Change in the corporte operating environment: Is the pressure on?

Companies operate in a complex web of rules and regulations, institutional frameworks, incentive systems and different societal, economic and political contexts. This section examines changes in the corporate operating environment – at the global, regional and national level – that shape corporate conduct. Factors in the external operating environment may hinder or block, or enable and catalyse, change in the right direction. In this assessment, we are considering four important drivers of change: regulation, finance, education as well as the institutions and frameworks such as international organisations, government institutions and civil society organisations.

In what follows, we present our five key findings with regards to how the corporate
operating environment has changed since 2000. As you can see from the following
pages, promising changes has occurred in many areas. Here are the findings we present:

  1. Playing catch-up: Bringing regulation up to speed
  2. Voluntary is booming: Business is taking the lead
  3. Exercising power: Investors’ sights set on sustainability
  4. From confrontation to collaboration: A new relationship with NGOs
  5. Open for business: The UN embraces corporate partnerships