The UN will establish its future development framework as the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015. This is an opportunity moment for businesses and the UN Global Compact to help shape the future priorities of the UN and to prepare for supporting the implementation of the results of the post-2015 process, which is anticipated to include Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This new framework will build on the Millennium Development Goals, and will include a range of economic and environmental objectives alongside traditional development objectives such as health and education. The SDGs are also expected to layout goals towards a more a peaceful, better governed and inclusive society.
The UN Global Compact has played an important role in bringing business perspectives to the process of shaping the SDGs and will continue to support companies in implementing them.
On top of existing efforts and initiatives, the UN Global Compact is engaged in projects that will help prepare individual companies for aligning their core business with the future SDGs. For example, the UN Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have joined forces to develop methodologies for companies.
The toolkit will offer approaches to aligning business strategies with the SDGs, assessing impact, setting forward-looking goals and communicating results in a credible manner. The toolkit is being developed in parallel to intergovernmental discussions with a view to develop guidance consistent with the future SDGs and associated targets.
A strong society has a strong market to match it. Even the most honorable companies are challenged by instability, to find skilled labour where adequate education is lacking, or to withstand disasters stemming from climate change. Companies are looking to their core business, as well as philanthropy, advocacy and partnerships, to support society in ways that also contribute to profitability.
With the United Nations expected to launch the ground-breaking set of global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), business will have a newly relevant framework to guide their strategic priorities and efforts towards society that will represent a huge opportunity to drive sustainable business. Businesses, investors and civil society are considered to be a positive force for sustainable development and are expected to play an important role in implementing the future SDGs.