Principles and Goals

Sustainability is about walking the talk, it is about action, getting things done, about implementation. 

A number of voluntary corporate initiatives have emerged globally to address governance issues. This has found support from the United Nations.

In 1992, Business for Social Responsibility was formed in the USA. The BSA works with companies to integrate social and environmental considerations into their core business.

In 1993, Transparency International was established to fight corruption, by monitoring and publishing information about corruption and bribery in the public and private sectors.

In 1995, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) was established to provide a platform for businesses to share knowledge and best practices and advocate business positions on sustainability issues.

In 1999, the US-based non-profit Ceres (formerly the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies) and the Tellus Institute (with actors formerly from the UN Environment Programme), issued their first exposure draft guidelines for sustainability reporting.

In July 2000, a group of 44 business leaders and 22 civil society organisations founded the voluntary UN Global Compact, to act as both a policy platform and a practical framework for companies that are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. 

For the cost of a small financial contribution, a commitment letter addressed and delivered to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and signed by the company's chief executive (where applicable endorsed by the highest-level governance body of the organisation) a company can join the UN Global Compact.

In 2004, an annual reporting requirement was introduced to the UN Global Compact and several companies were removed for failing to disclose.

The aim was to establish principles for business policy and conduct, where signatory companies of the UN Global Compact commit to a set of Ten Principles, or fundamental responsibilities, in the areas of i) human rights; ii) labour; iii) environment; iv) anti-corruption.

Principles of the UN Global Compact

The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact are derived from: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. The principles ask companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values within these areas:

The UN Global Compact has launched issue platforms and principles, including Caring for Climate, the CEO Water Mandate, the Women’s Empowerment Principles, the Children’s Rights and Business Principles and Business for Peace.

UN Global Compact Emblem

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.

Members of the UN Global Compact commit to integrally incorporate the principles, as part of business strategy, core operations, and organisational culture; in the decision-making processes of the highest-level governance body; to engage in partnerships to advance broader development objectives; to annually Communicate on Progress, and to advance the case for responsible business practices through advocacy and active outreach.

The UN Global Compact asks companies to first do business responsibly. But then in addition, an agreement was adopted in 2015, with the vision to achieving a better future by 2030, with the aim to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet.

The Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, all the 193 Member States of the United Nations, adopted seventeen sustainable development goals (SDGs), providing a blueprint for private sector involvement. These are specific goals that the private sector can pursue to solve societal challenges through business innovation and collaboration. 

Efforts to develop products, services and innovative business models that are good for both society and shareholders AND the implementation of universal principles will be required if the world is to attain truly sustainable development in economic, environmental, social and ethical terms. 

By respecting and supporting (through stakeholder engagement) universal principles, like those of the UN Global Compact, business participants can play an important role in helping to realise the SDGs.

UN's 17 SDGs and the links to 10 Principles of UN Global Compact

Rights And Regulations

Most businesses draw their resources such as energy, materials, and water from a common stockpile, often dependent on the natural environment. How responsibly businesses use common resources, how much waste they produce, and how they dispose of their waste can have a relatively small impact when viewed in isolation. But the combined impact of business actions burdens air quality, water purity, food quality, energy availability, and public health.

Most businesses acknowledge it is Governments that organise the appropriate institutional foundations for markets and direct its regulation, however, there are businesses that not only merely comply, but act beyond the rules of the day. We'd like to join their ranks.  We have chosen to act and advocate through stakeholder engagement now!


We set, and semi-annually review, standards for current and prospective clients, in order to manage environmental and social challenges. We expect our clients to meet these standards. We will work with clients who do not meet our standards, only to the extent that our engagement would be likely to lead to them raising their standards. 

Where alignment with our published standards cannot be demonstrated within time-bound and specific plans, we will consider the following factors:

Our Values in Action

We're committed to respecting and promoting social, environmental and economic development in the markets we serve. We embed our framework directly into our business approvals process and apply the framework to our Corporate and Institutional clients.

Laws and regulations

We seek to work with companies that identify, assess, and manage adverse social and environmental risks and impacts, and respect and support  Human Rights conventions both locally and in the context of international conventions that their country has ratified.

When host country regulations differ from the levels and measures presented in international conventions, companies are expected to respect and support whichever is more stringent.

If less stringent levels or measures are appropriate in view of specific company circumstances, a full and detailed justification for any proposed alternatives is needed as part of the client onboarding and client-review assessments.

This justification should demonstrate that the choice for any alternative performance level is protective of the environment and of human health.

