A report from the SDG Fund recommends that private sector to use its influence and resources to take a clear public stance in favor of social stability and justice, to enhance the rule of law, and to protect the free flow of vital information throughout society.
The publication provides success stories and case studies from around the world, including national initiatives that contributed to fighting corruption in Cambodia, Lebanon, Zambia, Uzbekistan, India and UK.
3 November 2017: A new report by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund examines the role of business in supporting the implementation of SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), and links between the peace and the development agendas. The publication recommends ways for the private sector to incorporate SDG 16 into business planning as well as to improve corporate social responsibility, governance, transparency and accountability.
The report titled, ‘Business and SDG 16: Contributing to peaceful, just and inclusive societies,’ represents a collaboration between the SDG Fund, its Private Sector Advisory Group and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, with legal specialized support from the law firm McDermott Will & Emery. The publication explains how an effective legal framework can help the private sector build trust with the public and civil society. It provides success stories and case studies from around the world, including national initiatives that contributed to fighting corruption in Cambodia, India, Lebanon, UK, Uzbekistan and Zambia.
The report also gives examples of how companies from the SDG Fund’s Private Sector Advisory Group are working to prevent corruption, including by instituting a zero-tolerance policy and implementing a reporting system for potential compliance violations. It reports that a number of companies in Colombia are collaborating to integrate small farmers in high-conflict areas into their supply chain in order to create jobs and support reconciliation efforts.
The report notes that the rule of law leads to reliable productivity and profits, while corruption leads to substantial competitive disadvantages for honest purveyors, and the malfeasance of institutions leads first to their loss of legitimacy. Consequently, the authors recommend that the private sector use its influence and resources to take a clear public stance in favor of social stability and justice, to enhance the rule of law, and to protect the free flow of vital information throughout society.
Noting that the ethic at the heart of SDG 16 is also “a set of statistical truths” about the benefits it brings to business, the publication also recommends that private sector entities:
- continue to enhance compliance capabilities, with compliance extending through the supply and financial streams, and establish strong and credible internal processes for resolving disputes about allegations of corruption;
- establish clear standards of behavior, and credible and impartial internal processes for fact-finding and adjudication, akin to a corporate rule of law;
- treat minorities and women fairly and with respect and equal opportunity, being reasonably inclusive and transparent in decision-making;
- “vastly increase” pro bono or philanthropic work to support the rule of law, and through corporate philanthropy engage in projects to build a strong and reliable justice infrastructure;
- contribute to creating large, multilateral collaborations among governments, the private sector, academia and civil society to tackle problems that transcend borders and sectors;
- identify means to conduct dignified and transparent dialogue among people and institutions that have varying interests.