Mark Kramer: 5 advice on how to align business strategy with the SDGs (article in Harvard Business Review, June 2019)

Business as Usual Will Not Save the Planet

The  United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) were explicitly designed to engage the private sector in addressing the world’s most pressing challenges. Four years into the UN’s 15-year timeline, the question is whether companies are advancing serious solutions or are simply embarking on a massive global public relations charade. Unfortunately, our internal research points to the latter. A dramatic and immediate change in direction by both companies and the UN will be essential if there is to be any chance of avoiding an embarrassing failure. The plan we describe in this article offers the necessary steps to reverse course and deliver urgently needed progress.

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Denmark leads within the EU on implementing the SDGs! (report from Institute for European Environmental Policy, January 2020)

Northern European countries – Denmark, Sweden and Finland – top the EU SDG Index. Yet even these countries face major challenges in achieving several SDGs and are not on track for achieving all of the SDGs. Countries in Southern and Eastern Europe perform more poorly.

Europe is far in the lead globally in achieving the SDGs.More

UN Global Compact: Where is your company on the journey to 2030? (UNGC Annual Report 2019, October 2019)

Extracts from UNGC’s introduction of the Annual Report 2019:

“Each year, the United Nations Global Compact takes an in-depth look at the progress of participating companies to advance the sustainability efforts of the 2030 Agenda.

The UN Global Compact Progress Report 2019 provides essential insights into how companies are implementing the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and taking action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most importantly, it lays bare the transformations needed to get the business community on track as we approach 2020 and the final decade of delivery. More

181 major US businesses commit to act fairly and sustainably (published August 2019)

A welcome development this week was the declaration from 181 chief executives of US companies to operate in a way that values and recognizes all their stakeholders.

The signatories to the Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, organized by Business Roundtable, includes commitments to:

  • Respect communities and the environment by embracing sustainable business practices;
  • Deal with suppliers and partners fairly and ethically;
  • Invest in their employees, fostering diversity and inclusion;
  • Demonstrate transparency and effective stakeholder engagement.

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Denmark, Sweden and Finland – top the SDG Index 2019 (Bertelsmann Stiftung, June 2019)

From the report’s Executive Summary:

“The Sustainable Development Report 2019 presents an updated SDG Index and Dashboards with a refined assessment of countries’ distance to SDG targets.

Once again, Nordic countries – Denmark, Sweden and Finland – top the SDG Index.

Yet, even these countries face major challenges in implementing one or several SDGs. No country is on track for achieving all 17 goals with major performance gaps even in the top countries on SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). Income and wealth inequalities, as well as gaps in health and education outcomes by population groups also remain important policy challenges in developing and developed countries alike.More

UN Global Compact: Report on global goals and ocean’s opportunities (January 2019)

Quote from UNGC report “Global goals, Ocean Opportunities” foreword by Lise Kingo:

“The rapid deterioration of ocean health, which deeply affects biodiversity, coastal communities and the health of the planet, must be urgently addressed. As this report shows, this deterioration is, like climate change, caused by human activity. We need the capacity and competence of the business community to solve this challenge.More