Sustainable is the development that covers the present needs without rendering in danger the capability of the future generations to cover theirs (The Brundtland Report, UN World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).
Sustainable development is the approach that aims to balance the social, economic and environmental impacts of all our actions now and in the future (Alliance for Global Sustainability).
The corporations, in order to turn over the cynicism and disbelief of the public opinion, are looking for new forms and strategies of communication, that can certify the credibility of the communication content.
According to the researches, there is the need of coalitions and collaborations between private, social and public sectors in local, national and international level, in order to solve the social and environmental problems. At the same time, the European Union is also paying attention in these collaborations and develops strategies, programs and tools for their support.
The public opinion believes that the companies in order to be socially responsible should provide:
In relation to the Production / Entrepreneurship:
52% Environmental respect / protection
Products that do not endanger public health
Good quality products
Accurate and complete information for the products and their ingredients
High quality products in low prices
In order to be considered corporate citizens:
38% Support social foundations / corporations
Financial support of poor social ranks
Financial support of medical research / Οικονομική donations to hospitals
In relation to the social role of the entrepreneur:
10% Creation of new vacancie
Responsible behavior towards the employees
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)was presented in 1997 as common initiative of the ΜΚΟ Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) of the U.S.A. and the Environmental Program of the United Nations, aiming to improve the sustainability record as far as the quality, the severity and the utility is concerned. The initiative accepted the active support and participation of the business representatives, as well as the representatives from advocacy groups, logistic bodies, investment organizations, working bodies and many others. These bodies, worked all together, in order to achieve consensus concerning a group of guiding rules for publishing reports, in order to have international acceptance. The Reporting Guidelines are a framework of standards concerning the financial, environmental and social performance of an organization.
"Global Compact" is an initiative of the General Secretary of the United Nations, Kofi Αnnan which was initially discussed at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos in 1999 and afterwards was presented in July of 2000 in 50 international companies and selected NGOs in New York.
The initiative is actually the confirmation of acceptance of ten granted principles of the following:
Respect for the basic human rights
Respect for the working rights and especially of the syndicalism and the interdiction of child labour
Respect for the protection of the environment
These principles are not commitments or orders. On the contrary, they are considered as granted based on the international agreements and consist in a great degree national law in most of the countries globally.
The businesses that participate in the Universal Agreement work towards the direction of incorporating the ten basic principles in their business functions. Their commitment begins from the integration of universal principles and values in their strategic business visions, their hierarchical structure and their daily functions.