The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a powerful aspiration for improving our world – laying out where we collectively need to go and how to get there. Responsible business and investment will be essential to achieving this transformational change. All companies can play a role in meeting the ambitious targets of the SDGs. While the scale and scope of the global goals is unprecedented, the fundamental ways that business can contribute remain unchanged.
The SDG Advocates, appointed by the UN Secretary General, have been given the task to promote the universal sustainable development agenda, to raise awareness of the integrated nature of the SDGs, and to foster the engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation of the SDGs. With the support of the UN Global Compact, a number of the SDG Advocates are calling on business to take concrete action towards helping the UN achieve the SDGs. It is clear that responsible business will play a crucial role in fulfilling the SDGs. By doing so, businesses and corporate leaders will not only help build a prosperous, more sustainable world, but also mature new global markets and enter the next era of business. We now have the opportunity to translate the SDGs into responsible business practices, innovation and investment.
On 22 June 2016 a letter was sent to Fortune 500 companies to call on them to commit to responsible business and adhere to universal principles of sustainability. Companies are encouraged to take five steps to align their business with the SDGs: assess their impact against the 17 goals, engage with their board, with their shareholders, their employees and show commitment to the public. Please find the letter here.
These business commitments are being gathered and will be announced during the UN General Assembly week in September in New York.