RIBA signs up for the UN Global Compact

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he Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has become a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and has undertaken to support and promote its principles on human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.

Joining the UNGC network is part of the RIBA’s increased focus on ethics which has recently included co-founding a new international coalition to develop the first set of globally-recognised ethics standards for real-estate and related professional organisations.

In addition to signing up to the UNGC, RIBA has committed to a six-point action plan to directly support its principles. RIBA will:

1.       Provide a forum for the debate of the universal principles enshrined in the UN Global Compact as they apply to the practice of architecture, in particular in relation to health, safety and welfare, diversity and inclusion, and environmental sustainability

2.       Encourage and support RIBA Chartered Practices in addressing the universal principles of the UN Global Compact as a strategic issue at board/management level

3.       Facilitate access to tools and guidance that can assist architects in responding to ethical issues that are beyond the scope of legal and/or code of conduct definitions

4.       Encourage Chartered Practices to use their influence to promote the principles of the UN Global Compact throughout their construction project supply chains

5.       Collaborate with other professional organisations to review professional codes of conduct

6.       Commit to continuously improve the social and environmental impacts of the RIBA.

Speaking today, RIBA President Jane Duncan said:

“As our profession changes and becomes increasingly international, so must our approach to developing and reinforcing professional ethics. Architecture has a direct impact on societies and economies; it shapes and influences the world we live in. For this reason, we architects have a duty to uphold the highest standards wherever we practice. I am delighted that RIBA has signed the UN Global Compact and undertaken to support and promote its principles.”