SDG Pioneers

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lay out a clear vision for a sustainable future and will shape a new era for business. As part of our Making Global Goals Local Business campaign, each year, the UN Global Compact celebrates a group of SDG Pioneers — business leaders who are doing an exceptional job to advance the Global Goals through a principles-based approach.

In the spirit of giving young people a seat at the table to build a sustainable future, in 2019, the UN Global Compact will focus the search for SDG Pioneers to young professionals aged 35 and under.

Seventeen Global Compact Local Networks are hosting country-level SDG Pioneers programmes this year to seek out young professionals locally who will then compete in a global round. The country-level programmes will take place from February to May 2019.

The 2019 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers will then be announced and recognized during the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74) in New York this September.

List of 2019 country-level SDG Pioneers programmes*:
Bangladesh Brazil Canada
China Croatia Denmark
Egypt Georgia Italy
Kenya Lebanon Nepal
Netherlands South Africa Sri Lanka
United Kingdom

United States of America

*If you are a young professional working in these countries, you will only be eligible to apply for the 2019 SDG Pioneers programme by applying through our Local Networks.


SDG Pioneers are paving the way to the future we all want

Are you a young professional (35 and under) using business as a force for good to advance the Sustainable Development Goals? Submit your sustainability story for a chance to be a 2019 SDG Pioneer. Global round opens May 2019.

Questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions or contact sdgpioneers@unglobalcompact.org.

Our global campaign

In 2018, over 150 nominations were received from over 50 countries, from which ten finalists were selected by the SDG Pioneers Selection Group, exemplifying how business can be a force for good in addressing the challenges we face as a global society.

An SDG Pioneers Selection Group, comprised of representatives of the Board and Expert Networks of the UN Global Compact, the Global Compact Network Council, academia, UN Private Sector Focal Points and previous SDG Pioneers. The Selection Group voted on the nominees based on a set of criteria, including the individuals' commitment to embedding the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into their companies' core strategies and advancing the Global Goals, as well as their engagement with the UN Global Compact and its Local Networks.

Sustainable Development Goals


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 related targets represent a bold new path to end extreme poverty and hunger, fight inequalities and address climate change by 2030 — ensuring that no one is left behind.