Accountability depends on an organisation having in place a set of mechanisms that can be used to  explain its objectives and results to stakeholders, and that contribute to improving the organisation.

Social responsibility reports are a way to inform stakeholders of commitments, objectives and results with respect to actions related to the economic, environmental and social components of sustainable development. In the case of universities, such reports focus on education, research, management and relations with society.

In 2004, the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya became a signatory to the Global Compact, and since then the University has produced and made public an annual progress report. The Global Compact is an international initiative of the United Nations that asks organisations to support and enact ten principles derived from key international declarations and conventions. The principles focus on four areas: human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption.


  • Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights within their area of influence.
  • Principle 2: Businesses should make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
  • Principle 3: Businesses should uphold freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
  • Principle 4: Businesses should uphold the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour.
  • Principle 5: Businesses should uphold the effective abolition of child labour.
  • Principle 6: Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  • Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.
  • Principle 8: Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.
  • Principle 9: Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
  • Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.