Twelve Trillion Reasons to Be a More Sustainable Company

Twelve Trillion Reasons to Be a More Sustainable Company

By Bob Willard
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Need a reason to embrace #SDGs? How about 12 trillion reasons! via @CSRwire

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 12:30pm


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define a world that promises a flourishing future for human civilization on spaceship Earth. Some companies already embrace the SDGs as their aspirational environmental and social goals. Other companies hesitate, in case attaining some or all the goals’ 169 associated targets by 2030 would be at the expense of company success. There are 12 trillion reasons why their hesitation is unjustified.

In January, the Business and Sustainable Development Commission released its “Better Business, Better World” report. After a year of intense analysis by over 35 global business leaders and civil society representatives, the verdict is in. Attaining the SDG-related targets by 2030 would open up at least 60 market “hot spots” worth up to $12 trillion a year in business savings and revenue opportunities in four economic systems: food and agriculture; cities; energy and materials; and health and well-being. The total economic prize from implementing the SDGs could be 2-3 times bigger if higher labor and resource productivity were taken into account. Plus, this economic engine would create 380 million good new jobs by 2030. This doesn’t smell like a sustainability sacrifice; the world described by the SDGs would be good for people, planet, and profits.

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Bob Willard is a leading expert on quantifying and selling the business value of corporate sustainability strategies and has given over a thousand presentations to corporate, government, university, and NGO audiences. Bob applies his business and leadership experience from his 34-year career at IBM Canada to engage the business community in proactively avoiding risks and capturing opportunities by using smart environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies.