UNITAR Organizes “Business Leading the Way: The SDGs as a Tool for Sustainability and Growth.”

UNITAR workshop on business leading the way: the SDGs as a tool for sustainability and growth13 of June 2017, New York USA - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) co-organized an event alongside with the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs (DESA), SDG Fund and EcoVadis titled “Business Leading the Way: The SDGs as a Tool for Sustainability and Growth.” The event took place during the High-Level  Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development, a week that focuses on a review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

This event gathered many participants ranging from the private sector to NGO representatives where together shared the best practices, lessons learned, and relevant tools in incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in to their reporting and evaluations ratings, standards, indexes, and methodologies.

The event began with opening remarks from Mr. Nikhil Seth, the Executive Director of UNITAR, and Ms. Paloma Duran, Director of the SDG Fund.  In each of their opening remarks, they both emphasized the importance of  integrating the SDG’s in sustainability strategies and supply-chain practices and the embracing the SDG’s more robustly in order for a company to remain relevant and competitive.

UNITAR workshop on business leading the way: the SDGs as a tool for sustainability and growthThe evvent was divided into seven training sessions, where each training session was moderated by senior government officials, UN representatives, private sector actors and industry leaders, international financial institutions, academia, and other non-state representatives.

The first training session focused on the experiences in implementing and reporting on the SDGs by multinational organizations.  This section addressed concrete examples of how SDGs can be mainstreamed in private sector reporting by addressing already used indexes, ratings and/or standards by the private sector. The second training session focused on Engaging on the SDGs – how to initiate and sustain internal processes and initiatives where the discussion focused on gathering new methods on generating new actions from the private sector in implementing the SDGs by sharing the value of communicating and incorporating SDGs among companies, their clients and suppliers. The third session focused on the role of supply-chain and discussing how sustainable procurement drives the SDGs from large multinationals to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) worldwide. This session emphasized on companies to showcase solutions and opportunities to generate information and exchange on companies’ existing client and supplier base, increase market visibility and leadership as well as demonstrating better services by embracing the SDGs.

UNITAR workshop on business leading the way: the SDGs as a tool for sustainability and growthThe fourth ession focused on Governments partnering with the private sector for a multi-stakeholder approach to implementat the SDGs.  The panellist discussed the support for further partnerships among Member States and the private sector for successful SDGs implementation. The fifth session focused on the SDGs as a compelling tool for ESG reporting and leadership; contribution of rating agencies, rating methodologies, indicators. This section provided an opportunity for participants from companies and governments present their progress, achievements, and challenges in using the SDGs as a tool for sustainability, leadership, partnership, and growth. The final training session was an interactive discussion to support companies in engaging with the SDGs and communicating on their progress. Moreover, there was a strong emphasis on implementing the Lessons learned from the pilot initiative possibly reporting back to the HLPF during its 2018 session.


Photos: Panelists and participants of the workshop