Information published on 16 February 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 485.

UIC engagement with the Global Compact and developing corporate sustainability

  • Sustainable development

As a part of developing rail sector corporate sustainability and ongoing membership of the UN Global Compact, UIC is committed to regular communication on engagement.

In a letter to the Global Compact, UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux stated;

“It is with pleasure that I see the understanding and recognition of sustainability growing every year. The Global Compact can rightly claim to be one of the main driving forces behind this success. It is an honour to reaffirm my commitment to continue our fruitful collaboration.
The Global Compact 10 principles set out by the international standard for human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. As a global association working with 250 members in 100 countries on five contents we are commitment to working with our members to translate these principles to the local context.

UIC considers our engagement with the Global Compact alongside our support for realising the Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change COP21 Paris Accord as essential to fulfilling our mission; to meet the challenges of mobility and sustainable development, facilitate international cooperation and the sharing of best practice.

I look forward to future cooperation and the opportunity to both contribute to and learn from the global discourse on creating a sustainable and inclusive global economy that delivers lasting benefits to people, communities and markets.”

UIC has taken a number of practical actions both in support of the Global Compact principles, and to engage with the initiative, these include:

Workshops and training
UIC organising a programme of workshops and training for our members on the UN Global Compact and specific topics relevant to corporate sustainability. Examples of this include regular meetings of the UIC Sustainable Mobility Expert Network and workshops organised by this network. These meetings include processionals working in the field of corporate and social responsibility from member railways. In addition UIC provides the secretariat to the European Rail Procurement Conference Sustainability Working Group, to promote the exchange of experience and development of best practice on sustainable procurement.

Engaging members in collective action
UIC engages members in collective action to support the both the UN Climate Change COP events and also the Sustainable Development Goals (eg Goal 13). Notable examples include the mobilization by our members to take delegates and decision makers to COP16 Copenhagen and COP21 Paris on dedicated trains to highlight the role of sustainable transport as a part of the solution to climate change (see www.traintocopenhagen.org, www.traintoparis.org).

Further to this UIC engaged the global railway community using the UIC Climate Responsibility Pledge, collecting signatures from CEOs of 66 railways, together representing the majority of the world’s rail activity. The pledge includes four actions to mitigate climate change (see http://traintoparis.org/IMG/pdf/railway_climate_responsibility_pledge.pdf).

Sector-specific tools and resources
UIC has developed sector-specific tools and resources on corporate sustainability issues. These include an online data base for collecting and benchmarking members’ environmental performance and also a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting guideline. The GRI guideline was developed in consultation with our members through two workshops held in 2015.

Provision of expertise at UN Global Compact working groups
UIC has provided expertise and the perspective from our members to a number of UN Global Compact working groups and special initiatives. These include:

• Business Association Forum on Sustainable Development, 24 June 2015, New York
• Strategic Brainstorming Session on the Global Partnership on Sustainable Transport, February 24-25 2015, New York
• UN Global Compact Consultative Meeting with Industry and Trade Associations, 9 September 2014, New York

Measurement of outcomes
To measure the outcomes of the UIC Climate Responsibility Pledge UIC manages an online data base to collect environmental performance and allow members to benchmark their performance

For further information please contact Nick Craven, Head of the UIC Sustainable Development Unit: craven@uic.org