RIBA signs up to the UN Global Compact

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has become a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and has undertaken to support and promote its principles on human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.

Joining the UNGC network is part of the RIBA’s increased focus on ethics which has recently included co-founding a new international coalition to develop the first set of globally-recognised ethics standards for real-estate and related professional organisations.

In addition to signing up to the UNGC, RIBA has committed to a six-point action plan to directly support its principles. RIBA will:

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.

Speaking today, RIBA President Jane Duncan said:

“As our profession changes and becomes increasingly international, so must our approach to developing and reinforcing professional ethics. Architecture has a direct impact on societies and economies; it shapes and influences the world we live in. For this reason, we architects have a duty to uphold the highest standards wherever we practice. I am delighted that RIBA has signed the UN Global Compact and undertaken to support and promote its principles.”

As a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the RIBA produces an annual report to the UN highlighting its activities to meet the core principles. A copy of its latest report can be found on the RIBA website at


Notes to editors

1.       For further press information contact Melanie Mayfield 020 7307 3662

2.       RIBA’s International Task Group, led by RIBA Vice President International Peter Oborn set out a detailed plan for RIBA’s role in engaging with international communities, including signing up to the UNGC, in December 2014. The full report:

3.       More on the International Ethics Standards Coalition, co-founded by RIBA:

4.       More on the United Nations Global Compact:

5.       The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members

6.       Follow us on Twitter for regular RIBA updates @RIBA    



Posted on Thursday 19th November 2015

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