On 17 April, 21 ambitious companies will gather in Kødbyen in Copenhagen to unite business and sustainable development. This is the first step in the project “The UN Global Goals - From Philanthropy to Business”, which aims to create 21 exemplar companies that can inspire and motivate others to venture into a new growth area.
It has been over two years since the heads of government and state from 193 countries adopted the 17 global goals for sustainable development. This was the occasion for no small number of congratulatory toasts - and with good reason. Never before have all countries come together in support of a collective goal and overall plan for our planet. And never before has the private sector been written so thoroughly into that plan.
But visions are one thing. Developing the business models that will make it possible to achieve the goals and realise the plans are another. This requires insight into megatrends. It requires technological solutions, innovation, partnerships and capital. In return, however, businesses can expect to reap major returns. The Sustainable Development Commission estimates that the UN’s global goals represent new market opportunities worth USD 12 billion within food, energy, sustainable cities and health.
The project represents an ambitious attempt on the part of the Confederation of Danish Industry and the Danish Industry Foundation to contribute to an important global agenda that may simultaneously strengthen the competitiveness of Danish businesses in the long run.
Danish businesses already are already front-runners in industries such as food, water and green energy and are very well equipped for the task of transforming global challenges into opportunities.
But we must take advantage of this competitive edge, because everything suggests that companies that succeed in integrating sustainability into their business will be the winners of tomorrow. In other words, the sustainable development goals can also form a new platform for international competition.
The 21 companies represent a wide segment of the Danish business community. It is their ambition to develop business models that set the standard for the future.
The Confederation of Danish Industry is doing its utmost to realise the goals in the course of the next 18 months, while promoting active communication with a new website being launched later this year, a new LinkedIn network and a number of workshops aimed at inspiring and motivating Danish companies to transform global goals into business opportunities.
Follow the project on LinkedIn
The 21 companies participating in the project are:
Bobles, Dupont, Egmont, Fischer Lighting, FLSmidth, GEHL Architects, Haldor Topsøe, Hempel, Herning Vand, Kamstrup, Kopenhagen Fur, Krüger, LE34, Orana, Peter Larsen Kaffe, Pluspack, Roskilde Festival, Royal Greenland, Stena Recycling, Stjernholm, Tasso.