The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines presented the Better Business, Better World: Philippines Report which highlights an economic prize worth more than US$82 billion across the Philippines by 2030, alongside large environmental and social benefits, that can be achieved through the shift to sustainable business models. The report details the most significant business opportunities aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in four key areas of the Philippine economy: cities and mobility; energy and materials; food and agriculture; and health and well- being. These opportunities have the potential to create 4.4 million new jobs by 2030.
The report follows the global flagship report ‘Better Business, Better World’, released by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) in 2017, chaired by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, a former UNDP Administrator. The report shows that pursuing 60 sustainable and inclusive market “hotspots” in just four key investment opportunities could create US$12 trillion in business value by 2030 – equivalent to 10 percent of forecast GDP – and generate up to 380 million jobs, mostly in developing countries, by 2030.
UNDP Philippines worked closely with SYSTEMIQ, which supported the BSDC and the development of the flagship report, and applied the same methodology while framing around the Philippines’ context and sustainability issues. Guided by a Steering Committee composed of senior officials from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Makati Business Club (MBC), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and experts Guillermo M. Luz and Raphael C. Lopa, SYSTEMIQ Ltd, with support from AlphaBeta, conducted intensive research and case studies to produce the report.
Titon Mitra, Resident Representative of UNDP Philippines, highlighted the rationale behind the report by highlighting that “We have a real opportunity to mobilize the available inert substantial private capital in the country to achieve the SDGs. The challenge is not in the lack of funds, but rather the effective application of these funds. The report provides a basis for companies to transition from CSR to doing well and doing good. The size of the economic prize is staggering, creating both a win-win situation and a means to accelerate the achievements of the SDGs. The private sector is the engine not only for economic growth, but also for sustainable development. Better businesses need a better world, and we can’t have a better world without better businesses.”
To drive commitment and further actions following the finalization of the report, UNDP and SYSTEMIQ Ltd. recently facilitated deep dive sessions with the CEOs, senior executives and sustainability officers of four (4) top conglomerates in the Philippines. Discussions focused on identifying new investment areas, the requirements to maximize the opportunities presented and to gain their commitments towards fulfilling the vision of this report.
Gail Klintworth, Senior Advisor of SYSTEMIQ, noted that “SDGs as a lens for business growth is the most exciting investment opportunity of the decade. Investment opportunities linked to the SDGs are predicted to grow exponentially ahead of other sectors. In the Philippines, the size of the prize is at least $82 billion and 4.4 million jobs by 2030.”
"Meeting the SDGs has normally been seen as a corporate philanthropic exercise. But looking at a business model for achieving them may be our best bet at succeeding. This is a case of doing good and doing well,” said Guillermo M. Luz.
As part of its mandate to establish meaningful partnerships in line with impactful innovations, UNDP Philippines will continue to work with NEDA, DTI, PCCI and other organizations to effectively disseminate the report to more companies and businesses all over the country.