Business & UN

Business is stepping up for transformational partnerships

  • 18 July 2017
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SDG Business Forum 2017 High-level Political Forum, United Nations Business statement

  1. This statement is issued by leading business organizations, private sector institutions and networks that support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the world as listed at the end of this statement.
  2. Business supports the SDGs as a framework of universally applicable goals to tackle the world’s most pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges in the lead-up to 2030 and beyond.
  3. Business drives innovation, provides a source of finance and constitutes an engine for economic development and employment. Strong and visionary business leadership is therefore essential to achieving the transformation required by the SDGs.
  4. The SDGs provide all businesses with a new lens through which to translate the world’s needs and ambitions into business solutions. These solutions will enable companies to better manage their risks, anticipate consumer demand, build positions in growth markets, secure access to needed resources, and strengthen their supply chains, while moving the world towards a sustainable and inclusive development path.
  5. Forward-looking businesses are already working towards having a meaningful impact on the SDGs — in particular by:
    • developing a thorough understanding of how their activities translate into economic, environmental and social impacts in the context of the SDGs;
    • setting ambitious goals to implement the SDGs, including by incorporating responsible business practices across strategies and operations;
    • pursuing impactful contributions to the 2030 Agenda through a strong commitment to universal principles in relation to human rights, equality and the environment;
    • developing business solutions to address sustainability challenges;
    • collaborating with peers to develop a collective vision and roadmaps to realize substantial sector transformation;
    • working across sectors to help transform entire economic systems;
    • disclosing SDG performance and progress;
    • openly advocating for key policy and finance enablers that will help achieve a tipping point.
  6. Business supports the annual High-Level Political Forum of the United Nations as a space where all stakeholders come together to dialogue, share best practice, report progress and foster partnerships to fulfil the transformational potential of the SDGs.
  7. The pace of SDG implementation must be accelerated. We invite UN Member States and the UN system to:
    • use the SDG framework to catalyze collaborative action at scale through dialogue and partnerships across societal sectors;
    • encourage governments to continue to embed the SDGs into the heart of strategic policy- and decision-making, on the back of sound mechanisms for stakeholder engagement and reporting on results.
    • create an enabling policy environment in favor of the innovation that the SDGs require. Long-term policy clarity, stable legal frameworks, and the reduction of investment risk will be key towards incentivizing sustainable business models.
  8. As business organizations and networks with a global reach, we will step up our efforts to:
    • raise awareness of the SDGs;
    • promote and set SDG-related targets;
    • support the private sector in incorporating sustainability at the core of business decision-making and business models;
    • reach out within and across sectors and supply chains to build roadmaps for sector and systems transformation;
    • work with governments, civil society and all stakeholders to develop business solutions that are environmentally friendly, efficient and inclusive to help protect and restore our natural environment and support people and communities worldwide;
    • advocate for finance and policy enablers that will allow business to thrive, innovate, and grow, while contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.


Business Council for the United Nations


International Agri-Food Network

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

International Fertilizer Association (IFA)

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

International Road Transport Union

United Nations Global Compact

United States Council for International Business (USCIB)

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

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