The current Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) landscape is complex and multi-faceted, creating hundreds of initiatives, often with their own code or set of standards and principles offering guidance on social and environmental issues. In developing their own CSR approaches, businesses are guided by standards, principles, conventions and other acts, developed and formally agreed by governments, derived from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Global Compact (UN) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The OECD set up Guidelines for multinational enterprises with the purpose of offering a balanced, multilaterally endorsed, and comprehensive code that expresses the shared values of adhering governments. The Guidelines aim to ensure that the operations of these enterprises are in harmony with government policies, to strengthen the basis of mutual confidence between enterprises and the societies in which they operate, to help improve the foreign investment climate and to enhance the contribution to sustainable development. They are recommendations jointly addressed by governments to multinational enterprises that provide principles for responsible business conduct consistent with applicable laws and internationally recognised standards. By providing a clear set of expectations, the Guidelines seek to encourage the positive contributions multinational companies can make to economic, environmental and social progress.
The UN Global Compact (UNGC) brings businesses together with UN agencies, labour, civil society and governments to advance ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anticorruption. Through the power of collective action, the UNGC seeks to mainstream these Ten Principles in business activities around the world and to catalyse actions in support of broader UN goals. It is a voluntary initiative and therefore not a code of conduct.
Q-Park has decided to use the OECD Guidelines and the UNGC Principles, these being two of the world’s foremost corporate responsibility conventions and these both complement and reinforce each other in many ways. Furthermore, they can readily be used in conjunction with other instruments.
Explanatory materials have been developed to outline their relationship with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines.
Q-Park’s responsible business conduct is primarily based on one of the most broadly accepted definitions of sustainable development published by the former World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) in 1987.
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.