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Corruption exists in various forms in almost all industries and countries. Increased business and transaction costs, distorted competition and reduced economic growth are only some of the consequences. Through compliance, i.e. adherence to rules, companies can actively combat fraud, bribery, extortion and other forms of corruption.
Apart from avoiding the aforementioned serious drawback for companies - minimizing the risk of economic damage - the implantation of compliance structures also has many positive aspects. Compliance structures can increase effectiveness and efficiency and thus contribute to the optimization of processes. Corruption-free and thus fair competition is the basis for sustainable economic growth and stabilizes the global economy. By doing business in an ethical and lawful way, the company creates credibility through transparency and thus also trust in the long term - not only vis-à-vis society, and thus potential customers, but also vis-à-vis other companies and thus business partners. A commitment to zero corruption thus has a positive effect on the company's reputation. This offers a significant market advantage for companies and their brand, whose reputation is that of a trustworthy and thus reliable partner.
The tenth principle of the UN Global Compact states: "Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery."
Corruption prevention is a fundamental tool in the work of sustainable development. This is because corruption is not only an issue relevant on governmental level and in the global economy; it also constitutes a major impediment for economic and social development around the world, which has a particularly tangible impact in poorer communities.
Businesses experience the impact of corruption through the growing legal risks that can result in financial damages, as well as reputational damage. Around the world, individual states are enacting new and stricter anti-corruption regulations, some of which are extraterritorial, which increases the risks for companies. The disadvantages resulting from corruption have long-term effects on the economy through increased transaction costs and distortion of fair competition. Investors are paying more attention to risks from corruption when making an investment. In addition, corruption also has an impact on the organizational structure of the company itself; for example, non-transparent processes destabilize companies.
To fight against systematic corruption, the UN Global Compact works with its partners to support companies in their anti-corruption strategy. This includes risk assessments, reports on supply chain practices, and establishing a forum for exchange. The companies that are members of the Global Compact network speak out collectively against corruption. Collective action is essential, as a company on its own cannot counter systematized corruption. Therefore, the UN Global Compact encourages its members to join forces with other like-minded companies, governments, organizations and civil society to work together against corruption.
The aim is to support and encourage companies to carry out training, to provide guidelines and programs and to establish them in order to fight corruption in their field of activity. In this way, a transparent global economy can be created in the long term through collective cooperation. This takes place on a national as well as on a global level. The national networks can thus address the individual problems and aspects of their environment, while a global exchange is necessary to make the cross-national measures possible.
However, it is not only governments and companies that have a crucial role to play here. Civil society is also an essential player in the fight against corruption. That is why the UN Global Compact is working with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Transparency International (TI), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the World Economic Forum Partnership against Corruption Initiative (WEF-PACI), as well as the Basel Institute on Governance.
The Global Compact and its partners provide a platform to share knowledge and enter into dialogue and thus encourage companies to implement the Tenth Principle. Through national and global collaboration, we can achieve the highest impact of collective anti-corruption initiatives.
In the area of corruption prevention, the UN GCG cooperates with the Alliance for Integrity and Transparency International and relies on the internationally recognized three-step approach to corruption prevention. This minimizes corporate and macroeconomic risks with internal, external and collective measures.
This enables participants to: