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Clarity, Purpose, and Sustainability – How Partnerships Can Help Drive Business Continuity in Turbulent Times

The COVID-19 pandemic has become one of the most disruptive events in modern history, shattering the collective ‘normal’ and forcing us to re-evaluate how to run the economy in real-time. As such, government officials and corporate leaders are being tested by unprecedented challenges in a continuously evolving environment. While medical professionals and essential workers tackle the frontlines, the public and private sectors are charged with figuring out what comes next. What does the road to recovery look like? It is a daunting task that will require a massive, collaborative effort to find clarity amid the chaos but it will force us to re-examine our preparedness and help us revitalize our economic growth; to be agents of change in this new decade, we will first need to become agents of adaptability.

As the Canadian local chapter of the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) aims to help companies better align their corporate strategies and business operations to adhere to the UN’s 10 Principles and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). What does that look like given the current local and global situation? Our purpose remains the same, but our priorities are shifting to better serve our network. As a channel for collaboration, multi-stakeholder engagement and ongoing partnerships, it is undeniably clear that sustainability has never been more important as companies and governments come together to rebuild the economy.

In this vein, we are introducing a webinar series as well as a working group that will focus on business continuity in the face of an ongoing pandemic. Through multi-stakeholder engagement, knowledge and resource sharing and purpose-driven work, we can ensure that the principles of sustainability are the building blocks of our economic recovery.

Business Continuity Through the Lens of Sustainability Webinar Series

A multi-part webinar series that will focus on the Canadian response to COVID-19 and share the insights, priorities and inspirations of top business leaders, government representatives and sustainability experts. What does leadership from the top look like in a time of crisis and how does this vary across multinationals and SMEs? How can governments and civil society combine efforts with the private sector to catalyze the recovery process and limit further disruptions? How do we reimagine the future of work in a post-COVID era and how do we ensure that business revitalization in the digital age is both eco-centric and human-centric? The webinar series aims to offer thoughtful reflection and expertise while hoping to reanimate collaboration and drive actionable goals.

Register for the first session: Leadership from the Top: How Senior Canadian Business Leaders Are Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis

Rebuilding a Sustainable Economy: Business Continuity amid COVID-19 Working Group  

By leveraging the expertise of the network and its partnerships, and sharing the tools and resources of the UN Global Compact, we are creating a working group to examine the corporate reflection and understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic. Uniting businesses to identify the next steps with new ideas and reimagined priorities, the working group will bring expertise and dedication to find and integrate new solutions that will help build the stronger communities of tomorrow.

2020 needs to remain the Decade of Action as solidarity for the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda is critical. Through clear objectives and purposeful work, our actions as a global business community will have the capacity to curb the negative impacts of COVID-19, revitalize economic growth and inspire the next generation to build on our progress using the principles of sustainability and the benefits of partnerships.

For more information, please visit our dedicated COVID-19 response page for updates related to the webinar series, the COVID-19 working group and other essential resources related to business continuity.

Daria Naglic
Manager, Programs and Engagement,
Global Compact Network Canada