United Nations Global Compact headquarters announced today the launch of a multi-year Local Network SDG Action Plan – the centerpiece being a “Pioneers” programme aimed to spur action and inspire business to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in countries around the world. The overall Action Plan is designed to assist the UN Global Compact’s 80-plus Local Networks in developing and executing relevant SDG implementation strategies and link these, where possible, with national plans of action.

The launch of the UN Global Compact Local SDG Pioneers programme kicks off the Action Plan and is designed to honor select business leaders and change-makers who can demonstrate that businesses can be successful while contributing to sustainable development. The global search for Pioneers aims to spur action and inspire more businesses to get involved in the SDG agenda with the most inspiring Pioneers being recognized at the 2016 UN Global Compact Leaders Summit.

“Our new annual Local SDG Pioneers campaign is designed to make global goals local business.” said Lise Kingo, Executive Director, UN Global Compact. “As we embark on achieving the SDGs, the UN Global Compact is taking the lead on turning these goals into drivers for sustainable business innovation.”

The SDGs give important direction to the UN Global Compact’s founding mission to encourage companies to do business responsibly – based on the ten universal principles – and to provide solutions to global challenges. As an ongoing initiative, the UN Global Compact hopes the Local SDG Pioneers campaign will encourage outstanding efforts on responsible business around the world and scale-up the action on the SDGs over time.

Pioneer Selection Process

The global campaign for Local SDG Pioneers will have two submission criteria to help identify individuals who are acting on the new SDG business opportunities. The first category will identify the best local business leaders and the second will identify the best local change-makers. Any person with an official affiliation to an active UN Global Compact participant organization (both private sector and civil society), or PRME school can be nominated as a Local SDG Pioneer.

A Pioneers Selection Group of leading experts from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors will cast their votes based on a set of criteria, and identify five finalists for each category. The Pioneer in each category with the most votes will receive special recognition at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, 22-23 June 2016, and will enter into a year-long programme with the UN Global Compact to further develop the Pioneers’ global potential and support their ambitions.

Local Network Kick-start Workshops

Global Compact Local Networks will play an essential part in the roll out of the SDGs and Local SDG Pioneers campaign to businesses everywhere. Networks in over 80 countries stand poised to deliver SDG Kick-start Workshops that will engage the 13,000+ UN Global Compact participants, help identify local priorities and opportunities related to the SDGs, and shine a light on the new faces and businesses behind sustainable development in local markets.