The Enterprises Initiative

Establishing a platform for ILO engagement with enterprises which would contribute to their sustainability and to ILO goals.

One of the seven centenary initiatives launched by the ILO’s Director General in 2013, the Enterprises Initiative aims to advance established ILO objectives through engagement with enterprises.

The private sector has a fundamental role in job formation, development and wealth creation. Through a process of direct and constructive engagement, the Enterprises Initiative aims to capitalize on this experience by identifying areas where the ILO can work with enterprises to achieve the goals of the Organization.

The ILO engages with enterprises across all of its strategic objectives and in all regions of the world, and works with enterprises of all sizes, from small and medium enterprises to the largest multinationals.

The Initiative is based on engagement between the ILO and enterprises to facilitate two-way learning. Through the Initiative, the ILO improves its understanding of enterprise realities in addressing decent work challenges, while enterprises gain a fuller knowledge of the relevant instruments and expertise of the ILO. On this basis, the Enterprise Initiative operates in three main arenas:

Enterprise and supply chain policies and practices

Building knowledge and outreach

  • Carrying out research on trends and experiences in the field of company policy on corporate social responsibility
  • Reviewing partnership and engagement models, including private-public partnerships with enterprises
  • Convening roundtables and workshops of practitioners of corporate social responsibility
  • Developing the ILO’s knowledge on socially responsible investment
  • Enhancing outreach to business schools and relevant academic institutions

International initiatives on enterprise behaviour

  • Establishing a more visible and substantive role for the ILO in international conversations on corporate social responsibility, including by promoting the Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy
  • Engage more actively in international initiatives on enterprise behaviour
  • Provide the authoritative guidance on the interpretation and application of ILO instruments, including ILO standards and Declarations, in international initiatives
Throughout, the implementation of the Enterprises Initiative adheres to the underlying principles of advancing the Decent Work Agenda, engaging in social dialogue and respecting the tripartite character of the ILO. It also aligns with the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, which recognizes that productive, profitable and sustainable enterprises are critical to sustainable economic development and employment opportunities, and that the creation of an institutional and economic environment in which all enterprises are sustainable is an integral component of the Decent Work Agenda and of the ILO’s constitutional mandate.