Aligning Business Practices with the SDGs

August 15, 2019

The world today faces increasingly complex and interrelated development challenges, and the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflects the universal commitment to address these challenges. The 17 SDGs provide a blueprint for shared prosperity in a sustainable planet.

Yet achieving the SDGs will require investment on an unprecedented scale, far more than what governments or foreign assistance can deliver – in Asia Pacific alone it would require US$ 750 billion annually. There is a need to unlock private capital to close this financing gap by helping governments, enterprises, investors, financial institutions and all stakeholders to identify SDG-aligned business opportunities and practices to help tackle development challenges.

Many in the private sector have already begun taking steps towards SDG alignment. Many more strive to do so, yet are not certain of the pathways for success. Others still have made achievements but have not made the linkages of their contributions to sustainable development.

In order to address these challenges and enable stakeholders to better align their business practices for the SDGs, UNDP has partnered with PWC and the China Chamber of International Commerce to launch a new project: Business Alignment with the SDGs. Launch events were held in both Beijing and Shanghai, and with 70 participants from over 40 enterprises and philanthropic organizations, the initiative kicked off with roundtable discussions on concrete steps to align business practices and development impact.

Coinciding with the meetings, a survey on sustainability and business practices was also launched. The survey focuses on the private sector and alignment with the SDG, aiming to get a snapshot of companies’ understanding and utilization of sustainable business practices in China. The results will be finalized in a joint publication later in the year.