Whirlpool Signs on to UN Global Initiative

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Whirlpool has become the latest signatory to the UN Global Compact, a voluntary commitment to responsible business practices that can help create a better world.

The Compact, founded in 2000, includes ten basic principles on human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption that have been embraced by more than 9,500 companies in 160 countries. Fellow participants include appliance makers BSH, Electrolux and Miele, and tech distributor Ingram Micro.

“At Whirlpool Corporation, our values are the driving force behind everything we do,” said Chairman/CEO Marc Bitzer. “We have a proud history of implementing policies and processes that support the tenets of the UN Global Compact for many years in our plants, offices and other facilities around the world.”

Related: Whirlpool Q4 Earnings Up 9% in N.A.

Whirlpool formalized its commitment to the Compact with the delivery of a letter signed by Bitzer and addressed to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. As a signatory, the appliance giant has agreed to expand its efforts to uphold sustainable and responsible business practices in its day-to-day global operations.

“I am pleased to share our continued dedication to these important values with the public, and we look forward to making even more progress in the years to come alongside the United Nations and our fellow Compact members,” Bitzer said.

In addition to supporting and taking action to match the Compact’s principles, Whirlpool will push to further the UN’s broader development goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim for fundamental, impactful change in areas ranging from hunger and poverty to clean energy and gender equality.

Prior to joining the Compact, Whirlpool has independently taken strides to advance its principles and has consistently received recognition for its efforts. Last year the manufacturer was included on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and was named a Best Employer for Diversity and one of the World’s Most Reputable Companies by Forbes.

The ten principles of the UN Global Compact are:

Human Rights

Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and

Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Labor

Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;

Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor;

Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labor; and

Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Environment

Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;

Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and

Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

Anti-Corruption

Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.