UN Global Compact

Supporting the world's largest sustainability initiative


The United Nations Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative and was established in the 2000 as a call to companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, and act to advance inclusive and sustainable prosperity worldwide. On a mission to educate, empower and influence global leaders and managers who maximize the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for business, government, society and the environment, Thunderbird became the Academic Partner (AP) of the United Nations Global Compact Network USA in 2019.

“Thunderbird’s deep expertise in corporate social responsibility and its longstanding history of partnering with the corporate sector are huge assets for the UN Global Compact.”      
-Richard Pearl, Senior Advisor, Network USA

Thunderbird supports Network USA through thought leadership, event support, and programming. As well, the School implements the SDG Innovation Accelerator to train member company participants on how to use the SDGs as a catalyst to create inclusive and prosperity worldwide. 

Key Activities

SDG Innovation Accelerator

The accelerator program trains high-potential, young professionals from UN Global Compact member companies to learn how to build the business case for SDG Innovation.

Up to ten companies form teams of three innovators for each accelerator cohort. The professionals come from diverse backgrounds and functionalities within the company to work on an SDG-related project with Thunderbird faculty over nine months. During the program, the teams identify sustainability challenges that their organizations are uniquely qualified to address. They then develop innovative solutions that can be quickly piloted.

So far, companies such as Bristol Myers Squibb, Cisco, Colgate-Palmolive, Dow, LyondellBasell, VF Corporation, Jacobs Engineering, Automobili Lamborghini, General Electric Company, E Ink, Wheel Pros, WESCO, Owens Corning, and Univar Solutions have sent teams to participate in this high impact program. SDG Innovator teams have worked on projects to tackle sustainable supply chains, water assessment, carbon removal, DEI and gender equality, mental health, climate impact, and sustainable production and operations. 

Visit here to learn more information about participating in the SDG Innovation program.

"Global Compact Network USA is very pleased to be partnered with Thunderbird to further the UN's corporate sustainability efforts. This successful relationship has allowed the network to leverage Thunderbird's leading faculty, administration and program expertise in support of the sustainability ambitions of US companies."

Adam Roy Gordon

Engagement Director, UN Global Compact Network USA