News, Sustainable Development Goals

UN Global Compact Launches Next-Generation Business Solutions to Achieve the SDGs

UN Global Compact Network Australia | September 19, 2016

(New York, 19 September 2016) – Today, the UN Global Compact will announce four new platforms – in partnership with GRI, Monday Morning / Sustainia, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and Volans – to help shape the next generation of sustainable development initiatives and partnerships for business.

The announcement is part of the multi-year Making Global Goals Local Business strategy – launched by the UN Global Compact at its Leaders Summit in June – to drive business awareness and activity that supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

“At the UN Global Compact we have made it our mission to translate the Sustainable Development Goals into responsible and innovative business practices around the world. With today’s launch of new SDG platforms on innovation, solutions, reporting and finance we intend to accelerate change in order to meet the 2030 deadline,” said Lise Kingo, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “We invite companies, civil society, sustainability organizations and UN partners to join our new platforms and jointly explore opportunities to innovate around the SDGs.”

The four projects include:

The Global Solutions Platform (Monday Morning/Sustainia)
Over the next three years, the platform will map and monitor sustainable solutions from around the world. Based on five years of work by Sustainia to identify thousands of sustainable business solutions from more than 100 countries, this project will use the UN Global Compact’s global network of over 8,000 companies, 85 Local Networks and more than 600 business schools enrolled in its sister initiative Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), to ensure the most comprehensive mapping of available and scalable development solutions from all sectors around the world.

Catalyzing Financial Innovation (Principles for Responsible Investments and UNEP-FI)
Representing more than 1,500 financial organizations from over 50 countries with combined USD 60 trillion in assets under management, UNEP-FI and PRI will work with the UN Global Compact to find innovative financial products that have the potential to redirect public and private finance towards critical infrastructure and sustainable solutions.

SDG Leadership through Reporting (GRI)
Building on more than fifteen years of innovation and cooperation on sustainability reporting, the UN Global Compact and GRI will work together to promote and support corporate reporting on the UN Global Compact Ten Principles and the SDGs , focusing not least on making reporting accessible and useful for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With the UN Global Compact receiving over 5,000 Communications on Progress each year from participants in over 160 countries, and the total number of GRI reports exceeding 20,000 in over 95 countries, they represent the largest repositories of corporate sustainability reports in the world.

Project Breakthrough (Volans)
Project Breakthrough will spotlight the best examples of sustainable innovation, transformative insight and corporate action amongst the global C-suite. By connecting companies with some of the world’s most exponential thinkers and innovators, Project Breakthrough will explore and help companies understand disruptive technology clusters like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things and Blockchain, and their potential to enable new and more sustainable, collaborative and circular business models for the future.

The event, Leading the Way in the SDG Era: Connecting Global Business, will take place in the context of the UN Private Sector Forum which will welcome more than 350 chief executives, Heads of State and Government, UN and civil society leaders to the United Nations to discuss the role of business in advancing sustainable development and the important link between achieving the SDGs and preventing global instability.


APPENDIX: Quotes from UN Global Compact’s Partners

“Project Breakthrough is what Silicon Valley people would call a ‘Moonshot’ project – encouraging the UN Global Compact’s over 8,000 corporate participants to embrace breakthrough innovation, not just incremental change – to help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

John Elkington, Chairman & Chief Pollinator, Volans, and Co-Lead of Project Breakthrough

“As the world’s leading frameworks for sustainability reporting, GRI and the UN Global Compact work with many thousands of businesses. Our renewed partnership will help these companies report on the UN Global Compact Ten Principles and the SDGs. This will decrease the burden on these businesses, empowering them to act to make the SDGs a reality.”

Teresa Fogelberg, Deputy Chief Executive, GRI

“The Global Solutions Platform will be a global focal point for product and business model innovation. It empowers business leaders and entrepreneurs to take leadership in this new landscape which demands solutions to global challenges.”

Erik Rasmussen, CEO of Sustainia – Monday Morning

“We are excited about the launch of this UN Global Compact-led partnership platform, which will ensure that asset managers and investment managers—many of whom are trying to find ways to further integrate ESG into their investment practices—have access to innovative financial products that can drive capital towards the goals outlined by the SDGs.”

Fiona Reynolds, Managing Director, PRI

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UN Global Compact Network Australia