At the beginning of 2016, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came into effect. This ambitious set of 17 goals, set by the United Nations in collaboration with national governments, businesses, and communities, aims to tackle some of today’s most pressing challenges like climate change, hunger, poverty, and land and water pollution.
These goals define the world’s development priorities till 2030. The scale and complexity of these challenges is daunting, and there are no straightforward solutions in sight, but one fact is for sure: Businesses can no longer stand on the sidelines of these efforts; they must be part of the solution.
For one thing, businesses lose out if the SDGs are not achieved. Climate change, for example, can destroy valuable corporate assets like crops and infrastructure. Similarly, if a seafood company does not make it a point to tackle marine pollution, it could soon find its supply chain disrupted.
Conversely, there is a massive opportunity for companies to innovate affordable solutions to climate, health, and other problems that the SDGs strive to solve. Contributing to poverty alleviation through investment and job creation can also open up new markets for firms.
Secondly, the reality is that these goals cannot be achieved without support from business. The United Nations, in a 2014 report, estimates that developing countries lack some US$2.5 trillion in investment every year to achieve the goals. This is a funding gap that only the private sector has the resources to plug.
Despite the importance of business participation in achieving the SDGs, these concerns can be difficult to convey to company leadership, shareholders and employees as they get overshadowed by short-term financial and operational concerns.
This new video, created by Singapore-based company Global Intiatives, and the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with simpleshow, a media production firm which produces explainer videos presented in easy-to-understand visuals, aims to equip employees and business with the tools to make a case for why responsible business is important, and how to start addressing the SDGs.
Watch and share it!