Celebration & Call to Action: The Business Commission Passes Baton to SDG Initiatives

A two-year initiative launched in 2016 to make a compelling case for companies to align with the Sustainable Development Goals, the Business & Sustainable Development Commission formally closed its doors at a celebration in Davos, where it was first launched, coinciding with the World Economic Forum, in January 2018. (View our Impact Film.) 

"What we wanted to do with this Commission was to change the attitude of business to development, lift it out of the world of 'something we ought to do,' of corporate responsibility and philanthropy, and make it a business problem and opportunity," said Mark Malloch-Brown, chair of the Business Commission. 

Its flagship report, Better Business, Better World, showed how sustainable business models could unlock more than US$12 trillion in new market value and create up to 380 million jobs by 2030. The Business Commission delivered the Global Goals business opportunity message through regional reports, covering Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America & the Caribbean and reached diverse industries across major event platforms, including mobile telephony, agriculture, aviation, tourism, energy and many others. 

Under the leadership of more than 35 members from business, finance, civil society, labour, and international organisations, the Business Commission contributed to changing the narrative about sustainable development, by providing the proof points for why the Global Goals truly are the greatest economic opportunity of any lifetime. We are grateful to our commissioners, their teams and our many partners and supporters for contributing to our impact.  

In the wake of our official closure, the Business Commission’s legacy lives on through initiatives inspired by recommendations made in Better Business, Better World

-       The Food and Land Use Coalition, which brings together stakeholders from business, government and civil society to create science based targets and pathways, and forge a new economic narrative and a compelling narrative for the food and land use system. For more information, please visit www.foodandlandusecoalition.org or e-mail [email protected].
-       The Blended Finance Taskforce, which aims to mobilise large-scale private capital for investment in the SDGs, especially for sustainable infrastructure. For more information and to download recently released consultation paper, please visit www.blendedfinance.earth or contact Katherine Stodulka at [email protected] or Catharina Dyvik at [email protected].
-       The World Benchmarking Alliance, which through the efforts of Aviva, the UN Foundation, and the Index Initiative, are working to create a publically available way for companies to report progress on the Global Goals. For more information, please visit www.worldbenchmarkingalliance.org or contact [email protected]
-       And finally, WomenRising2030, an initiative that is championing the role of women in business to lead for a more inclusive, just and sustainable world. Please contact Clare Oh at [email protected]

The Food and Land Use Coalition, for example, builds on the Business Commission's recommendations and a key finding from Better Business, Better World, which shows, of the total Global Goals business prize, more than US$2.3 trillion in new economic value could be unleashed by SDG-aligned companies in the food and agriculture sectors. 

"Transforming the food and land use system represents one of the biggest opportunities to achieve the SDGs," said Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and co-founder of the Business Commission. "Transforming food and land use systems will take work from all the people who understand and shape those systems: from scientists to policy makers to consumers to business, as well as technology pioneers. The new Food & Land Use Coalition set up by the Business Commission aims to do exactly that, by bringing together a coalition of over 30 organisations, and I am proud to chair this new initiative." 

Many organisations are working to mobilize more companies to align their strategies with the Global Goals, including the UN Global Compact, the International Chambers of Commerce, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and The B Team. We invite you to learn more about them to take your Global Goals ambitions further.

To view all of our reports, including regional and topical publications, visit report.businesscommission.org

General queries about the Business Commission can be sent to [email protected]

Thank you for your support and engagement. 

The Secretariat of the Business & Sustainable Development Commission