Business and the SDGs – WBCSD’s key takeaways from the 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

By Filippo Veglio, Managing Director, WBCSD

WBCSD share key takeaways from the recent 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the UN’s central platform for follow-up and review of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, the UN’s central platform for follow-up and review of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), took place at the UN headquarters in New York City from 9 to 18 July 2018.

Gathering some 2,000 representatives from UN member states, business leaders, mayors, the scientific community, foundations, UN agencies and civil society organizations, the HLPF reviews on an annual basis the overarching progress with regard to the SDG agenda. It also provides a platform for member states to present updates on the actions they are taking to implement the SDGs at national level.

The theme of this year’s HLPF was “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies,” with a specific focus on progress and challenges in relation to SDG 6 (Clean Water & Sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable & Clean Access to Energy), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption & Production and Consumption), SDG 15 (Life on Land) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

The HLPF also provides a critical opportunity for wider groups of stakeholders, including business, to engage and share solutions to SDG implementation.

Here’s the list of 6 key takeaways from an intense few days of roundtables, speeches, and gatherings of experts, compiled by James Gomme, Director of SDGs at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

  1. Growing momentum but a critical need for accelerated action
  2. Business has a key part to play and is becoming more engaged around the HLPF
  3. The critical role of partnerships
  4. Increased focus on measuring business impact
  5. The human rights opportunity
  6. Technology as a driver for transformation in line with the SDGs

You can read more details about takeaways and impressions from the HLPF in this WBCSD briefing note.

The Council’s overarching message on the SDGs was that companies that have a clear understanding of their SDG impacts will ultimately be better placed to unlock market opportunities, consolidate an enduring license to operate and manage operational and regulatory risks on the path to 2030.

Ultimately, while the 2018 HLPF pointed to a number of areas where progress on the SDGs is not yet being achieved at the scale required, it also served to underline the commitment of both public and private sector representatives to work closely together to advance this agenda moving forward.

The WBCSD team looks forward to supporting these efforts and to again shaping an engaging series of dialogues and discussions around next year’s Forum which is tentatively scheduled to take place between 8 and 19 July 2019. For more information on developments at the HLPF and other SDG-related resources that have been recently released, visit WBCSD’s SDG Business Hub.

Share this story

Leave a Reply



Next Event

Business Fights Poverty Global Goals Summit 2024