Pandemic raises stakes for success of the SDGs — with private sector collaboration crucial

By Tina Nybo Jensen, International Policy Manager, GRI

If we are to deliver on the SDGs, we need open collaboration that gets all parties onboard — from analysing the issues, to defining the solutions, through to implementation and reporting on the progress.

Government and business interests are naturally not always fully aligned. The role of the private sector for SDG 4 — Quality Education, SDG 5 — Gender Equality and SDG 7 — Affordable and Clean Energy, was most often mentioned in VNRs. Yet, as revealed in the 2020 KPMG Survey of Sustainability Reporting, the most prioritized SDGs by the private sector are SDG 8 — Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 13 — Climate Action and SDG 12 — Responsible Consumption & Production. What this indicates is that there can be a disconnect between SDGs priorities and ownership, illustrating how important it is for all stakeholders to engage and align, in order to achieve impact and progress.

Afterall, ensuring finance for sustainable development is a cornerstone for fulfilling the SDGs.

Stepping up the momentum

On both these counts there are opportunities within the adversity that can and must be seized.

When you view the SDGs as the roadmap to a better world — one without poverty or hunger, with gender equality achieved, fair economic growth and the environment protected — participation in their success should not be a hard sell for anyone, be it governments, business or citizens alike. Inclusion and partnerships, at all levels, will be the key to their successful fulfilment. Let’s stay positive that together we can reach that sustainable future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tina Nybo Jensen is International Policy Manager at Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). She leads on the development, management and implementation of GRI’s Sustainable Development Program, with a special focus on the SDGs and engagement with multilateral organizations. She joined GRI in 2014 and has previously worked with the GRI Community, report services and governance relations.

GRI is the independent international organization that helps businesses and other organizations communicate and understand their sustainability impacts.