New guide to help private sector deliver UN’s SDGs published
The private sector is not moving fast enough to implement the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a new report from the WWF providing a guide to help accelerate action.
Published yesterday, the report outlines the advantages for businesses in setting ambitious SDG strategies, detailing the common challenges and pitfalls facing companies today.
It highlights how the goals could create 380 million jobs and help unlock at least $12trn (£8.5trn) in opportunities for businesses by 2030, but that engagement with the SDGs is still in its infancy.
“We’ve seen business starting to align their strategies to the SDGs, which is essential, as we can only achieve the SDGs by working together,” WWF Switzerland CEO, Thomas Vellacott, said.
“Setting corporate targets with reference to the SDGs, having them externally verified and reporting on the transparently will increasingly become standard practice.”
With 17 overarching goals and 169 individual targets, the SDGs are intended to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030 through the participation of everyone in society.
However, the WWF report highlights research showing that only 6% of companies have aligned their strategy and targets to specific target-level SDG criteria and measured their contributions to key goals.
It states that “the rate of progress in many areas is far slower than needed to meet the targets by 2030”, and offers a set of good practices to help inform business leaders’ strategies moving forward.
Marion Verles, CEO of Gold Standard, which co-authored the report, said the private sector could play a vital role in achieving the SDGs and “drive the paradigm shift to a sustainable world”.
“By following simple standards for best practice, target-setting, and then monitoring and reporting on impact delivered, business can reap the rewards for their actions,” she added.
The WWF said the report would be updated over time as new practices emerge and supplemented with case studies to bring the implementations of the guidelines to life.
Image credit: UN
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM