Recover Better, Recover Stronger, Recover Together: key takeaways from the UN Global Compact 20th Anniversary Leaders Summit

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Trilateral Research

Date: 30 July 2020

The UN Global Compact (UNGC) is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. With over 10,000 companies involved, the UNGC is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

Trilateral Research is proud to have become a participant organisation of the UNGC in May 2019. We are committed to ensuring that the UNGC and its principles are continuously held at the core of the strategy, culture and day-to-day operations of our company.

Over 15 – 16 June 2020, the 20th Anniversary Leaders Summit brought together more than 20,000 sustainability champions from over 180 countries, through over 26 hours of continuous virtual programming.

Celebrating this milestone presented the opportunity to reflect on the impact of UNGC so far, and explore new ways of moving forward, under the theme of ‘Recover Better, Recover Stronger, Recover Together’.

As an online Summit, this was the UN’s largest, most inclusive and most sustainable convening of business leaders committed to tackling societal challenges and advancing the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The diversity of participants at the event delivered unique insights through a global perspective.


A central goal of the event was to examine how businesses can support countries and communities around the world to collectively recover from three interconnected and unprecedented global crises – health, inequality and climate.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres referred to COVID-19 as “the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations”. With the effects of the pandemic currently having an enormous impact on daily living, the topic permeated discussions throughout the event and elicited intensified feelings as well as a sense of immediacy to the need for action in all areas of global emergency.

It was strongly asserted by the UNGC that whilst we continue to combat the current crises of climate change and COVID-19, we must also reinvigorate our fight against the historically enduring, deep-rooted and deadly threat of racism. These three pressing issues were the key drivers of much of the discussion in every session of the event, of which there were over 100.

Leading voices from business, government, the UN, civil society and academia steered conversations throughout the summit to explore how businesses from all sectors can restructure as more inclusive economies and societies to set a new course for a socially just, low-carbon and climate-resilient world.

At Trilateral Research, we are always striving to use research and innovation to transform society into a better place. Creating sustainable impact is at the heart of our work and puts us in a strong position to implement positive change. Our projects directly contribute towards whether or not our society will achieve all of the UN’s SDGs, as we work on building technology-based solutions for challenges surrounding environmental sustainability, crisis and security.

Despite a proactive approach by many, the UNGC’s 20th Anniversary Progress Report indicates that the world is currently not on track to meet the majority of SDGs by 2030. The only way we will achieve these goals is through increased and urgent ambition supported by global solidarity.

Learn more about the UN Global Compact and how you can get involved:

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