Writing in the Financial Times at the initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), business leaders made it clear that effective implementation of the SDGs would require widespread support from the private sector.
As heads of states gather this week in New York for the 71st UN General Assembly – a year after the formal adoption of the goals – here are 17 examples of how business delivered on its promise to provide expertise and innovation to foster sustainable development.
Goal 1: No poverty
DuPont is working to improve the livelihoods of at least 3 million farmers and their rural communities by the end of 2020. The company directly touched more than 347,000 farmers in 2013.
Goal 2: No hunger
Nestle made a global commitment in 2012 to help reduce the risk of under-nutrition through micronutrient fortification by delivering 200 billion servings worldwide by 2016. In 2014, the company delivered 183 billion servings worldwide.
Goal 3: Good health
Pfizer has partnered with Gavi, an international vaccine alliance, to increase access to immunizations on an accelerated, affordable and sustainable basis. The company has committed to supply up to 740 million doses of PCV13 to countries that carry the greatest burden of pneumococcal disease.
Goal 4: Quality education
Ericsson partnered with the Earth Institute and Millennium Promise to launch “Connect To Learn” – an education initiative that has provided scholarships and ICT technologies to schools in remote, impoverished areas worldwide. The project has been implemented in 22 countries and has improved the lives of 50,000 students, especially girls.
Goal 5: Gender equality
Walmart aspires to train 1 million women around the world in agriculture, manufacturing and retail trade in emerging markets. By the end of 2015, the Walmart Foundation and Walmart helped fund the training of 540,102 women globally – 297,655 of them in the agriculture value chain.
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
P&G launched the not-for-profit water programme “Children’s Safe Drinking” and has been working with a network of partners for 10 years to improve the health of children in developing countries. In 2014, 7 billion litres of clean drinking water were provided for children and families in need.
Goal 7: Renewable energy
Novozymes has made considerable investments in energy efficiency. The company has reduced its CO2 emissions by 100,000 and saved $US12 million per year by deploying 188 energy-saving projects across its global sites between 2009 and 2014.
Goal 8: Good jobs and economic growth
Bechtel and partners have injected more than US$78 million on local goods and services in 16 Peruvian towns through their “Las Bambas” project. The initiative has delivered thousands of training hours to indigenous entrepreneurs.
Goal 9: Innovation and infrastructure
Pirelli aims to further reinforce its commitment to research and development in all business segments in order to develop safer, lower environmental impact products.
Goal 10: Reduced inequalities
MasterCard has partnered with UN Women to provide half a million Nigerian women with identity cards enabled with electronic payments functionality. The company works to reduce economic inequality through the power of identity.
Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
Citi has developed an initiative called “Citi for Cities” to identify and implement innovative solutions that help cities thrive during this period of unprecedented urban transformation. The company helped raise US$862 million to help finance the Panama Metro, Central America’s first urban rail system.
Goal 12: Responsible consumption
Disney is planning to maintain potable water consumption at 2013 levels at existing sites by 2018, and develop water conservation plans for new sites. The company’s water consumption was recorded at 6.89 billion gallons in 2014, which falls slightly below the company’s baseline of 6.93 billion gallons.
Goal 13: Climate action
IBM and AECOM worked together with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction to develop a scorecard to measure cities’ resilience to natural disasters. The scorecard will help cities improve preparedness to disasters by reviewing policy and planning in 80 assessment categories.
Goal 14: Life below water
Dow has collaborated with the Ocean Conservancy for more than 30 years to remove debris and pollutants from oceans and waterways. In 2014, Dow volunteers in Taiwan helped remove more than 6,600 pounds of waste in Taipei, Hsinchu and Chiayi.
Goal 15: Life on land
Syngenta is promoting conservation practices based on minimum soil disturbance, crop rotation, permanent ground cover, and biodiversity enhancing landscape management. The company has projects in over 30 countries in Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America..
Goal 16: Peace and justice
has partnered with corporate leaders to develop a Business for the Rule of Law Framework document. The Framework provides guidance on how business can respect and support the rule of law.
Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals
Chevron established the “Angola Partnership Initiative” in 2002, partnering with international aid agencies such as USAID and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to help rebuild Angola after years of civil war.
For more business actions to implement the SDGs, please visit Business for 2030.