First UK bus and coach operator joins UN Global Compact

The voluntary corporate sustainability initiative looks to connect environmental, human rights, anti-corruption and social justice efforts. 

people sitting down inside vehicle

Stagecoach will be the first UK bus and coach operator to join the United Nations Global Compact in a bid to reinforce its well-publicised Sustainability Strategy and efforts to ensure transparency throughout the operation, which currently employs 24,000 people and operates 8,300 vehicles daily.

The UN Global Compact Network UK is an independent not-for-profit organisation that looks to promote and encourage charitable and sustainable values in the private sector. This includes working to reduce levels of poverty and ensure strong ethical standards are met by members. While autonomous, it is directly linked to the international UN Global Compact, which is currently considered a gold standard in positive, pro-planet and people working practices. Alignment is seen as a declaration of support for the ten core principles. 

These include the fact that businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights, and be sure not to become complicit in abusing these. Companies should also uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, eliminate any and all forms of compulsory labour, child labour, and discrimination. It’s also required that organisations support precautionary approaches to environmental challenges, undertake initiatives that promote increased ecological responsibility and encourage the development and diffusion of climate technologies. Anti corruption, including working to end extortion and bribery, also features. 

‘Our sustainability Strategy is aligned to the most relevant Sustainable Development Goals for our business and helped shape the strategy as it is today.  The ten UNGC principles, under the headings of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-corruption, provide additional support to these and our own sustainability goals and ambitions and are a fundamental guiding light for all businesses, regardless of size or industry,’ said Ray O’Toole, Stagecoach’s Executive Chairman and sponsor of the Sustainability Strategy.

‘The sustainability challenges we face as Stagecoach are not unique to our business.  By joining the UNGC, we demonstrate a commitment to work together on the challenges, collectively identifying solutions, but more importantly, putting those solutions into action.  I’m really excited we are the first bus and coach operator in the UK to join the UNGC and hope that other companies follow, as I believe together, we can drive real change,’ he continued. 

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Image: Mitchell Johnson


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