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