Posted: July 12, 2016
“17 Goals to Transform our World”
In September of 2015 seventeen sustainable development goals were established by the United Nations which asked the world to make substantial change by the year 2030 towards vital global concerns.
At the end of June, from the 22nd to the 23rd, a Global Leaders Summit was held in which businesses and higher education were asked to align their agendas with the SDG’s already in place. The conference was held by the Making Global Goals Local Business Campaign, which initiated the ground breaking solution to look towards businesses instead of government for sustainable global solutions. With over 1,000 leaders in attendance all focused on making “global goals local business” the conference was a huge formal step in the direction of putting action behind goals and creating a values-driven market approach.
A theme of the conference was to begin a dialogue surrounding the need to prove that sustainable business can be more profitable over time than non-sustainable businesses. For example, looking specifically at energy use and investing in renewable energy sources as a long term global and business investment.
Further Reading: Executive Update: Let’s make global goals local business
The SDG’s have very clearly outlined ‘what’ needs to be achieved, while the focus of the ‘Making Global Goals Local Business Campaign‘ has been designed to start answering the arguably harder question of how we can approach global solutions as opportunities for business growth. The campaign is the five year focus for the United Nation’s SDG’s organisation meaning that a strong commitment will be placed on following up in order to establish viable ideas and solutions.
As a contributing organisation to the solutions of the United Nations SDG’s, GVI was in attendance represented by CEO Steve Gwenin. GVI’s involvement is essential in that it is already working on the ground to educate individuals about the importance of the SDG’s and providing solutions as to how both individuals and organisations can start to take action steps towards change. We need teachers, researchers, and students on the ground who are inspired to connect to these goals and are then equipped to continue pursuing them, GVI has been on the forefront of this for the past 18 years.
The conference outlined 169 key performance indicators (KPI’s) that all companies should consider when designing their business strategies in order to measure that their development plans are in line with the 17 global goals. In addition to individual business plans the conference also was the initiation of a network of partnerships that can help to support one another and work towards collaboration for a stronger community of key global players.
As Ban Ki-Moon, head of the UN stated; “we must have the courage and determination to turn inspiration into action to achieve the world that we want to have.” Looking towards businesses instead of government to turn this vision into a reality is essential, as is pushing consumers and producers to change their habits in order to drive higher level business change.
As we move forward with our dedication to the SDG’s we ask everyone to rise to the challenge. There is no plan B, because there is no planet B. The Global Leader’s summit was a gigantic step in the right direction, let’s continue to take strides towards ensuring a better future.