Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore has been appointed to the Global Commission on Business and Sustainable Development, a new initiative that seeks to articulate and quantify the economic case for businesses to engage in sustainable development.
The commission which was co-founded by the former United Nations Deputy Secretary General Mark Malloch-Brown and Unilever CEO Paul Polman brings together international leaders from business, labour, financial institutions and civil society.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said: “Adopting these goals will provide a roadmap for businesses to become more sustainable and will spur the necessary partnerships needed for SDG delivery. For instance, it’s my belief that Kenyan businesses have the unique ability to bring the essence of the SDGs to life in ways that no other group can in this country.”
The commission will work for one year after which it will present a comprehensive report outlining new business and financial models as well as market opportunities for companies who are invested in sustainable approaches.
“A massive prize awaits business if it successfully ushers in an era of shared prosperity and increased sustainability,” said Commission Co-Chair Mark Malloch-Brown. “Governments and international organizations alone cannot build the future we need. Business is the key to accelerating the transition.”
“There is no business case for enduring poverty. We have an opportunity to unlock trillions of dollars through new markets, investments and innovation – but to do so, we must challenge our current practices and address poverty, inequality and environmental challenges. Every business will benefit from operating in a more equitable, resilient world if we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Unilever CEO Paul Polman.
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation said: “There is a case to be made that vast economic incentives exist for changing business as usual.”
“Business can create the fair wage jobs to propel societal development that leaves no one behind. Business innovation can deliver the technological advancements needed to achieve an efficient, net zero emissions economy. And business and society could both win, if more businesses recognize this and act upon it,” she added.
Since 2000, the world has seen extreme poverty more than halved. Business – which provides 60% of GDP, 80% of inward capital flows and 90% of jobs in developing countries – has been central to this success story, but can play a greater and more constructive role in realising growth and development opportunities.