Making the SDGs actionable for business

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) articulate ambitious and comprehensive development objectives for the world and set a clear direction of travel towards 2030. For business, the SDGs provide a powerful framework to translate global needs and ambitions into business action and demonstrate leadership on the journey to a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient future.

The private sector has a critical role to play in determining whether or not the SDGs are realized over the course of the next decade, and similarly needs to take stock of its efforts and identify its own priority SDG engagement areas; the areas where it is best equipped to drive real action and impact.

As we entered the Decade of Action, at WBCSD, our efforts aim to make the SDGs more directly actionable for business, by:

  • Providing companies with best-in-class support as they look to strategically integrate the SDGs into their business and communicate around this agenda. ​
  • Making expert analysis and insight available and creating a forum for the exchange of best practice.
  • Injecting a progressive business voice into key inter-governmental discussions around the SDGs, most notably at the UN level.

SDG Sector Roadmaps – Action-focused collaboration

Realizing the SDGs and unlocking the business opportunities they represent go beyond the reach of any single actor. It requires pioneering new forms of collaboration between a critical mass of companies at the sector level. By developing SDG Roadmaps, we look to help, guide, and inspire entire sectors as they seek to optimize their contributions to the SDGs. We have completed Roadmaps for the Chemical, Forest and India Cement sectors and are currently working on Oil & Gas, Electric Utilities and Tire sectors to be released later this year or early 2021.

Vision 2050 – Realizing systems transformation

In recognition that visionary business leadership has never been more important and needs to be backed by tangible action, WBCSD’s Vision 2050 articulates how we as business can contribute to the realization of the SDGs and make them directly actionable over the next crucial decade, all the while painting a positive picture of an achievable future that businesses can see themselves in and are excited and energized to work towards.

COVID-19 – The SDGs: a north star for recovery and response

COVID-19 has laid bare our deep collective vulnerability to systemic shocks, created the most profound economic and social crisis the world has seen in over a century and revealed how much work we still have ahead of us to realize the SDGs. While years of progress and development gains are at stake and core issues such as inequality have been exacerbated, the urgency to act on the SDGs is greater than ever. Moving forward, it is important that we address the vulnerabilities that have been exposed and ensure that we put the SDGs at the heart of our efforts to respond and building back better. Learn more about WBCSD’s COVID-19 Response Program.

Our tools and resources

WBCSD has been working with partners to support business action since the adoption of the SDGs in 2015. Here are some highlights:

WBCSD’s work is led by our membership of 200 forward thinking businesses and supported by strong institutional partnerships including our global network of some 60 business organizations worldwide, enhancing our reach and contribution to the SDGs at scale.

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