The RIBA and the United Nations Global Compact

Architecture for Social Purpose forms a key strand of the RIBA’s latest five year strategy. We aim to place social purpose, professional standards and ethics at the heart of action and debate about architecture and the profession.

This work supports a key pillar of our 1834 Charter which outlines the role of the RIBA as ” the general advancement of Civil Architecture…… as tending greatly to promote the domestic convenience of citizens, and the public improvement and embellishment of towns and cities”.

As part of this commitment in 2015, on the recommendation of the RIBA Council, the Institute became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). The UNGC is a set of ten high-level principles promoting best practice in areas covering human rights, labour rights, the environment and anti-corruption.

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In becoming a signatory, the RIBA has committed to support and promote these principles both through the internal procedures of the RIBA, and through encouraging these values through RIBA practices and individual members.

In particular, the RIBA has committed to the following:

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.

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