Private companies and business networks in Asia are addressing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
Recent initiatives aim to mobilize stakeholders to help realize the Goals, guide the travel industry in contributing to the SDGs, address companies' difficulties in "juggling" the Goals, encourage companies to set science-based targets, and highlight market opportunities related to the 2030 Agenda.
May 2017: Private companies and business networks in Asia are addressing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. Recent partnerships, events and reports aim to mobilize stakeholders to help realize the Goals, guide the travel industry in contributing to the SDGs, address companies’ difficulties in “juggling” the Goals, encourage companies to set science-based targets, and highlight market opportunities related to the 2030 Agenda.
In Nepal, Yeti Airlines and the UN launched a partnership for promoting and realizing the SDGs in the country, by raising awareness about the Goals, mobilizing relevant stakeholders and urging them to help achieve the Goals. Yeti Airlines is the first private sector partner for the SDGs in Nepal. During the signing event on 18 May, other private sector actors were encouraged to enter into similar partnerships. UNDP Nepal Country Director Renaud Meyer stressed that the SDGs are everyone’s responsibility, not just that of the government, and said partnerships are critical to achieving the Goals, particularly SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals).
In Sri Lanka, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) held its Annual Summit from 18-21 May, in Negombo, and launched a report to guide the travel and tourism industry in contributing to the SDGs. The publication, titled ‘The Olive Tree,’ highlights the relevance of the SDGs to travel and industry, to allow industry executives to quickly see linkages and determine how to move forward. The document also highlights the importance of public-private partnerships (PPPs). The publication is a joint effort between PATA and Bangkok-based Travel Impact Newswire.
The UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Japan (SDSN Japan) organized an event on ways for companies to contribute to the SDGs. The event, which was part of the Institute’s SDGs Dialogue series, discussed integrating social and environmental agendas into corporate management beyond a corporate social responsibility (CSR) perspective, highlighting the need to mainstream CSR into corporate management and core business operations.
Participants also discussed linking environmental, social and governance investment criteria to the 2030 Agenda. They noted that investors and consumers are increasingly monitoring the actions of companies, and highlighted ways in which some companies are promoting health and well-being globally, reducing environmental impacts and enhancing livelihoods. Participants also drew attention to difficulties for companies with operations all over the world and multiple suppliers and business partners, including to “juggle all the Goals.” They stressed prioritization based on focus areas of specific companies. Speakers also underscored the benefits of working on the SDGs in the context of the principles of responsible investment (PRI).
In India, more than 300 participants attended the ‘Making Global Goals Local Businesses – India’ event in New Delhi, from 26-27 April. Part of the UN Global Compact’s Making Global Goals Local Business campaign, which aims to help companies realize their responsibilities and opportunities around the SDGs globally and on the ground, the event highlighted opportunities for “driving transformational change and using breakthrough innovation,” and implementation of responsible business practices. A special session focused on encouraging companies in India to set science-based targets, and helping them determine how much and how quickly they must reduce their emissions. The event concluded with a call to action for business leaders in India and globally to mainstream the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda in the business agenda.
Also at the India event, the Business and Sustainable Development Commission released a country report titled, ‘Better Business, Better World – India.’ The report finds that: the SDGs will open up at least US$1 trillion of market opportunity for the private sector in India, in food and agriculture, energy, cities and health; over 72 million new jobs could be created in India by 2030, including in low-income food markets; and Indian businesses are already using innovative technology and business models to enter SDG-related markets. The report illustrates the significant financial incentive for designing sustainable solutions to meet the challenges faced in India, such as the growing gap between rich and poor. It describes opportunities for Indian businesses in: risk pooling in health care; low-income food markets; reducing food waste in the supply chain; expansion of renewables; and affordable housing. The report also identifies blended finance as the “single most important fact” in achieving the SDGs. [Yeti Airlines Press Release] [Travel Impact Newswire Press Release] [The Olive Tree] [UNU Press Release] [UNU-IAS Extended News Story] [Event Page for Making Global Goals Local Business—India] [Global Compact Press Release] [Global Compact’s Action Platforms] [Business and Sustainable Business Commission News Story] [Better Business, Better World – India]