Earth Charter in Business: New Guidance Paper on the Earth Charter, GRI and Global Compact

To respond to the increasing number of questions as to how the Earth Charter relates to other leading global initiatives such as the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Earth Charter International, in cooperation with NCDO, has developed a Guidance paper. This paper is designed to help Earth Charter users – as well as those using the GRI and Global Compact – to understand the synergies and complementary strengths of these three initiatives, and to help organizations to integrate the Earth Charter into their global engagement and reporting processes. Download file


The paper instends to help you to: 


1. consider how using the Earth Charter can be compatible with participation in the UN Global Compact and the GRI


2. measure your own contribution to sustainable development using the GRI Guidelines, and to


3. ‘tell the world’ how you are using the Earth Charter!


Since the Earth Charter identifies a broad spectrum of ethical commitments that are not explicitly included in the GRI or Global Compact, the paper will also be of interest to users of those instruments in developing their own responses. These include, for example, issues related to peace and conflict prevention, economic justice, gender equality, family well-being, the prevention of cruelty to animals, and sustainable consumer choices, among others.


You can use this paper to remind yourself of the main principles of the Earth Charter, and to think about how it complements the Global Compact and GRI. We hope it will inspire you to deepen your use of the Charter. As the paper notes, an organisation can signal its commitment to the Earth Charter’s comprehensive vision by including reference to the Charter in its Annual Report.


This can be done whether or not the organization has formally endorsed the Charter. All that is necessary is a simple sentence such as ‘Our engagement on global sustainable development issues is inspired by the Earth Charter.’ Or it can use the Charter to frame a more comprehensive GRI report based on its activities related to sustainability and social responsibility.


Feedback on the paper would be most welcome, and can be sent to: [email protected]