Geneva, Switzerland, 9 December 2020 – Corruption thrives in times of crisis, undermining social and economic development, and is something from which no country, region or community is immune. On International Anti-Corruption Day, the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption launched an Agenda for Business Integrity framework to help companies build resilience against corruption. The uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic demands a business culture of integrity to restore confidence and trust.
More than ever business leaders need to act with ethical leadership and integrity, according to the report. It aims to shape the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure global efforts are effective and equitable. Technological innovations powered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution can boost integrity and accountability in systems.
“Committing to ethics and integrity beyond compliance is an effective tool to ensure a holistic approach to corporate governance,” said Pedro G. Gómez Pensado, Head, Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI), World Economic Forum. “The Agenda for Business Integrity offers an innovative framework to the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) community to achieve the SDGs and face corruption challenges.”
“The world’s business leaders must commit to a more holistic, systemic and global approach to building a culture of ethics and integrity. If they fail, corruption will continue to plague our societies and economic systems, and our democratic institutions will be severely weakened,” stated Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair, Transparency International; Co-Chair, World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption.
The framework’s four pillars seek to guide companies in their internal and external implementation.
Pillar 1: A conceptual foundation that requires a commitment to ethics and integrity beyond compliance.
Pillar 2: Strengthening corporate culture and incentives to drive continuous improvement and leadership.
Pillar 3: Leveraging innovative technologies to improve data collection, analysis, decision-making, reporting and overall accountability.
Pillar 4: Supporting collective action to increase scale and impact.
The framework provides a practical guide for businesses that aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Launched in 2004, PACI serves as the principal chief executive officer-led platform in the global anti-corruption arena, building on the pillars of public-private cooperation, responsible leadership and technological advances. With approximately 90 signatories from different sectors throughout the globe, PACI serves as the leading business voice on anti-corruption and transparency.
The Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption has developed a forward-looking framework for business integrity, which supports and aligns with broader work to globally reset and embed a revised purpose of business based on a stakeholder economy. Building on this Agenda for Business Integrity, the Council continue to support global stakeholders to improve their integrity and responsible business conduct.
All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.