News & Views

UN launches Sustainable Development Goals

On 25 September, the UN General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, setting off a chain reaction of national and local action.

This is a historic moment as the world comes together to adopt a plan for achieving a better future for all – laying out a path over the next 15 years to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and protect our planet.

At the heart of “Agenda 2030” are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that address the most important economic, social, environmental and governance challenges of our time.

Business has a crucial role to play in achieving each of the SDGs – through responsible business operations, new business models, investment, innovation and technology, and collaboration.

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The UN Global Compact is the starting point and avenue for all companies that want to help advance the SDGs.

The ten sustainability principles of the UN Global Compact are the foundation for any company seeking to advance the SDGs, providing a universal definition for responsible business.We guide companies first to operate responsibly and then to find opportunities to further support the SDGs.

The UN Global Compact will translate the SDGs for business and help companies understand how they can leverage these goals to drive good practices, growth opportunities and innovation.

What are the SDGs?

The 17 SDGs lay out a path over the next 15 years to address the most important economic, social, environmental and governance challenges of our time – ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and protecting the planet.

Why do they matter to business?

Strong markets and strong societies go hand in hand. Successful implementation of the SDGs will strengthen the enabling environment for doing business and building markets around the world.

What is the role of business?

All companies have a role to play in meeting the SDGs. First, operate responsibly, and then pursue opportunities to solve societal challenges through business innovation and collaboration.

Want to learn more?

The Global Compact Network Australia has launched the Sustainable Development Leadership Group as a platform for business and stakeholders to engage in learning, dialogue and action around sustainable development and the SDGs. The Leadership Group will also provide an interface between business and DFAT, supporting the implementation of the Australian Government’s new aid policy, which emphasises private sector engagement and development.

The GCNA will be convening a number of Sustainable Development Leadership Group forums and activities. Our first event under this work stream was the Business Action to Advance the SDGs: Business Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals and the SDG Compass.

The Sustainable Development Leadership Group has been launched under a partnership between the GCNA and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, announced in August by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Julie Bishop MP. The two-year partnership seeks to drive business engagement in sustainable development and the Global Compact.

Read the GCNA/DFAT partnership media release here
Read more about the GCNA Sustainable Development Leadership Group here