Singapore business leaders converged to discuss UN Sustainable Development Goals at Global Compact’s inaugural Thought Leadership event
Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS), in partnership with Corporate Citizenship and Unilever, brought together over 80 Singapore business leaders on 23 June for its inaugural session of the Thought Leadership Series, to discuss the role of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the implications and opportunities for business in Singapore.
Titled ‘How Sustainable Development Goals can help your business’, the session was aimed at helping Singapore business leaders gain a broader perspective and understanding of the SDGs, so that they can work towards contributing to them more effectively. These SDGs which have been endorsed by more than 190 countries, set out a vision for ending poverty, hunger, inequality and protecting the Earth’s natural resources by 2030.
Collaborating to secure the future
Mr. Wilson Ang, Executive Director of GCNS, said, “Governments that have committed to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals realise it will require a step-change in the way that private sector, public sector and civil society work together. GCNS believes that exchanges like today’s event, is a good example of bringing these stakeholders together to drive the system changes needed towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”
The session provided an overview of the SDGs and what they mean for the private sector in Singapore, with a focus on the economic case for taking action on the Global Goals. GCNS and Corporate Citizenship, along with Diageo, Unilever, City Developments Limited and global non-profit Save the Children, also shared insights into their approach to adopting the SDGs for their business operations.
Participants also provided feedback on topics, such as the business case for sustainability, civil society and consumer movements, new business models, and a new social contract, that will be shared with the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, launched earlier this year, to articulate and quantify the economic case for businesses engaging in sustainable development. This will culminate in a report to be published in 2017, outlining new business and financial models as well as market opportunities for companies who are invested in sustainable approaches.
For a summary of the breakout sessions, please click here.
Leadership from the business sector
Co-organiser, Corporate Citizenship’s Director for Southeast Asia, Ms. Junice Yeo said, “The SDGs will see the corporate sector playing a key role in sustainable development. Through meetings like this one today, we hope that companies in Singapore will be able to better understand what the Global Goals mean for them in terms of driving the long-term value creation opportunity. Some of our clients have already seen that integrating the goals into their business model offers a new platform for innovation and growth, and opens up new markets and customer groups. Companies need to consider the SDGs as an opportunity and make this commitment for the future.”
Mr. David Kiu, VP, Sustainable Business & Communications for Unilever stated that, “As part of our sustainable business model at Unilever, we have identified areas where we can make the biggest contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals given the nature and scale of our operations, and how this will add value to our business. We cannot do this alone. We need to mobilise collective action through collaborations like this where we can support our partners and the broader private sector to commit to the SDGs, thus ensuring a more sustainable future for all.”
Participants left today’s workshop with a better understanding of what the Global Goals mean to the private sector, and how the adoption of SDGs have the potential to benefit their business – creating a more stable, profitable and sustainable business environment for the future.
Presentation slides of Panel
To view the presentations slides, click here.