On the day of the Jakarta marathon, Dr. Gunhild A. Stordalen spoke at our first regional roundtable. Her focus responded to the energies of the bustling megacity, which on that day would see thousands of running enthusiasts navigating their way through its streets; encouraged by the cheers of the city and the buzz of competition to “make them run faster, further and be stronger than they ever thought possible”.
Her speech was all about the momentums of change, and how our perceptions of sustainable action can reach as far as and challenge the systems in which they are born out of. Recounting her own career, she traced how pace had once kept different sectors in distinct places. The sheer complexities of our globalizing world continues to blend and blur the boundaries which once separated these systems. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) raised the bar of potentials for a total shift in mind-set. Distinct knowledge and business practices were no longer fit enough to truly respond to the targets and to create any profound global change. She stated, “it has become widely accepted that system transformation requires coordinated efforts and collaboration across sectors and disciplines”.
The togetherness in the endurance of the Jakarta marathon runners that day signalled that speed alone will not enable us to achieve the #GlobalGoals. When surrounded by others, it becomes impossible to ignore and more plausible to interact. Yes, corporate benchmarking can help catalyse a race to the top, but their presence can also lay the foundations for more systemic change. The process of transparent tracking and ranking procedures can dual-impose credit for the front-runners and accountability for those trailing behind the pack. “On this planet, we are all one team. If everybody doesn’t cross the finish line in time, nobody wins.”
Eat Foundation’s focus on reshaping the food system into a health-driven, sustainable, efficient and inclusive force for change, represents an invaluable cog within the World Benchmarking Alliance machine. Our regional roundtable in Jakarta made significant headway in mapping out the pathways for cross-sectoral, dynamic action and we are extremely happy to have EAT as an ally.
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.