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2020:⁣ A YEAR OF IMPACT UN GLOBAL COMPACT COMMUNICATIONS IMPACT REPORT

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

OUR COMMUNICATIONS REACH AND IMPACT IS GROWING

potential media reach shows the number of people that the UN Global Compact may potentially have reached through the media outlets that covered news about us.

As we marked 20 years of the UN Global Compact, the strength of the brand continued to grow over the course of the year due to a successful 20th anniversary campaign, an emphasis on digital communications and events as we navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and a well-executed leadership transition.

The shift from in-person events to virtual for our 20th anniversary Leaders Summit in June and Uniting Business LIVE during UN General Assembly week in September resulted in the best attendance, media coverage and social media reach that the Compact has ever achieved. We invite you to take a closer look at our communications impact this year, including highlights from our 20th anniversary campaign, flagship publications and events.

TOP TIER MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

20TH ANNIVERSARY CAMPAIGN

To mark our 20th anniversary, we created a communications campaign under the new tagline UNITING BUSINESS FOR A BETTER WORLD illustrated by a signature geometric SDG motif. The campaign peaked during five major events during the year: The SDG Media Zone in Davos (21-23 January) 20th anniversary Leaders Summit (15–16 June), our birthday (26 July), Uniting Business LIVE (21–23 September) and UN Day (24 October).

  • Our special 20th anniversary film, narrated by Sanda Ojiambo and featuring the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Lise Kingo, Paul Polman, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart and many of our key stakeholders and founders, tells the story of the mission of the UN Global Compact
  • Over 12,000 video views (most watched video in 2020)

SDG MEDIA ZONE AT DAVOS

We launched our 20th anniversary campaign in Davos by producing the UN’s SDG Media Zone on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in January.

Over three days, we convened 91 CEOs, Government leaders, UN heads, activists, influencers and entrepreneurs in 46 short panel discussions broadcast live on UN Web TV to a global audience.

Our videos were viewed 147,000 times and our social media content received 1.6 million impressions and 21,000 engagements.

SDG Media Zone at Davos 2020

UN GLOBAL COMPACT LEADERS SUMMIT

More than 22,000 people attended our Leaders Summit, 15–16 June, making it the largest-ever UN convening of global business leaders.

Speakers included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Presidents of Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ethiopia as well as the President of the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General and dozens of CEOs and business leaders.

Over 26 hours of continuous programming, this virtual event chased the sun moving from one timezone to the next. Together with our 69 Local Networks, we engaged leaders in five continents to discuss the response to three interconnected global crises — health, inequity and climate change.

  • 590 million impressions in potential media reach in May and June
  • 850,526 social media impressions, 19,664 engagements & 2,477 new followers within a span of 2 days from 15–16 June
  • 20+ highlight videos produced in the lead up to the Summit and months after, reaching an additional 275K social media impressions

SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

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20th BIRTHDAY

On 26 July, UN Global Compact staff and stakeholders around the world marked 20 years since its launch by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan who wanted to bring business and the United Nations together to give a human face to the global market.

From humble beginnings, the UN Global Compact has grown from just 44 companies to more than 11,000 whose CEOs have committed to uphold the Ten Principles and to report back annually on their progress.

With the world in lockdown and leaders unable to travel to New York, our virtual event convened global business on the sidelines of the opening of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, from 21–23 September.

More than 12,000 people registered for the three-day event which included our annual Private Sector Forum on Monday, the inaugural Global Impact Forum on Tuesday and the SDG Business Forum on Wednesday. As in previous years, UN DESA and ICC joined us to co-host the SDG Business Forum, giving us an opportunity to strengthen our reach and partnerships with these organizations.

By convening our stakeholders online, we reduced our carbon footprint by 98.5% compared to the year before.

  • 934 million media potential reach during the months of August and September in the lead up to Uniting Business LIVE and during the event.
  • 438,575 social media impressions, 8,034 engagements, 994 new followers within a span of 3 days from 21–23 September
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UN DAY ACTIVATION

With the ambitious goal of reaching the 10 million people who work for signatories to the UN Global Compact, we marked UN Day by embarking on a global social media activation campaign in partnership with UN75.

By inviting them to share a framed selfie on social media with their colleagues and friends, our aim was to engage employees whose daily work for UN Global Compact companies advances the Ten Principles and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The activation – executed in six languages – failed to reach 10 million but resulted in extraordinary metrics encouraging us to keep going next year. For example, 69% of users completed the activation, and 94% shared it via their personal social media — racking up a social reach of 1.9 million impressions.

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COVID-19 IMPACT

UNITING BUSINESS TO RESPOND TO THE PANDEMIC

As the public and private sectors struggled to respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Global Compact went into overdrive to encourage businesses to step up and take action. In addition to publishing a series of business briefs, we produced a weekly series of virtual Academy sessions openly broadcast on Zoom and YouTube. These live panel discussions featured experts from different fields and sectors discussing how the private sector could best respond to the pandemic and position themselves to recover better, stronger and together.

From April to June, 16 sessions were produced with 59 executive-level speakers, drawing 21,000 registrants from 87 countries. The series led to 5,738 new leads, which was the Compact’s highest performing marketing campaign of 2020.

85% of post-session survey respondents said they would recommend the UN Global Compact Academy to a friend or colleague and 79% felt that the series helped them understand the necessary policies and procedures for responding to COVID-19 in the workplace.

TOP TIER MEDIA COVERAGE

Sanda Ojiambo on BBC World News discussing the COVID-19 pandemic

CEOS TAKING ACTION

As business leaders around the world scratched their heads wondering how to best adapt their operations and strategies to respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we asked CEOs of UN Global Compact companies to share their ideas and advice. Our open video series titled “CEOs Taking Action” attracted 241 video submissions and was viewed 4,040 times.

NEW CEO & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SANDA OJIAMBO

On 22 May, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of a new UN Global Compact CEO and Executive Director. Sanda Ojiambo, a Kenyan businessperson, officially took over leadership from Lise Kingo at the Leaders Summit on 16 June. The announcement was met with a very positive reaction on social media and received good pick-up through traditional media channels.

SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

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MEDIA COVERAGE

TOP PUBLICATIONS IN 2020

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IMPACT AT COUNTRY LEVEL

POWERED BY 69 GLOBAL COMPACT LOCAL NETWORKS

Around the world, the Global Compact Local Networks translate our Ten Principles into action at the national and regional level. They help companies understand what responsible business means within different national, cultural and language contexts and facilitate outreach, learning, policy dialogue, collective action and partnerships. With a One Global Compact approach, these independent, self-governed and self-managed entities work closely with the UN Global Compact in New York and act as a point of contact for UN Global Compact signatories in a country.

In October 2020, Global Compact Local Network Mauritius and Indian Ocean Region was introduced, bringing the total number of Local Networks to 69.

LOCAL NETWORK HIGHLIGHTS

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ENGAGEMENT AND SUPPORT

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