Values and Principles to Foster a Sustainable Future

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Recognizing the need for new collaborative forms of governance, the Earth Charter states:

“A partnership of government, civil society, and business is essential for effective governance” (The Way Forward).

There are a number of business groups that have endorsed the Earth Charter and are using it. The ECI Secretariat makes an effort to capture some of these experiences and make them available. Business groups and leaders are encouraged to use the Earth Charter as a guide for their work in infusing the sustainability vision into their organization’s work or as an ethical framework in their dialogue with civil society actors and other stakeholders.

Earth Charter International encourages all businesses to use the Earth Charter in one or more of the following ways:

  • Engage employees with the Earth Charter for the purpose of learning, training, and inspiration.
  • Assess the activities of the business in the light of Earth Charter values and principles, using the Global Reporting Initiative's Guidelines and/or the EC-Assess tool.
  • Incorporate Earth Charter values and principles in the business mission statement and its core operations with the goal of developing a more socially and ecologically responsible business.

Business leaders should use the Earth Charter in their dialogues with civil society actors and other stakeholders.  Businesses that support the Earth Charter, but do not yet participate in GRI are encouraged to do so. The following document The Earth Charter, GRI and Global Compact was developed to help guide business groups.

Read the Guidance Paper to find out how the Earth Charter relates to other leading global initiatives such as the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This paper is designed to help Earth Charter users and those using the GRI and Global Compact to understand the synergies and complementary strengths of these three initiatives. It explains how businesses can integrate the Earth Charter into the reporting processes organized by GRI and other similar efforts.

During the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, ECI and GRI signed a voluntary commitment under the conference framework to create a joint training program on sustainability reporting, deepening the participants' understanding on ethical principles for sustainability.

See the following resource materials also available in the EC Virtual Library

Sample cases of businesses using the Earth Charter

Interview with Peter Head,
Consultant and Former Chairman of Global Planning, ARUP,
on Earth Charter and sustainability



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