The world is facing a number of major problems:
- Natural disasters triggered by climate change have doubled in frequency since the 1980s
- Violence and armed conflict cost the world the equivalent of nine percent of GDP in 2014, while lost biodiversity and ecosystem damage cost an estimated three percent.
- We continue to invest in high-carbon infrastructure at a rate that could commit us to irreversible, immensely damaging climate change
- Social inequality and youth unemployment is worsening in countries across the world, while on average women are still paid 25 percent less than men for comparable work
What can business leaders do in these circumstances?
This report offers positive and commercial business possibilities for setting business strategy and transforming markets in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
For the past year, the Business and Sustainable Development Commission has been researching the impact on business of achieving these 17 objectives, known as the Global Goals, which UN member states agreed to in September 2015. Member states will aim their policies towards achieving the Global Goals for the next 15 years.
Achieving the Global Goals would create a world that is comprehensively sustainable: socially fair; environmentally secure; economically prosperous; inclusive; and more predictable. They provide a viable model for long-term growth, as long as businesses move towards them together. The goals are designed to interact, so progress on them all will have much more impact than achieving only some. Of course, the results will not be heaven on earth; there will be many practical challenges. But the world would undoubtedly be on a better, more resilient path. We could be building an economy of abundance.
Read the report here.
The Business and Sustainable Development Commission was launched in Davos in January 2016. It brings together leaders from business, finance, civil society, labour, and international organisations, with the twin aims of mapping the economic prize that could be available to business if the UN Sustainable Development Goals are achieved, and describing how business can contribute to delivering these goals.