Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDGs

Partnership and cooperation are essential for achieving the Global Goals. The international community has encouraged the development of partnerships between stakeholders, including business, to achieve common goals. It is only by forging partnerships that leverage the core competencies of all partners that the ambition of the SDGs can be achieved.

Companies are major players among SDG stakeholders, offering expertise, experience, resources, access to knowledge, and capabilities to innovate. But, companies cannot create transformative change acting alone. Business may not fully take account of all voices and be aware of all areas of need; and they may not have access to the best available knowledge. To support the achievement of the SDGs in all countries, companies should work alongside national and regional Governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, the scientific community and academia, and their peers to participate in and establish multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technologies and financial resources. At a minimum, all companies can seek to be aware of the key partnerships in the context of their end-to-end operations and become active participants wherever they might make a significant contribution

A leading company will create and promote stronger partnerships by galvanizing finance for sustainable development, fostering exchange of technology and knowledge with stakeholders in developing regions, engaging in capacity building activities, and taking a leading role in establishing coalitions to create innovative technologies and business models. A leading company will look across borders to find ways to increase partnerships for sustainable development, especially in least developed countries, and tackle systemic challenges through joint leverage. It will also ensure to include vulnerable communities that are at risk of being excluded from discussion.

Action on Goal 17. and thereby advancing all Global Goals, is essential for business success. There are significant revenue opportunities and costs savings from business practices that integrate respect and support for human rights and protection of the planet. These can be harnessed more fully in collaboration with other stakeholders. Partnerships facilitate the exchange of information, knowledge and technologies that allow for enhanced risk management, value protection, and identification of joint business opportunities.

Goal 17 is deeply interconnected with all other SDGs. Unlike the other Goals which deal with specific thematic areas, Goal 17 is cross-cutting and can help in the realization of the other 16 Goals. Care should be taken to ensure that action to further partnerships and collaboration is inclusive and does not reinforce existing inequalities by further excluding particular groups. Where partnerships spur new economic activity, any risk of negative impact on the environment, on human rights, for instance those of indigenous peoples, should be managed.

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