Mirror, mirror on the wall…

A moment of reflection.  Sometimes, that’s all it takes.

We’ve just discovered a resource, which in effect is a form of a mirror.

Now – we’ve talked before about an “environmental lens” – a way of looking at projects with a vision that is long-term, and considerate of the broader context in which the project ‘lives’.  But that’s for looking outward.  This resource lets you do a little self-discovery, for all of the right reasons.

The resource is the UN Global Compact’s Self-Assessment Tool.

It’s based on the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact, which are:

Human Rights

  • Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
  • Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.


  • Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
  • Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
  • Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
  • Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.


  • Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
  • Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
  • Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.


  • Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

The self-assessment available from the UN lets you:

  • Look in the mirror. Self-assessment questions measure your company’s performance on Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption.
  • No matter who you are. Designed for use by all company sizes and sectors.
  • Get inspired. Based on international standards and best practices for your company’s continuous improvement.
  • Monitor and report. Key performance indicators enabling you to track improvements and demonstrate progress.
  • Engage your stakeholders. A structured assessment outcome giving you a solid basis for constructive stakeholder dialogue.
  • Create awareness. Invite your staff, subsidiaries, suppliers and business partners to have a try.

Below, just as an example, is a screenshot of the questions on Waste.  As project managers, Guardians Of Project Resources that we are, we are averse to waste.  This set of questions helps an organization (at the enterprise, or portfolio level) judge where they stand in terms of waste management.  There are sets of thoughtful questions on other Environmental issues (Principles 7, 8, and 9) but the full range of all 10 principles are covered in the self-assessment.


We think – and have always asserted – that project management is a microcosm of general management.  So you can use this self-assessment in one or more of several ways:

  • be a change agent (PMs are change agents by definition!) and encourage your company leaders to take this self-assessment at the enterprise level
  • use the self-assessment (or at least the Environmental portion of it) to help your project consider sustainability issues
  • simply go through the assessment to learn more about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues.  In a way, this is like a course built into a spreadsheet

Go on…. look in the mirror.  It couldn’t hurt!