Civil society organizations (CSOs) and other actors are highlighting the importance of private sector engagement in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The World Bank announced an initiative with BNP Paribas to launch a program of equity index-linked World Bank bonds to enable investors to support and benefit from the SDGs.
The Transparency, Accountability and Participation (TAP) Network launched a toolkit, ‘Advocacy: Justice and the SDGs'.
In the UK, a report titled 'Connecting with Impact: Mobilising Talent for Social Change,’ notes that a siloed work environment does not encourage SDG implementation or collaborative networks.
December 2016: Civil society organizations (CSOs) and other actors have highlighted the importance of private sector engagement in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Recent announcements and reports include an initiative for investing in sustainable development and a survey of human resources leaders in the United Kingdom (UK) that underscores the SDGs as a uniting force for change. Several national conferences and fora highlighted the role of the private sector in SDG implementation.
On private sector engagement, the World Bank announced an initiative with BNP Paribas to launch a program of equity index-linked World Bank bonds to enable investors to support and benefit from the SDGs. Investors can contribute to financing sustainable development projects through the bonds and the bonds’ performance will be linked to the Solactive SDGs World Index, which maps the SDGs against included companies’ behaviors, products and services. According to the World Bank, the product will also raise awareness among the financial community about the private sector’s role in supporting SDG achievement.
Also on private sector engagement, a Koreo survey of 500 human resources leaders in the United Kingdom (UK) found that 47% of the respondents’ organizations consider the SDGs important for their day to day work. At the same time, 17% of respondents indicated they did not know what the SDGs were. A report on the findings titled, ‘Connecting with Impact: Mobilising Talent for Social Change,’ highlights a siloed working environment as failing to incentive workers to think about delivering the SDGs and failing to promote networks for collaboration, with 66% of respondents saying siloed working environments have a negative impact on their companies and 29% saying a lack of joined-up thinking hinders their organization’s ability to integrate the SDGs into their work and contribute to delivering tangible results. The report recommends, inter alia: using the SDGs to attract, engage and retrain talent for change; and reframing perspectives on business as human networks to drive greater connectivity across work and engage with the SDGs.
On national implementation, participants at the ‘SDGs Australia 2016 conference’ underscored the importance of implementing climate action, reducing inequality, building sustainable inclusive economies, ensuring financing for sustainable infrastructure, and promoting strong political leadership and cross-sectoral partnerships to achieve the SDGs domestically. Participants also called for, inter alia, enhancing youth involvement and reducing energy and water use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in buildings, and achieving net zero environmental impacts. The University of Sydney, Australia, hosted the conference, which convened from 29-30 November, to develop a roadmap for Australia to achieve the SDGs, both domestically and in the region.
On national implementation and the private sector, participants discussed opportunities for deepening private sector cooperation to support SDG implementation at a forum titled, ‘Making the SDGs the Business of the Private Sector in Nigeria.’ Proposed ideas include: the development of an SDG curriculum and instructional materials, including a SDGs self-teaching guide; upgrading educational infrastructure on information and communications technology (ICT), water and sanitation and other areas; and construction of waste recycle and biofuel for clean energy plants. The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Nigeria and First Planet Consultant Ltd hosted the workshop, which convened on 29 November.
Also on national implementation and the private sector, participants recommended developing a public-private planning mechanism to ensure Bangladesh achieves the SDGs at a dialogue titled, ‘Role of Private Sector in SDG implementation.’ The dialogue also highlighted the private sector’s role in ensuring transparency and accountability in the SDG process and the importance of including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in implementation processes and mechanisms. The Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh and the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) organized the dialogue in October 2016.
On advocacy, the Transparency, Accountability and Participation (TAP) Network launched a toolkit titled, ‘Advocacy: Justice and the SDGs,’ which presents a step-by-step guide on how to use the SDGs to advocate for increased justice support and financing from governments. The toolkit also includes an access to justice assessment, case studies and diagnostic tools. It complements the TAP Network’s ‘Goal 16 Advocacy Toolkit.’
On public engagement in governance, Save the Children and Eurochild organized a session on children’s engagement in civic action and governance processes on the sidelines of the Open Governance Partnership (OGP) Summit. ‘Children Speaking Up: developing meaningful engagement with government’ featured children sharing their experiences of engaging with government from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America, with a focus on what hinders and enables their participation at national and local levels. [World Bank Press Release] [Korea Report: Connecting with Impact] [UNSDSN Australia Conference Webpage] [SDGs Australia 2016 Conference Website] [News Story on SDGs Australia Conference] [SDSN Press Release on Nigeria Forum] [Citizen’s Platform for SDGs Bangladesh Press Release] [OGP Children’s Event] [TAP Network Toolkit Website]