UN Global Compact Network Australia adds ESG leaders from across corporate responsibility, sustainable supply chains, and marketing and diversity to the board
Emilia Maubach | March 1, 2023
The UN Global Compact Network Australia (UNGCNA), the Australian local network of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, has named new appointees from Australia Post as well as from real estate and supply chain sustainability, alongside an industry-leading expert in marketing and diversity to lead actions towards a more sustainable future.
Non-executive board appointments are:
- Susan Mizrahi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Australia Post, and Chair Australian Retailers Association Sustainability Advisory Group;
- Sunita Gloster, Non-Executive Director Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Marketing Advisor at Gloster Advisory, Senior Advisor Accenture & UN Women Australia and Co-Chair Tech Council of Australia Marketing Committee, ABCTV Gruen panellist;
- Robin Mellon, leading expert on sustainable supply chains and CEO, Better Sydney, Project Manager for the Property Council of Australia’s Modern Slavery Working Group and Supplier Platform.
The UNGCNA connects, enables and leads businesses and stakeholders to create a sustainable future by supporting businesses to act responsibly and helping them find opportunities that drive positive business outcomes. United by this shared goal, the appointments come at a time when Australian businesses and organisations face significant and transformational challenges including mandatory reporting, risks of modern slavery in supply chains, and increased scrutiny on communications and claims.
The pandemic and the associated economic crisis have strengthened the case for businesses to implement Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices into their business strategies and operation.
According to the UNGCNA Chair, Fiona Reynolds, “Now is the time to accelerate for corporate Australia. We can only do this through cooperation, collective action, and shared learning. The UNGCNA brings together some of Australia’s strongest expertise in ESG, and with this, we are in the best position to facilitate collaboration and help accelerate corporate Australia towards a more sustainable future,” Ms. Reynolds said.
“Australia is at a coming-of-age moment for community and regulatory scrutiny that directly connects corporate behaviour with external impact,” added Sunita Gloster.
“Marketing communications and strategy must sit at the core of ESG-related regulatory, ethical and reputation discussions not just to ensure credibility for both consumers and regulators but also to be mindful of the social impact and community trust that lies at the heart of any viable business. UNGCNA is a valuable platform to help Australian businesses embrace a sustainable future,” Ms. Gloster said.
Susan Mizrahi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Australia Post, said “Businesses large and small are seeking guidance on how to rebuild more sustainably from the pandemic and economic shocks. The UN Global Compact has the mandate, expertise and networks to help businesses strengthen their approaches to climate and ESG.”
“Above all, the UNGCNA shows that businesses don’t need to ‘go it alone’”, added Robin Mellon, CEO, Better Sydney. “Collaboration around key issues from gender equality to climate action, and from sustainable cities to responsible supply chains means we can move faster and further together. Partnership is the new leadership, and partnerships for our goals will help us tackle those complex, difficult problems.”
These new board appointments follow the recent announcement of Fiona Reynolds as UNGCNA Chair in November 2022. The existing board comprises two of Australia’s largest retailers represented by Anna Stewart, Head of Sustainability Governance & Engagement at Coles, and Laura McManus, Senior Human Rights Manager at Woolworths, as well as Pru Bennett, Partner at Brunswick Group, Chair of the National Foundation for Australia China Relations, Karen McWilliams FCA, sustainability and governance professional and Business Reform Leader at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Howard Wigham, Executive Director of Navigate Business Advisory, and Vanessa Zimmerman, global and domestic corporate sustainability expert focusing on human rights and founder of human rights advisory service, Pillar Two.
“In Australia we have a long way to go to achieve the social, environmental and economic goals we’ve set out. Compared with the progress made overseas, we are playing catch up. Simply put, we need to move faster, and we can only do this if business and government work collaboratively to raise the collective level of capability.” said Fiona Reynolds.
“It’s complex enough for ASX-listed businesses to tackle these issues, but for small to medium sized enterprises with limited resources, it is even more challenging. Every company, big and small needs to collaborate to make rapid, meaningful progress,” Ms. Reynolds said.
The UNGCNA, a special initiative of the United Nations (UN) secretary-general, is a call to responsible businesses to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The goal of the network is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through companies and ecosystems that enable change.
To speak with any of the UNGCNA’s new appointments, please contact Gabrielle Strosberg, firstname.lastname@example.org or 0428 071 733.