Natural Values

The diversity of living organisms (biodiversity) is vital to the prosperity and survival of humanity. Human activities have been depleting biodiversity at an accelerating rate, which if unchecked, means that nearly 40% of all species (1 million) may face extinction by the end of this century.

The five greatest threats to biodiversity are (1) Habitat destruction through changing land and sea use, (2) Overexploitation of organisms, (3) wasteful Populations driving climate change (4) chemical Pollution, and (5) Invasive alien species.

We assess and review Corporate and Institutional clients based on their respect and support of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Where host countries have NOT ratified the Convention (Andorra, South Sudan, United States of America and the Holy See [the Vatican]), we assess corporate and institutional advocacy and political contributions in favour of parties that have pushed against the ratification of this important international convention.

Human Rights

The most basic human rights have been held to include the right to life; to receive education, protection from torture, freedom from slavery, freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; freedom of opinion and expression; the equal rights of men and women, the right to health, and the right to work. However, it is only when human rights are codified into the laws of a specific country or state that they become civil rights.

Civil rights lay down the obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.

In many countries, basic civil rights are NOT enumerated in their constitutions or don't convey political or individual civil rights to everyone. In some countries, where civil rights are not specifically enumerated in the Country's constitution, they are left to interpretation by State officials or even worse, unelected officials.

It is extraordinary that universally accepted human rights, particularly those agreed upon multi-laterally, are not automatically translated into the civil rights of the people of all civilised countries. 

We believe the current model of foreign investment governance is a failure. In addition to the International Bill of Human Rights and the principles concerning fundamental rights set out in the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, we also consider additional standards, like the United Nation's Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights, the UN Global Compact and the International Labour Organization standards regarding gender equality.

We are committed to respecting and supporting universal human rights and continue to advocate for even the second (Egalité) and third (Fraternité) generation rights!


In order to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement and significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change, the global target is to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1,5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

We want to drive capital flows towards sustainable investment in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth.

The work with reference to the EU taxonomy classification and screening system to establish a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. However, we believe that the standards are NOT sufficiently onerous, particularly related to sequestration and low-carbon threshold benchmarks for high-emitting sectors, set in the Technical Annex.

We will support clients who are genuinely committed to achieving a low-carbon just transition aligned to the Paris Agreement.

Sustainability Goals

Little Square Capital is aware that all sustainable development goals are important and require respect and support. In order to focus on the areas in which Little Square Capital as a company and through our actions are capable of having a particularly big impact, we have considered the 17 primary goals and 169 sub-goals. 

In addition to respect and support for the ten principles of the UN Global Compact, we have identified eight goals where Little Square Capital can, through its financing and capital markets activities, have the greatest impact on people, the environment and society through its business processes and services.

GIF of UN SDG_1 - No Poverty

SDG 1 - No Poverty

GIF of UN SDG_3 - Good Health and Well Being

SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being

GIF of UN SDG_5 - Gender Equality

SDG 5 - Gender Equality

GIF of UN SDG_7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

SDG 7Affordable and Clean Energy

GIF of UN SDG_8 - Decent work and economic growth

SDG 8Decent work and economic growth

GIF of UN SDG_9 - Industry, Innovation and infrastructure

SDG 9Industry, innovation and infrastructure

GIF of UN SDG_10 - Reduced inequalities

SDG 10 – Reduced inequalities

GIF of UN SDG_13 - Climate protection measures

SDG 13 – Climate protection measures

GIF of UN SDG_17 - Partnership for the goals

SDG 17Partnership for the goals

Supportable Finance

Focus our specialised financial and investment advisory efforts and our advocacy and support to companies and entities that embrace the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, and support the SDGs.

Only provide financial and other services to clients who are not dependent on thermal coal (based on % of revenue)

Only provide financial and other services to clients who have already initiated methane leak reduction strategies.

Only provide financial services to clients who target more than 40% reduction in GHG (not only carbon) emissions by 2040

People and Partnerships

Only work with networks of suppliers and investors that aim to integrate the Ten Principles into all their business activities

Maintain gender representation of 50% women in senior roles.

Create Diversity & Inclusion targets for all our markets.

Conduct and Governance

Training all staff to identify potentially suspicious transactions, conform to sanction regulations, and act with integrity.

Support the transparency of transfer pricing, taxation policy, and the reduction of barriers to capital mobilisation.

 Create equality of opportunity for our employees and enable a meritocratic environment that facilitates learning and growth.

Get Involved

Sustainability is about walking the talk, it is about action, getting things done, about implementation. 

If you are someone or you represent an entity that seeks to comply with all human rights- and environment-related laws and other relevant multilaterally agreed international standards, we'd like to work with you.

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