Comment: The Global Goals: A call to the private sector

The 17 Global Goals will create a focus for global leaders on what needs to be achieved in the next 15 years.

They are am bitious in their aim to leave no one behind and the private sector is expected to play an important role.

What does this mean for business?

There are three broad ramifications that are likely to impact on businesses:

  1. Over the next 15 years, governments will align their international development funding and advocacy to the Global goals
  2. The Global Goals give civil society another framework against which to judge the contribution and social worth of businesses.
  3. The goals have been designed with business in mind, and governments and civil society expect business to play an active role, with every business contributing something.

The 17th goal further emphasises these points by calling for collaboration to tackle systemic issues rather than taking action unilaterally. Consequently, business should be expecting approaches from government, international organisations, and civil society actors with invitations to work together.

In our view, if a business is working on its human rights agenda then it will be able to align with the Global Goals relatively easily. People are at the centre of every goal and working towards implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights is one way to ensure a company's contribution.  In fact, human rights due diligence will provide businesses with the insight required to understand how they can contribute to the global goals in any particular locality.

An opportunity to be part of a global movement

The Global Goals have been established around a positive agenda. For the private sector, they are an opportunity to inspire and connect with employees and customers, and to align with government action. There is also a hope that businesses engaging with the goals will use them to drive innovation in research and development.

And for us? We expect to be using our skills to help clients understand how they can contribute to the goals through their core business activities, build partnerships with multiple stakeholders, generate change across supply chains and bring about results where they cannot act alone.

If you are interested in discussing the Global Goals further, please get in touch: [email protected].