The role of business in implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals - new reports

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17 January 2017

Business strategies to implement SDGs will enable long-term growth, says report

Author: Business & Sustainable Development Commission

"Better Business, Better World", January 2017

…Signs of…imperfections in today’s markets are everywhere…The resulting uncertainty makes it hard for business leaders to see the way ahead…This report offers a positive alternative: setting business strategy and transforming markets in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals…[T]he Business and Sustainable Development Commission has been researching the impact on business of achieving these 17 objectives…They provide a viable model for long-term growth, as long as businesses move towards them together…Achieving the Global Goals opens up…market opportunities in the four economic systems examined by the Commission. These are food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, and health and well-being…To capture these opportunities…, businesses need to pursue social and environmental sustainability as avidly as they pursue market share and shareholder value…The report…is a call to action for…business leaders. It explains why they should go for growth in line with the Global Goals and how to lead that change, in their own businesses and beyond…

Company actions targeting SDGs include:
• Vodafone mobile plans enabling women in Turkey to find education & work - Goal 4 Quality Education & Goal 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
• Unilever programmes on hand-washing, safe drinking water & oral health - Goal 6 Clean Water & Sanitation
• Abraaj Group plans to improve resourcing of healthcare facilities in Africa and South Asia - Goal 9 Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure

Download the full document here

16 January 2017

Davos study says businesses can unlock $12 trillion via key development goals

Author: Reuters

Companies could unlock at least $12 trillion in market opportunities by 2030 and create up to 380 million jobs by implementing a few key development goals, according to a study by a group including global business and finance leaders. The report, released on Monday by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, said pressure on business to become a "responsible social actor" was likely to grow...The study said businesses have a key role to play in achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to end poverty and protect the planet. "Achieving the global goals opens up an economic prize of at least $12 trillion by 2030 for the private sector and potentially 2-3 times more," the study said, adding this could be achieved by action in just four areas - energy, cities, agriculture and health. The $12 trillion - made up of business savings and revenue gains - would be equal to a tenth of forecast global economic output while 90 percent of the new jobs would be in the developing world, the study said...

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15 January 2017

Business can contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals through promoting ethical trade & workers' rights, shows report

Author: Ben Rutledge, Ethical Trading Initiative

...All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, are expected to implement the goals. That very definitely includes business. Why? Because the focus is on ending poverty by building global prosperity through equitable and sustainable means. So, while national governments have been tasked with tracking and reporting on progress, the SDGs highlight the important role that the private sector must also play in delivering the goals. ETI’s guide, Realise the Potential of Your Ethical Trade Programme therefore sets out some very practical steps on how businesses can contribute through promoting ethical trade and workers’ rights. And it sets out the relationship between the SDGs, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), and ETI’s programme work...

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