Cornerstone Capital Group’s Founder and CEO Erika Karp today delivered an address at the UN General Assembly representing the “voice of global investors in the capital markets” before leaders from across the public and private sector gathered at the United Nations’ Global Compact + 15 plenary event, “Business as a Force for Good.”
Marking the UN Global Compact’s 15th anniversary, the event brought together more than 1,000 delegates from corporations, NGOs, academia and civil society to the United Nations to show how the private sector is taking action and partnering to advance societal priorities, with an emphasis on the UN global agenda for sustainable development goals (SDG’s) to be released later this year.
The plenary was highlighted by greetings from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and framed by the just-released, independent Global Compact 15-year report, “Impact – Transforming, Business, Changing The World,” prepared by DNV GL.
Karp’s remarks were made during the mid-day session themed: “Maximizing the Business Contribution to the SDG’s, whose participants included Paul Polman, CEO at Unilever, Fu Chengyu, Chairman of the Global Compact Local Network of China and Dr. Julia Christensen Hughes, Dean of the College of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph, Canada. A full agenda is here.
In her speech, “Trust, Transparency, Entrepreneurship & Corporate Legacy,” Karp urged participants to begin by looking at the concept of “honesty.”
“For ‘Business to Be a Force for Good’ we need Honesty regarding the daunting challenges of the 21st Century;
Honesty about the true cost of ‘business as usual’ as we move towards a world of 9 billion people;
Honesty about the costs in terms of financial capital, human capital and natural capital that it will take to address the massive imperatives of our day … climate change, security, infrastructure, healthcare, education, gender equality, poverty and economic inclusion.
Honesty in admitting that neither the public sector nor the private sector can mobilize trillions of dollars alone.
Rather, there must be a new social contract with Honesty, Transparency, Collaboration, Entrepreneurship and great Corporate Governance leading the way.”
As participants in the UN Global Compact, Cornerstone Capital is committed to incorporating the initiative and its principles into our strategy and culture – and working with our employees, our clients and our communities to foster greater cooperation and participation on a global scale.
Today’s proceedings can be viewed here.