The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has launched a new online learning platform to support businesses in raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within their organizations.
By spending 10 – 15 minutes navigating this platform, users will undergo a crash-course in the SDGs and their relevance to business, setting them up for enhanced engagement with this critical global agenda moving forward.
The SDG Essentials for Business platform provides users with a concise yet comprehensive overview of:
- What the SDGs are
- Why they are so important
- The role that business has to play in realizing them
- The opportunities that the SDGs represent for business
- How individuals and the companies they work for can get more involved
“Successful employee engagement and empowerment around the SDGs will be essential if we are to successfully scale up our efforts during the critical decade ahead. WBCSD’s SDG Essentials for Business platform provides a simple and powerful tool to increase awareness of this transformative agenda and to mobilize action on the road to 2030.” said James Gomme, Director SDGs, WBCSD
September 2020 marks five years since United Nations Member States unanimously adopted the SDGs in 2015, laying out 17 goals for the world to achieve by 2030 with a view to ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
While progress is being made, overall, action to meet the SDGs is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required. Against this backdrop, the UN Secretary-General has called for 2020 to usher in a decade of action by all sectors of society to deliver the Goals by 2030.
This represents an important juncture for business to cast a critical eye over its level of contribution to the SDGs. The private sector has an essential part to play in the realization of the transformative agenda that the SDGs represent. Furthermore, businesses that take an active role in leading this transformation and position the SDGs as a strategic lens at the core of their operations will ultimately be better placed to unlock market opportunities, manage emerging risks and consolidate an enduring license to operate.
A 2019 survey of over 11,000 global CEOs undertaken by Accenture and the UN Global Compact found that, while 71% of CEOs understand that business has a critical role in contributing to the SDGs, only 21% believe that their organizations are currently fulfilling this role. For the SDGs to be realized it will be important to close this gap and help companies to fulfill their potential to drive SDG impact on the road to 2030.
One important hurdle to overcome on the path to making the SDGs more actionable by business, and truly channeling the private sector’s innovation and resources towards realizing the ambitions of the Goals, is raising awareness of the SDGs at the individual level within companies. In a 2018 survey conducted among WBCSD members and partners, 48% of companies found a lack of understanding of the business case for the SDGs among internal stakeholders to be a key barrier to their integration into corporate strategy.
To support companies in overcoming this hurdle, the new SDG Essentials for Business platform will afford users with a concise and comprehensive overview of what the SDGs are and why they matter, business’ role in achieving them and the opportunities they will unlock but also the roles that individuals and companies alike can play.