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In an address to the World Economic Forum on 31 January 1999, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, challenged business leaders to join an international initiative - the Global Compact - that would bring companies together with UN agencies, labour and civil society to support universal environmental and social principles. In order to join the initiative, companies must pledge to support ten principles, and then report publicly on progress against the principles.
Since FTSE Group (FTSE) is involved in high profile responsible investment initiatives it is crucial that, as a company, we practice what we preach. In 2002 FTSE selected GoodCorporation to carry out an independent annual verification audit and assessment of the Group. Each year they assess FTSE on its responsibility to employees, clients, suppliers, shareholders, the community and the environment.
In 2006 FTSE's Chief Executive, Mark Makepeace, wrote to Kofi Annan committing to support the ten principles of the Global Compact and therefore FTSE has become a participant of this initiative. It seemed a natural fit with the annual GoodCorporation verification, and we therefore asked them to also assess and score FTSE against each of the ten principles.
The ten principles are derived from and have universal consensus from The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and The United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights
Principle 2: Businesses should 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: Businesses should eliminate all forms of forced and compulsory labour
Principle 5: Businesses should abolish child labour
Principle 6: Businesses should eliminate discimination in respect of employment and occupation
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges
Principle 8: Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility
Principle 9: Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery