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The United Nations Global Compact International Yearbook 2015

image of The United Nations Global Compact International Yearbook 2015
This publication gives a global overview of the achievements of the Global Compact. It offers proactive and in-depth information on key sustainability issues to stakeholders and promotes unique and comprehensive knowledge exchange and learning in the spirit of the Global Compact principles. It helps to advance transparency, promotes the sharing of best-practices, and gives a strong voice to the regional and global actors that are at the heart of the initiative. It includes good practice examples of corporate participants and showcases different approaches to the implementation of the ten principles. It highlights major trends and issues, placing the activities of Global Compact participants in a broader context.

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The Meta-Governanceof Voluntary Sustainability Standards

There has been a surge in the popularity of the private standardssetting approach to social and environmental governance in recent decades. A single economic sector may now literally feature dozens of competing voluntary sustainability standards. Emerging gradually as a result of the uncoordinated efforts of various independently operating (coalitions of) actors, the rise of voluntary standards-setting has been largely spontaneous and unplanned. The resulting system of governance is generally characterized by the absence of strategic linkages between the various standards initiatives. Although this multiplicity does have its advantages, the relatively uncoordinated coexistence of multiple competing schemes also results in an unnecessary duplication of efforts and may undermine the stringency of standards programs, lead to consumer (and producer) confusion and skepticism, and exacerbate third-party concerns regarding the credibility and legitimacy of (private) voluntary sustainability standards and certification schemes.

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