News & Views

United Nations Global Compact Recognises Greg Welsh, Director of Winya Furniture as a 2018 SDG Pioneer

Greg Welsh recognised for Economic Empowerment of Indigenous Peoples

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 18 September – Today, the United Nations Global Compact announced ten SDG Pioneers for 2018. Each year, the UN Global Compact celebrates a group of SDG Pioneers — individuals from around the world as who are championing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their own companies and inspiring others to join the movement. Among the SDG Pioneers selected this year is Australian and director of Winya Furniture, Greg Welsh.

Hundreds of nominations were received from diverse regions of the world, from which ten finalists were selected through a rigorous committee, exemplifying how business can be a force for good in addressing the challenges we face as a global society. The SDG Pioneers will be recognised during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2018 on 24 September at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York.

An SDG Pioneers Selection Group, comprised of representatives from the UN Global Compact Board Members, Expert Networks, Global Compact Network Council, Academia, UN Focal Points and previous SDG Pioneers, voted on the nominees based on a set of criteria. This criteria covers the individual’s commitment to embed the Ten Principles and raise awareness on the SDGs, as well as their engagement with the UN Global Compact and its Local Networks.

“These ten outstanding individuals are demonstrating how business can unlock economic, social and environmental gains for the world by advancing the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “Showcasing the pioneering actions and progress of these leaders will help mobilise others in this exciting movement to create the world we all want.”

Greg Welsh has demonstrated how a small furniture company in Australia can improve the lives of Indigenous peoples while advancing labour, environmental and social justice standards far beyond this island continent’s borders.

As Director of Winya Indigenous Furniture, Greg is not only successfully running a company that makes workstations, storage lockers and other office furniture. Winya helps curb poverty and the chronic social and economic disadvantages faced by Indigenous peoples in remote communities by employing workers in these faraway locales to make its furniture components. Winya also works with prison systems to train Indigenous inmates in the furniture manufacturing trades. This collaboration aims to curb the cycle of poverty, unemployment and incarceration.

The world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the UN Global Compact calls on companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals. In Australia, over 80 companies and non-business organisation have joined the initiative, and the Global Compact Network Australia has supported their efforts to advance sustainable business practices since 2009.

Media Contacts:  Kylie Porter, Executive Director Global Compact Network Australia – 0448 321 527