Comment: Businesses unite in a bid to make the UK economy ‘fit for the future’ by backing sustainable development

  • twentyfifty Ltd joins forces with 80 major businesses to call on the Government to demonstrate its commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the UK and overseas
  • Open letter to Prime Minister says sustainable development is essential for long term prosperity and the wellbeing of future generations
  • Letter is published on the eve of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos

In an open letter to the Prime Minister published in The Times on 16th January 2017, more than 80 leading companies united in a call on the Government to demonstrate its commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals* (SDGs).

Ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting taking place on 17-20 January, businesses say they are ready to work with the Government to help deliver the SDGs in the UK as well as internationally, but that the Government must create a framework to help businesses play their part.

The letter was published on the day that the Business and Sustainable Development Commission published its own flagship report on the business case for achieving sustainable and inclusive growth, and quantifying the value of private sector opportunities aligned with the SDGs.

The letter was coordinated by UK Stakeholders in Sustainable Development (UKSSD), a non-profit network of businesses, NGOs and academics working to advance sustainable development and help facilitate the delivery of the SDGs in the UK. The UKSSD steering group comprises Bioregional, Good Energy, ICAEW, Neighbourly,  Stakeholder Forum, UN Global Compact Network UK and WWF-UK.

Nick Davies, founder of Neighbourly:It's easy to be sceptical about the role of business in society - to castigate failure when things go wrong rather than celebrate success. But in truth is there is no business case for enduring inequality.  It's bad for society and bad for business too. Today's great companies don't just want to contribute.  They're ready to collaborate and build a powerful coalition for change but need the support of government and citizens to help unlock society's true potential. This open letter is an emphatic demonstration of a desire to work in partnership using the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for success.  UK Government should seize this opportunity to work with business to help shape an inclusive community action plan that works for all.


Further details of the UN Sustainable Development Goals can be found here 


Participating businesses

Abundance, Account 3, AkzoNobel, Alpro, Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association’s (ADBA), Anglian Water, Article 13, Aviva, BAM, Bioregional, B Lab, Body Shop, Brand Legacy, BT, Business in the Community, Calverts, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, Coca-Cola European Partners, Coca-Cola GB, Consciam, Cool Earth, Co-op, Corporate Citizenship, The Crowd, Designing Futures, Diageo, Dong Energy, Ecology Building Society, Ecuity, Ernst & Young LLP (EY), Forensic Pathways Ltd, Forster Communications, Freeland Horticulture, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Fujitsu, Good Energy, HSBC, Ikea, Impact International, Infinergy, Innocent, Interface, ISEAL Alliance, Jaguar Land Rover, John Lewis, Kingfisher, Kinnarps, Koreo, KPMG, Mars, National Grid, Natural Capital Coalition, Neighbourly, Nestle, Office Depot, Old Mutual,  Open Energi, Pearson, Positive Luxury, Pukka, PwC,  REG Power Management, Relational Analytics, RELX Group, Rockwool, Sainsbury's, Salter Baxter, Sedex, Singleton Birch, Sodexo, Standard Chartered, Sustainable Restaurants Association, Sysdoc, Tesco, Thai Union, thirdbridge, Too Good To Go, Triodos Bank, twentyfifty, UN Global Compact Network UK, Unilever, Verco, Vodafone, Walgreens Boots Alliance