“Sustainable development” makes good business case for the Philippines private sector

Sep 20, 2017

New report documents private sector contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

20 September 2017, Pasig City – The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the United Nations (UN) Member States, including the Philippines, aim to shift the world onto a sustainable path.

Recognising the crucial actual and potential contribution of the private sector in achieving the SDGs, UNDP Philippines and the Philippine Business for the Environment produced the publication, Transformational Business: Private Sector Contributions to the SDGs, which documents the actual and potential contribution of the private sector in achieving the SDGs.

“The 2030 Agenda is unquestionably ambitious and transformative. Achieving the SDGs requires the participation of all; it is not just the responsibility of government. The private sector and civil society also have critical roles to play. In the Philippines, for example, the private sector accounts for 50% of jobs – they can be the real engine to achieve the SDGs,” United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra said.

The report is the first of its kind in the Philippines and showcases the preliminary results of an online voluntary reporting process and in-depth research on how businesses are aligning their core business processes, activities, and initiatives with the SDGs. It highlights 139 initiatives valued at Php40 billion from 75 reporting companies.

The contributions reflect well-established ways that the private sector supports development, such as philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. The report also features innovative approaches that integrate sustainability and encourage inclusive business models where the poorest communities are an important part of core business operations as suppliers or employees, or as recipients of goods and services.

“Most of the initiatives featured in the report began before the SDGs were even launched. This only demonstrates that the private sector was already in the business of sustainable development even before the launch of the 17 SDGs,” said PBE Executive Director Bonar Laureto.

UNDP and PBE also launched the “SDGs is Our Biz” project, which continues and expands the work that was carried out for the Transformational Business publication. The Project will help companies to deepen the alignment of their businesses to the SDGs through training modules, a system to recognize contributions that companies make to the SDGs, and a formal reporting mechanism that will use both online and mobile reporting tools. These will facilitate evidence-based decision making and collaboration, as well as sharing of knowledge among companies, government, and other stakeholders.

“For the business sector, there has never been a more critical time to change the way to do business – which means shifting from viewing the SDGs as only relevant to corporate social responsibility, to integrating the SDGs in core business. This means adopting new approaches to sourcing, employment practices, inclusive business models, and sustainable production processes,” said Mr Mitra. “The SDGs are good for the world, and good for business. The SDGs challenge everyone – including the private sector – to go to the last mile and ensure that no one is left behind.”

The Transformational Business: Private Sector Contribution to the SDGs report may be downloaded through this link: http://sdg-biz-ph.org/