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Advancing Human Rights in Supply Chains through Community Engagement and Investment

FEATURED PAPER

By Monica Gonzalez 

Argentina
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Introduction 

Due to the importance and transcendence of this subject I felt extremely motivated to deliver this presentation in this IPMA 27° Congress of Project Management. As project, program and portfolio managers, we cannot be indifferent, quite the contrary be sensible, receptive and take an active role, that is, be change agents for a better world with inclusive growth, social equity and progress, between other goals.

According to “A Good Practice Note” prepared for the United Nations Global Compact Human Rights Working Group, longstanding concerns about poor social and environmental conditions in companies’ supply chains, along with heightened public scrutiny of business behavior, have led to rising expectations that companies should seek more effective ways to improve their suppliers’ environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) practices. Moreover, a combination of national and local regulations, international covenants, frameworks, and various declarations, has made clear that there is a corporate responsibility to respect human rights

Ensuring respect for universal principles 

With regard to ensuring the respect for universal principles, it is necessary to make reference to the Building The Post-2015 Business Engagement Architecture document. It says:

Fundamentally, all companies have a responsibility to operate in accordance with universal principles such as those of the UN Global Compact. In practice, this means making sure that a company identifies, prevents, mitigates and accounts for any negative impacts it may have on society and the environment by incorporating these universal principles into the appropriate corporate strategies, policies and procedures, and by establishing a culture of integrity and compliance. In particular, risk assessment processes should consider risks to society and environment arising from company activities, rather than solely risks to the company itself, albeit mitigating such risks can often also mitigate reputational, legal and financial risks to the company. Responsibility for implementation of universal principles must be integrated throughout the organization, with efforts also made to secure the same high standards among suppliers and other business partners”. 

Corporate Sustainability – This new global orientation for business also encompasses an expanded definition of corporate sustainability to mean:  a company´s delivery of long-term value in economic, social, environmental and ethical terms. 

Sustainability and Project Management

In 2008, IPMA (International Project Management Association) Vice-President Mary McKinlay stated a keynote speech that “the further development of the project management profession requires project managers to take responsibility for sustainability”. This comment was the trigger for the development and planning of a change in the way sustainability for many was understood from a project management perspective. 

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About the Author

flag-argentinamonica-gonzalezMÓNICA GONZÁLEZ, MBA, PMP, GPM

Mónica González is an Industrial Engineer, Master in Business Administration and has two International Certifications, Project Management Professional (PMP®) of the Project Management Institute and Green Project Manager (GPM®) of the Green Project Management Organization. She has over 25 years of experience in Electrical Companies, in both public and private sectors, specifically in Electric Power Transmission in High and Medium Voltage.

In the past 14 years, she has worked as a Project Manager, involved with developing, establishing,  implementation and maintenance of Organizational (and Integrated) Management Systems according to the International Management Standards, like ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems – Requirements), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems — Requirements), ISO 26000 (Guidance on Social Responsibility), OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Standard) and the Argentinean  Resolution ENRE 057/2003 Public Safety for Electric Power Transmission in High and Medium Voltage.

From 2002 to 2004, she was part of Communication Committee and Environmental and Sustainable Development Committee of Electricité de France (EDF) Branch America along with colleagues from France, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.  As PMI member Monica is a founder of the PMI Nuevo Cuyo Argentina Chapter, as a volunteer (2008-2013), she has served as Marketing and Communications leader, issuing a monthly newsletter among others.

In addition to integrate the PMI Global Sustainability Community of Practice Council (May´2010-Dec´2012) and support  PMI Educational Foundation as a Liaison in Nuevo Cuyo Chapter (2011-2013), she serves as a committee member for the PC/ISO 236 Project Committee: Project Management; and for the ISO/TC 258 – Technical Committee: Project, Program, Portfolio Management.  From October 2012, Mónica is a member of the Green Project Management Executive Consortium. Currently, she is a Director, Program Operations (Latin America) – GPM Global and Vice Chair, GPMG Accreditation Board.  Monica can be contacted at [email protected]

To see previous works by Monica Gonzalez, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library.