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03.09.2019

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Presenting the Global Goals Yearbook 2019

What are companies for? The rules for companies have changed. The focus is increasingly on their sustainable, social, and ecological impacts. The strategic orientation toward the so-called corporate purpose is decisive for profitable growth in the future.

Aligning Profit with Purpose

This currently results in a large number of questions for businesses: How do you find an inspiring and future-oriented corporate purpose, and how can it be aligned in such a way that it brings profitable growth and social responsibility in concert? The new 2019 edition of the Global Goals Yearbook offers answers to these crucial questions thanks to its consistent orientation toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals and a competent editorial board and author pool.

The driver of development is to a large extent competition for the best minds. But it is not only the human resources departments that are pushing the topic. Experts speak instead of “inclusive capitalism” and urge that all stakeholders be taken along, including boards of management, customers, and even fund managers. Responsible businesses have governance structures that monitor and advise on environmental, social, as well as financial issues. When leaders understand and thrive within the broader social and environmental con- texts in which their businesses operate, it signals to employees, investors, and key stakeholders just how important purpose really is.

What is business for? What role does and should business play in society? To what extent should it perform a public purpose alongside its commercial activities? How should the aspirations of humanity, as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals, be reflected in the objectives of business? John Elkington, doyen of the sustainability community, together with Richard Roberts writes: “Being a little more ‘sustainable’ than your peers will do little to insulate a company from external shocks caused by extreme weather or extreme politics. So companies are going to have to step up to become much more active and effective agents of systems change, unless they are content simply to be passengers on a voyage captained by the ghost of Milton Friedman, which appears to be headed toward the mother of all icebergs.”

This realignment is taking place in turbulent times. Planning was yesterday. Today we are constantly exposed to new surprises, and the biggest uncertainty factor is politics. Is an era of instability beginning? Uncertainty is not good. It disturbs our planning. That is a significant problem for the economy, for entire societies, and for each individual. Growing levels of uncertainty mean that our picture of the future is becoming increasingly blurred, which has an impact on economic development. Citizens and businesses are holding back, purchases are being postponed, and investment plans are being cut back.

Climate change will have the greatest impact on those living in poverty, but it also threatens democracy and human rights, according to an UN expert. “Even if current targets are met, tens of millions will be impoverished, leading to wide- spread displacement and hunger,” says the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston. „We risk a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario, where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger, and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer.”

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Unpredictability – A world in a vacuum

This realignment is taking place in turbulent times. Planning was yesterday. Today we are constantly exposed to new surprises, and the biggest uncertainty factor is politics. Is an era of instability beginning? Uncertainty is not good. It disturbs our planning. That is a significant problem for the economy, for entire societies, and for each individual. Growing levels of uncertainty mean that our picture of the future is becoming increasingly blurred, which has an impact on economic development. Citizens and businesses are holding back, purchases are being postponed, and investment plans are being cut back.

There are also new cracks opening up. Confidence levels in state institutions and companies have declined, and science is no longer necessarily reliable. Journalism is no better off: Many citizens say they can no longer distinguish between real news and fake news. Societies are at risk of losing their common knowledge base.

Worse still is if untested technologies begin to upset the balance. Whether it is artificial intelligence or cyber war: What managers call “game changers” in strategy jargon are instruments that transcend experience and control. New technologies demand new strategies. This can also be seen as an opportunity, for example by using the UN Global Goals as a moral compass. Corporate purpose can also function as a guideline and yardstick for correct action.

Therefore, in our chapter about the distribution of prosperity, we ask “Whose prosperity are we talking about?” How can we conserve – and even improve – the model of the welfare state in a fragmented, globalized, and highly competitive world? Finally, an international study shows that prosperity is more than just money. Wealth has many expressions.

Good practices

Corresponding to the idea of learning from role models, the Global Goals Yearbook 2019 includes 35 good practices of corporate participants that showcase different approaches to the implementation of the SDGs. 

About the Global Goals Yearbook

The Global Goals Yearbook is a publication in support of the SDGs and the advancement of corporate sustainability globally. It offers proactive and in-depth information on key sustainability issues and promotes unique and comprehensive knowledge-exchange and learning in the spirit of the SDGs and the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact. The Global Goals Yearbook helps to advance corporate transparency, promotes the sharing of good business practices, and, perhaps most significantly, gives a strong voice to the regional and global stakeholders that are at the heart of the sustainability agenda.

Global Goals Yearbook 2019

Münster 2019: macondo publishing, 172 pages
ISBN: 978-3-946284-07-9
Sales Price: 25,00 EUR

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Read free version here

Quelle: UmweltDialog
 

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