In the world’s most comprehensive CEO Study to date on the business contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (also known as the Global Goals) conducted by the United Nations Global Compact and Accenture Strategy, more than 1,000 top executives across 21 industries and 99 countries candidly reflect on the opportunities and challenges to sustainability since the launch of the Global Goals.
At the same time as they acknowledge the opportunity for competitive advantage through leading on environmental, social and governance issues and report real progress, impressive innovation and impact; they recognize the business community could and should be making a far greater contribution to achieving a sustainable global economy and society by 2030. They also point to the barriers that are preventing business from doing more and the enablers that would unlock the potential of the private sector.
Not content with the status quo, these CEOs from across industries, geographies and companies large and small are sending a clear and unequivocal call to their sectors and peers to step up action and change market systems to drive a decade of delivery on the Global Goals.
To accelerate progress, CEOs identify three critical requirements:
- An urgent need to raise corporate ambition within their own organizations through ‘threshold’ actions and also lead systems transformation more broadly against the 17 Global Goals, mindful that not all Goals will apply to all businesses in the same way.
- The need for business, governments, regulators and nongovernmental organizations to come together to shape realistic, science-based solutions to the global challenges.
- A new definition and emphasis on disruptive responsible leadership, as CEOs pinpoint what is needed from this generation of leaders to drive action and impact.