In an open letter to the Prime Minister, more than 80 businesses including Bioregional have united in a call on the Government to demonstrate its commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting taking place in Davos, Switzerland on 17-20 January, these organisations say they are ready to work with the Government to help deliver the SDGs in the UK as well as internationally. But Government must create a framework to help businesses play their part, they argue.
Bioregional is one of the 84 signatories, along with more than 20 of the biggest and best-known UK and global businesses. The letter was coordinated by UK Stakeholders in Sustainable Development (UKSSD), a non-profit network of businesses, NGOs and academics working to advance sustainable development and help facilitate the delivery of the SDGs in the UK. The UKSSD steering group comprises Bioregional, Good Energy, ICAEW, Neighbourly, Stakeholder Forum, UN Global Compact Network UK and WWF-UK.
The letter is published on the day that the Business and Sustainable Development Commission publishes its own flagship report on the business case for achieving sustainable and inclusive growth, and quantifying the value of private sector opportunities aligned with the SDGs.
Sue Riddlestone, Bioregional chief executive, said: “The SDGs are in effect, a comprehensive sustainability blueprint for the entire planet. They recognise that making progress on climate change and reducing global inequality can’t be achieved without those of us who live in richer nations taking action. That’s why the goals are universal, and there’s a huge opportunity now for our Government to start showing leadership by implementing them right here in the UK.”
The letter to UK Prime Minister Theresa May, printed on a full page in The Times newspaper on 16 January 2017, reads as follows:
“Dear Prime Minister,
As a group of businesses investing in making our economy fit for the future, we support sustainable development in the UK. This is essential for our long-term prosperity and the wellbeing of generations to come.
The UK Government played a leading role in developing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and adopted them just over a year ago. As businesses, we’re ready to take responsibility and work with the Government to make sure the SDGs are delivered in the UK and around the world. Sustainable development will create jobs, increase competitiveness and secure the natural resources our economy relies on.
We support your Government to:
- Demonstrate to business your commitment to deliver the SDGs in the UK
- Work with businesses to deliver the SDGs, creating a transparent reporting framework and clear benchmarks
- Require all departments, not only the Department for International Development, to work with business and other stakeholders to develop an SDG delivery plan
Together we can build a fairer, sustainable and more prosperous Britain.”
The SDGs are formed of 17 goals and 169 targets to encourage action over the next 15 years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet. The UK Government played a leading role in developing the SDGs and many businesses have embraced them as a driver of sustainable business strategies, innovation and investment decisions.
The 84 participating businesses and organisations are:
Abundance, Account 3, AkzoNobel, Alpro, Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association’s (ADBA), Anglian Water, Article 13, Aviva, BAM, Bioregional, B Lab, Body Shop, Brand Legacy, BT, Business in the Community, Calverts, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, Coca-Cola European Partners, Coca-Cola GB, Consciam, Cool Earth, Co-op, Corporate Citizenship, The Crowd, Designing Futures, Diageo, Dong Energy, Ecology Building Society, Ecuity, Ernst & Young LLP (EY), Forensic Pathways Ltd, Forster Communications, Freeland Horticulture, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Fujitsu, Good Energy, HSBC, Ikea, Impact International, Infinergy, Innocent, Interface, ISEAL Alliance, Jaguar Land Rover, John Lewis, Kingfisher, Kinnarps, Koreo, KPMG, Mars, National Grid, Natural Capital Coalition, Neighbourly, Nestle, Office Depot, Old Mutual, Open Energi, Pearson, Positive Luxury, Pukka, PwC, REG Power Management, Relational Analytics, RELX Group, Rockwool, Sainsbury’s, Salter Baxter, Sedex, Singleton Birch, Sodexo, Standard Chartered, Sustainable Restaurants Association, Sysdoc, Tesco, Thai Union, thirdbridge, Too Good To Go, Triodos Bank, twentyfifty, UN Global Compact Network UK, Unilever, Verco, Vodafone, Walgreens Boots Alliance