The International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint organization of the United Nations and World Trade Organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, has one goal: to help businesses become more competitive in global markets, speeding economic development and contributing to sustainable development.
As part of this goal, ITC has developed a new web platform called Standards Map that provides comprehensive and comparable information on sustainability standards and audit protocols, with the aim to strengthen the capacity of producers, exporters and buyers to participate in more sustainable production and trade.
ITC collaborates with over 90 organizations that have developed standards systems, codes and reporting systems, among which are the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises help businesses, labour unions and NGOs by providing a global framework for responsible business conduct covering all areas of business ethics, including labour, human rights, anti-corruption, the environment, tax and competition. They aim to promote the positive contributions multinationals can make to economic, environmental and social progress.
Although many business codes of conduct are now publicly available, the Guidelines are the only multilaterally endorsed and comprehensive code that governments are committed to promoting. The Guidelines' recommendations express the shared values of governments representing all regions of the world and accounting for 85% of foreign direct investment.
The National Contact Points are a unique implementation mechanism to promote the Guidelines and provide a mediation and conciliation platform for resolving practical issues that may arise with their implementation.
The Guidelines were first adopted in 1976 and are reviewed periodically to ensure that they remain a leading tool to promote responsible business conduct in the changing landscape of the global economy.
The Standards Map platform offers an online "comparison tool" that enables users to make analyses, comparisons and reviews of sustainability standards and audit protocols using a unique set of social, environmental and economic criteria, audit best practices and good governance models.
The Standards Map platform helps 'ethical' suppliers, such as enterprises that use the OECD Guidelines, better understand their needs, how to access new markets & attract buyers, and how ITC can help them become more competitive and sustainable in global markets. Standards Map users can save their settings online and share work with their social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
A free trial access to the Standards Map online comparison tool is offered to all new users who register from the Standards Map homepage. A series of free tutorials on how to use the Standards map platform and comparison tool will be organized in the coming weeks will be available to newly registered users who send an email stating "Interested in free Standards Map tutorial" to firstname.lastname@example.org. The latest news and updates on Standards Map activities, workshops, webinars and partnerships can be followed via ITC Standards Map's social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.