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The private sectors as the engine of the SDGs

This step introduces what a Sustainable Development Goal is (SDG) and how it is designed and used
SDG icons

In September 2015, all 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted a strategy for achieving a better future for all — laying out a path over the next 15 years to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet.

At the core of “Agenda 2030” are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which reflect the world we want — applying to all nations and leaving no one behind.

Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable development Article 67 agreed to by all 193 UN Member States: "Private business activity, investment and innovation are major drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth and job creation. We acknowledge the diversity of the private sector, ranging from micro enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals. We call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges.

Moving beyond its predecessor, the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs explicitly call on all businesses and organisations to apply their ingenuity to solve sustainable development challenges. The more recent global goals resulted from a process that was more inclusive than previous international consultation around such goals, with governments involving the private sector – business, civil society and citizens – from the outset. The SDGs thus epitomise consensus on where the world needs to go. Realising these objectives will take an unparalleled effort by all sectors in society — with business and the third sector playing a pivotal role.

The SDGs represent a chance for business-led and humanitarian organisation-led solutions and technologies to be developed and implemented to address the world’s biggest sustainable development challenges. Innovation in the private sector across the world is essential for achieving the 169 ambitious targets, which collectively make up the 17 SDGs. The global goals must become local business.

New markets and opportunities

A further value of the SDG’s is that they not only identify where we have to be in 2030 to create a sustainable world, they also outline new markets and opportunities for business all over the world. Organisations can use the SDGs as an overarching framework to shape, steer, communicate and report their strategies, goals and activities, allowing them to harness a range of benefits.

Benefits of using the SDGs as a framework include:

  • Identifying future business opportunities
  • Enhancing the value of corporate sustainability
  • Strengthening stakeholder relations
  • Stabilizing societies and markets
  • Using a common language and shared purpose

Want to know more?

If you’d like to know more about the role of the private sector in Sustainable Development Goals, watch this brief video by UNDP International Istanbul Center.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

© RMIT 2023
This article is from the free online

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