What are your goals? Here at the WBA we are interested in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – the goals that matter to the world and now with just a decade to run it is a New Year’s resolution we can not afford to miss.
In just a few weeks, ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos where the business world meets, we will be listing the 2000 companies with the largest impact on these goals. We believe that business has a vital role to play in meeting the SDG agenda to address the issues that matter most to us all. We will be calling on these ‘keystone’ companies to take responsibility and it is up to all of us as investors, consumers, governments, civil society to hold these companies to account and work with those that step-up.
The majority of bad news in 2019 has as its root cause – climate change, inequality, or both. Base on just the first week alone I do not expect 2020 to be any different, these remain the defining challenges of our times. The question is what our response will be in 2020 as we unleash a decade of #SDGAction.
Leadership will need to come from all actors, including companies, investors, governments, civil society and people demanding change. But leadership alone won’t cut it. We need more and better accountability.
We have identified the 2000 ‘keystone’ companies because of their disproportionally large influence across the seven systems, ranging from our food system to our financial system we need to transform in order for the SDGs to be achieved. Without these companies aligning their business models and operations with the SDGs – they simply won’t be delivered. By working together, we can help guide these companies by what science and society expects. We are translating these expectations in to methodologies that provide this very guidance and will be used to assess and rank these companies. This is the basis for WBA’s rankings that demonstrate what companies are contributing to the goals and how they perform in relation to their peers.
This brings accountability, showing clearly who leads and who lags. Real accountability is a collective effort. The ripple effect is enforced every time an investor, government, civil society organisation or individual in his or her role as a consumer, employee, citizen, or retail investor makes a more informed and empowered decision about where they work, play, spend their time and money or how we use our voice.
So, in this new decade we will be making it count. We have one goal – making the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals so that we create a future that works for everyone.
Gerbrand Haverkamp, Executive Director, World Benchmarking Alliance