On May 23rd 2018, the World Benchmarking Alliance together with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Mumbai hosted a discussion on the role of business in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. This meeting took place during the largest ever Dutch trade mission to India and was presided over by Sigrid Kaag, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The dialogue brought together corporate leaders and key sustainability representatives from some of the biggest Dutch and Indian corporations.  

Minister Kaag opened the meeting, stating, “what is significant about the SDGs is that it is an agenda for all of us, and the universality of this agenda is what makes it powerful and where we can all align.” A rich dialogue developed over the course of the roundtable. Participants discussed the necessity to revolutionise CSR, seeing an opportunity within the benchmarks to craft social metrics which tackle social issues; taking benchmark impact beyond economic and environmental issues and addressing the SDGs that focus on social issues. Conversation also centred on the need for greater collaboration within the business community which would close inter-company knowledge gaps regarding sustainable business, as well as for the roles of business, government and media to be further defined so as to provide opportunities for collaboration and ultimately drive efforts across sectors. This Summary Document of the conversation outlines major themes and discussion points.