More than 35 CEOs and civil society leaders of the Business & Sustainable Development Commission (the Commission) reveal that sustainable business models could open economic opportunities worth at least US$12 trillion and up to 380 million jobs a year by 2030. Putting the Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals, at the heart of the world’s economic strategy could unleash a step-change in growth and productivity, with an investment boom in sustainable infrastructure as a critical driver. However, this will not happen without radical change in the business and investment community. Real leadership is needed for the private sector to become a trusted partner in working with government and civil society to fix the economy.
In its flagship report Better Business, Better World, the Commission recognizes that while the last few decades have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, they have also led to unequal growth, increasing job insecurity, ever more debt and ever greater environmental risks. This mix has fueled an anti-globalization reaction in many countries, with business and financial interests seen as central to the problem, and is undermining the long-term economic growth that the world needs. The Commission has spent the last year exploring a central question, “What will it take for business to be central to building a sustainable market economy—one that can help to deliver the Global Goals?” Better Business, Better World—the release of which is timed with the World Economist Forum in Davos and the U.S. presidential inauguration—shows how.
Mary Ellen Iskendarian, President & CEO of Women’s World Banking, who serves as a Commissioner of the Business & Sustainable Development Commission, said:
“Our Better Business, Better Growth report shows how patient, long-term investments in achieving the Global Goals can open up new market opportunities and create a world that is both sustainable and inclusive. At Women’s World Banking, we know this is particularly true for financial service providers who embrace two elements of the Global Goals: gender equity and access to financial services. Serving low-income women with financial services is an undeniably sustainable business growth strategy. I encourage all stakeholders committed to serving low-income women clients to read this report and learn how business needs the Global Goals and Global Goals need business, and what we can all do to drive development at an unprecedented scale.”