Earlier this month, Convoy announced its participation in the United Nations Global Compact — the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative, boasting 12,000 participants strategically aligning operations with shared values in human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption.
In an interview with FreightWaves’ Danny Gomez, Jennifer Wong, director of sustainability at Convoy, said that while sustainability principles are clearly driving the company’s participation, it also seeks insights on improving the working lives of truck drivers. When there’s no rule book for these value-based sorts of change, Wong said, collaboration is key.
“There aren’t many standards for sustainability yet,” Wong said on FreightWaves NOW. “You can’t pull up an article and go through the checklist to say, ‘Once I’m done with this, I’m a sustainable company.’ The U.N. Global Compact is another way to think about becoming sustainable with a universally recognized framework that aligns with the minds of other companies as well, just so that you aren’t starting from zero or a blank piece of paper.”
While Wong said more of Convoy’s customers and partners are beginning to turn their attention toward sustainability in day-to-day operations, the U.S. transportation industry is barely represented in this group of 12,000 participants.
“If you look at the U.N. Global Compact participants and filter for the United States and then industrial transportation, there’s only six companies in that category today. There’s so much room for growth.”
Other North American transportation companies joining Convoy in the U.N. Global Compact are Sun Steel Express, Magna International, Green Worldwide Shipping, Cavalier Logistics and MTI Worldwide Logistics. To join, companies’ highest-ranking executives must sign a letter of commitment to the U.N. secretary-general, and once that’s finalized through an online portal, participants will receive opportunities to engage in different action groups.
“I don’t think it’s ever too early,” said Wong. “The earlier you start, the easier it is, because it gets more and more complex over time. Anyone can be a voice within their organization where just even doing the research and bringing some of these ideas to leadership is a great place to start.”