Skip to main content

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), often referred to as Global Goals, need business as much as business needs them. The trailblazing report of the Business & Sustainable Development Commission, founded by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown and Paul Polman, was launched during the World Economic Forum Conference this January in Davos and clearly illustrates this mutual opportunity. The report states that businesses need the Global Goals as they offer a compelling growth strategy for both business and the world economy. It equally states that the Global Goals need businesses to open up the market opportunities and advance and materialize progress.

All business large, midsized and small

By business I mean, as the Commissioners most probably also do: all business. The journey towards achieving the SDGs by 2030 needs all businesses – large, midsized and small – to join in. If not, we will not reach our destination in time, or we will not arrive at our destination at all. The key to businesses successfully accelerating towards these goals is positive synergy between all kinds and all sizes of business. This idea refers to two different dimensions. On the one hand, we need all kinds of businesses. This is clear, since the goals are intensely interrelated and impact on one goal touches several others. Climate action for instance, has a direct interaction with 13 of the 17 goals. On the other hand, and equally important in the drive towards success is the necessity for companies of all sizes to join in: to form synergy between different sized companies. This has to do with the value of scale being equally as important as the value of innovation.