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Examples of International frameworks, initiatives, tools and guidelines

Published: 12 July 2012 Updated: 30 June 2014

International Frameworks


Global Compact
UN initiative that aims to get companies to adopt fundamental principles in the areas of human rights, labour legislation, the environment and anti-corruption. Global Compact develops and supplies resources and guidance for companies on how to live up to the principles and contribute to broader development goals such as the Millennium Development Goals.

OECD's Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
OECD's Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are joint recommendations for companies from the governments of affiliated countries. The guidelines have been negotiated in cooperation with representatives from trade unions, employers and individual organisations. The affiliated country governments have undertaken to promote the guidelines by, for example, establishing national contact points.

OECD Risk Awareness Tool for Multinational Enterprises in Weak Governance Zones
The OECD Risk Awareness Tool for Multinational Enterprises in Weak Governance Zones was adopted by the OECD Council on 8 June 2006 and complements the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. It aims to help companies that invest in countries where governments are unwilling or unable to assume their responsibilities. It poses a range of questions addressing risks and ethical dilemmas that companies are likely to face in weak governance zones.

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
This publication contains the "Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework", which were developed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

ISO 26 000 Social Responsibility
International standard developed by the standardisation body ISO, with comprehensive guidance for all types of organisations regarding principles and working methods for social responsibility. The standard is intended to help organisations to contribute to sustainable development and promote a broader understanding within the area of social responsibility.

International Labour Organization, ILO
The ILO is the international organization responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. It is the only 'tripartite' United Nations agency that brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes promoting Decent Work for all.

Rio Declaration, 1992
This website summarizes the Rio Declaration. In Rio de Janeiro 1992, The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, reaffirmed the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, adopted in Stockholm 1972. The goal was to establish a new global partnership through cooperation among States, key sectors of societies and people, which respect the interests of all and protect the global environment. The full declaration can be found here.

Rio +20, 2012
This website summarizes the Rio +20 conference. At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, came together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want. A summary of the outcomes is listed here, and the resolution document can be read here.

Convention on Anti-Corruption
The UN Convention on Anti-Corruption entered into force in 2005.

G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation
The G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation was a global search for businesses with innovative, scalable, and commercially viable ways of working with low-income people in developing countries. By recognizing businesses that have already succeeded in developing innovative, scalable, and financially sustainable inclusive business models, the G20 Challenge provides a global platform for all businesses to learn from successful leaders in the growing field of inclusive business, and enables these leaders to come together and develop linkages with other inclusive businesses.

Business Call to Action
Launched in 2008, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. Worldwide, 60 companies have responded to the BCtA by making commitments to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions through commercially-viable business ventures that engage low-income people as consumers, producers, suppliers, and distributors of goods and services.

European Commission – Sustainable and Responsible Business/Corporate Social Responsibility
The European Commission presents its renewed CSR strategy for 2011-2014.


Business/Industry Networks and Initiatives


Business for Social Responsibility, BSR
BSR works through a global network of member companies to develop sustainable business strategies and solutions through consultancies, research and cross-sector cooperation. BSR has, for example, developed a guide for how Global Compact principles can be implemented in the supply chain.

CSR Sweden
CSR Sweden is a Swedish business network focusing on corporate social responsibility, community involvement and dialogue between business and politicians. They also provide contacts, experience and knowledge between companies and stakeholders. CSR Europe is the European equivalent with European member companies.

CSR Europe
CSR Europe a European business network of companies and organisations working together to integrate corporate social responsibility into business strategies and practice across Europe and globally.

International Business Leaders Forum, IBLF
Independent non-profit organisations working with leading international companies for sustainable business solutions to global challenges. They have published several reports and guides, including a guide for human rights impact assessments.

Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
EITI aims to increase the capacity of resource-rich countries to manage their revenues from the extractive industry with increased transparency and responsibility. EITI is a global standard with robust regulations for checking that the expenses incurred by companies in the extractive industry for, for example, licenses and taxes, correspond to the revenues the state receives from the companies.

Swedish Cleantech 
 Information on Swedish environmental technology. Map with most Swedish cleantech and environmental technology plants which all have their own presentation page. There are also reports, statistics, and examples of successful initiatives in Swedish environmental technology. You will find further information on funding and advice. The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth is responsible for the website.

Transparency International (TI)
TI is a global NGO that works to counteract corruption. TI is made up of a global network of more than 90 locally established national bodies that fight corruption regionally and globally by bringing together authorities, civil society, industry and media to promote transparency in public administration, in procurement and in the business sector through outreach campaigns.

Global Reporting Initiative, GRI
The Global Reporting Initiative is a leading standard on sustainability reporting. GRI is a network-based organisation that has established and continuously develops a framework for communication on sustainability, with the intention of giving the reporting of social and environmental impact the same status as financial reporting.


Web portals and tools


Business Anti-Corruption Portal
The anti-corruption portal has been developed as a practical tool to support small and medium-sized companies in their work to avoid and fight corruption. The portal gathers experiences from work against corruption in OECD countries (aimed at larger companies) with new tools for small and medium-sized companies.

United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform
The Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) provides leadership in promoting and coordinating implementation of the sustainable development agenda of the United Nations.

The Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business
The Practitioner Hub has been developed by the Business Innovation Facility and Innovations Against Poverty to provide a space for practitioners to connect, share experiences and gain new insights to help their inclusive business ventures grow.

BSR HERproject toolbuilder
BSR’s HERproject links multinational companies and their factories to local NGOs to create sustainable workplace programs that increase women’s health awareness. The Herproject toolbuilder is an online tool to help public health professionals build accurate and culturally relevant training materials for different health topics.




Swedwatch monitors trade and activities of Swedish companies in low-wage countries with the aim of contributing to sustainable global development. Swedwatch publishes reports about companies and CSR tools for companies and organisations.

Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights of people around the world. Hurman Rights Watch support victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice.


Other relevant reading material


Market Development in Swedish Development Cooperation
Swedish development cooperation can have an important role in creating better conditions for pro-poor market development. This booklet gives examples of how conditions that benefit the poor can be created. The examples on the following pages illustrate some results from completed and ongoing projects.

Swedish Development Cooperation and the Private Sector
This paper is a co-written by Sida and Gothenburg University, and explores the role of the private sector and economic growth for development in general and Swedish development cooperation in the area of business collaboration in particular.

Wealth of the Poor - Eliminating Poverty through Market and Private Sector Development
Claes Lindahl shows how development cooperation can influence international, national and local systems and institutions to provide incentives that unleash the creativity and enterprise of the poor - and that benefit the poor.

Page owner: Department for Partnerships and Innovations

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