Responsible Business in High-Risk Areas and Challenging Operating Environments

A conference held on 23 March 2011 at Old Mutual, London EC4, organised by Engi with the UN Global Compact UK Network and the UN PRI Initiative.

Many businesses recognise the need for – and the benefits of – collaboration with governments, civil society organisations and with each other. This is even more significant when operating in high-risk and fragile areas, where companies can easily find themselves exposed to risks related to conflict.

The consequences of misjudged strategies in these contexts can be hugely expensive in security, litigation and capital costs, opportunity costs, reputation losses and workforce issues. With the right advice, however, practical policies can be developed to mitigate the risks, minimise costs and increase revenues.

The UN Global Compact published a guidance document to address these issues in 2010 – Responsible Business in High-Risk and Challenging Environments.  Prepared in collaboration with businesses and investors, it offers comprehensive, realistic and practical action points.

Increasingly, companies are recognising that Responsible Business is much more than philanthropy – it is sound business strategy to save money, maximise growth and enhance reputation.

The conference focused on:

  • how Responsible Business practices in high-risk areas can benefit companies
  • the UNGC guidance and how it could be better promoted and understood
  • the role of the private sector in helping to create economic security
  • how the private sector can contribute to the stability of their operating environments


Henry Bellingham MP – Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sir Mark Moody-Stuart – Chairman, UN Global Compact Foundation
The Rt Hon Jeffrey Donaldson MP – Member of Parliament for Lagan Valley
Kathryn McPhail – Senior Program Director, International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)
Mirza Baig – Director of Governance and Sustainable Investment, F&C Investment
Julie McDowell – Head of Sustainable and Responsible Investment, Standard Life
Daniel Kronen – Senior Manager Compliance Strategy, Siemens AG 
Canan Gündüz – Senior Programme Officer, International Alert

Moderated by Jane Corbin – Senior Correspondent, BBC TV's Panorama

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