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Benchmarking Companies as a Driver for Change
We envisage a sustainable future, where everyone will be able to see how companies contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Sustainable Development Goals
Agreed upon by 193 countries in September 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a shared vision of the world we want by 2030. Collectively, the SDGs set one of the most ambitious yet achievable agendas the world has ever seen, with the ultimate aim to “leave no one behind” in their realization.
The SDGs cannot be achieved without the firm commitment of the private sector to work with government and civil society to come up with the solutions and investments needed to achieve them.
To this end, Aviva, the UN Foundation, BSDC, and Index Initiative are investigating the idea of establishing the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) to develop, fund, house and safeguard free, publicly available corporate sustainability benchmarks aligned with the SDGs.
The donors and founding partners of the WBA are launching a series of consultations, throughout 2017 and early 2018 aimed at gathering inputs and insights on the WBA’s objectives and governance structure, as well as identifying and prioritising critical intersections between industries and the SDGs.
“I’m excited at the prospect of creating a strong alliance of stakeholders that will collectively shape and realise the World Benchmarking Alliance. I believe this will help to build momentum for what we call ‘cooperative globalisation’ at the Global Foundation – building an inclusive and sustainable future that realises the potential of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Secretary General, The Global Foundation
“Civil society, investors and governments need to collectively voice what we expect from industry. And then work together with industry to unlock the full potential of the private sector. Initiatives like the World Benchmarking Alliance enable us to embrace a more productive and sustainable approach that benefits all of us.”
Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, The Netherlands
“The ultimate goal is that all companies report on their contribution to the SDGs. This allows us to compare commitments and performance to our peers and shows us where we must improve.”
CEO Unilever and Co-chair of the BSDC
“EAT is proud to be a strategic partner to the WBA consultations and supports the development of metrics and indicators capturing the full range of co-benefits of sustainable and healthy diets. Competition makes us faster, collaboration makes us better. The WBA aims to do both. By ranking companies based on their contribution to the SDGs, competitive benchmarking can be a powerful catalyst for change.”
Dr. Gunhild A. Stordalen
Founder & President, EAT Foundation
“We need more businesses of all sizes and investors to embrace the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Benchmarks can translate the SDGs into a business and innovation agenda, creating clarity on the unique role and abilities of companies to contribute to sustainable development in developing countries. Clarity on the role of business will equally demonstrate where we as governments must step up.”
Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark
“Our clients expect us to meet investment objectives as well those of society over the long term. The efforts of the World Benchmarking Alliance will assist asset managers to achieve this alignment.”
Hendrik du Toit
CEO Investec Asset Management & BSDC Commissioner
“The world needs business and leaders to step up, speak out, and act on the defining challenges of our time – climate change, the inclusion of women as leaders & drivers of change, and genuine equality. Benchmarks can credit those wo do, and inspire others to act.”
President Australian Council for International Development & BSDC Commissioner
Aviva is one of the world’s largest insurance and asset management companies, its history tracing back more than 300 years. It has operations in 16 markets around the world, but through its investment portfolio, Aviva’s reach extends to a broader and larger group of consumers. The company is a LEAD member of the Global Compact; a founding member of both the UN Principles of Responsible Investment and the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative. It is also a frontrunner in responsible investments, using its influence to support more sustainable business and ultimately a more sustainable economy and society. Aviva is an active contributor and user of different corporate sustainability benchmarks, including a founding member of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark. Aviva’s CEO Mark Wilson is a member of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) and is personally committed to driving forward the sustainable development agenda and the creation of the WBA.
The Business & Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) aims to make a powerful business case for achieving a sustainable, inclusive economy. Its flagship report Better Business, Better World, launched in January 2017, maps the economic prize for companies that align with the SDGs, and shows how to achieve them. The report includes the creation of SDGs benchmarks as one of the key recommendations. The Business Commission aims to make a powerful business case for achieving a sustainable and inclusive economy, if the UN Sustainable Development Goals are achieved. In its flagship report, Better Business, Better World, the Commission describes how business can contribute to delivering these goals. Chaired by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, the Commission include 37 leaders from business, finance, civil society, labour, and international organisations from around the world.p>
Index Initiative is a centre of expertise in benchmarking corporate performance against stakeholder expectations. It seeks to propel the use of benchmarks to engage and bring purpose and clarity on the role of companies in contributing to the SDGs closest to their core business. A non-profit based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Index Initiative’s research and benchmarks are free and accessible to all. Index Initiative will conduct the global consultation on the World Benchmarking Alliance.
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors.