How can Business and the UN Work Together Towards the Sustainable Development Goals?


(member) #1

Paloma Duran: Director, SDG Fund
Jane Nelson: Director, CSR Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
Sergio Fernández de Córdova: Co-Founder & Chairman, PVBLIC Foundation
Giovanni Di Placido: Director, Research and Analysis, BBVA Microfinance Foundation
Bianca Shead: Manager, Sustainable Development Policy, SABMiller
Ana Sainz: Director, SERES Foundation
Ana Antequera Pardo: Director of Communication and CSR, Ebro Foods
Juliana Meneses Palacios: Chief of Sustainability, Nutresa

As people from around the world start to focus on how to implement the Sustainable Development Goals–the new ambitious vision for ending poverty and protecting our planet– they are exploring new ways of engaging and partnering with each other to achieve greater scale and systemic impact. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which sets out the SDGs envisions a “revitalized global partnership for sustainable development”.


This discussion will bring together representatives from business, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F), the CSR Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School and Business Fights Poverty to explore the following questions:

1. What is the business and development case for increased UN-business engagement?

2. How can business most effectively engage in the SDGs, and how can the UN most effectively engage with business?

3. What should the priorities for action be in 2016 to strengthen UN-business partnerships?

Follow on Twitter via #BIZandUN

Click here to download the Report "Business and the UN: Working Together Towards the Sustainable Development Goals".

Editor's Note:

Welcome to this online written discussion. To post comments you will need to sign in / sign up to Business Fights Poverty. A list of recent comments is shown in the right-hand side bar and will refresh every 5 minutes. To refresh more often, please click on the refresh icon in your browser.


(moladi Formwork) #2

UNDP Report - Moladi: An Affordable Housing Solution for the Poor?

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty

Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

128-moladi_summary.pdf (189 KB)

(Zahid Torres-Rahman) #3

Thanks for sharing that!

moladi Formwork said:

UNDP Report - Moladi: An Affordable Housing Solution for the Poor?

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty

Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development


(Titilola Adisa) #4

UN should set up training on how women economic empowerment could be streamlined into strategic planning of businesses as well business associations. Business associations should also be trained on how to effectively lobby, advocate and form alliance for a good business environment in their locations.


(Zahid Torres-Rahman) #5

Welcome to this online discussion!

This is a written live chat. We'll work through the three questions set out above over the course of the hour. Please add your comments, ideas and examples in the text box at the top of the page or by clicking on "reply" under a specific comment you are responding to. Please add links or attachment that you think would be useful.

I am delighted that we are joined by a great panel to help us explore this topic. I will ask each of them to introduce themselves briefly before we get going.


(Jeff Geipel) #6

Sounds like local content to me! Agree 100% with your idea.

Titilola Adisa said:

UN should set up training on how women economic empowerment could be streamlined into strategic planning of businesses as well business associations. Business associations should also be trained on how to effectively lobby, advocate and form alliance for a good business environment in their locations.


(Jane Nelson) #7

Hi everyone - I'm Jane Nelson from the Kennedy School and great to be part of this discussion.


(Bianca Shead) #8

Hi Everyone

I'm Bianca Shead from SABMiller. I've been there for 8 years, always with a sustainability remit but in the last few years focusing more specifically on engagement, stakeholders and partnerships. It's a very exciting business to be a part of and one which has a long track record of taking a partnership approach to building development solutions.

In 2014, we launched 'Prosper', our sustainable development strategy. Prosper is an inherent part of our core business strategy, which means that partnerships have to work even harder to demonstrate and deliver value for all parties.

I’m actually joining the conversation from The Partnering Initiative’s course ‘Building Effective Partnerships for Development’ and I’ve drawn on my course mates for their opinions and input.

Looking forward to the discussion - and please don't be surprised if my name changes part way through. It's just been pointed out that my profile still carries my maiden name!


(Ketan patel) #9



(Zahid Torres-Rahman) #10

Thank you Bianca - and we're looking forward to your course mates' contributions too!

Bianca Shevlin said:

Hi Everyone

I'm Bianca Shead from SABMiller. I've been there for 8 years, always with a sustainability remit but in the last few years focusing more specifically on engagement, stakeholders and partnerships. It's a very exciting business to be a part of and one which has a long track record of taking a partnership approach to building development solutions.

In 2014, we launched 'Prosper', our sustainable development strategy. Prosper is an inherent part of our core business strategy, which means that partnerships have to work even harder to demonstrate and deliver value for all parties.

I’m actually joining the conversation from The Partnering Initiative’s course ‘Building Effective Partnerships for Development’ and I’ve drawn on my course mates for their opinions and input.

Looking forward to the discussion - and please don't be surprised if my name changes part way through. It's just been pointed out that my profile still carries my maiden name!


(Paloma Duran) #11

Dear all, I'm Paloma Duran, Director of the SDG Fund, I want to thank Business fight poverty and all the members of the private Sector Advisory Group who participated in the process of launching this report. Thank you all for joining us today. We look forward to a rich and informative discussion.



Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Welcome to this online discussion!

This is a written live chat. We'll work through the three questions set out above over the course of the hour. Please add your comments, ideas and examples in the text box at the top of the page or by clicking on "reply" under a specific comment you are responding to. Please add links or attachment that you think would be useful.

I am delighted that we are joined by a great panel to help us explore this topic. I will ask each of them to introduce themselves briefly before we get going.


(Zahid Torres-Rahman) #12

Thanks Ketan - can you share a link so that people can find out more?

Ketan patel said:



(Zahid Torres-Rahman) #13

Ok - let's go into the first question:

Q1. What is the business and development case for increased UN-business engagement?


(Titilola Adisa) #14

2016 should be a year in which businesses identify issues affecting their businesses and take action by forming alliances, advocating and lobbing for a change in policy on the issues for gender equality and business growth .


(Ketan patel) #15



(Giovanni Di Placido) #16

Hi Everyone

I´m Giovanni Di Placido Research and Strategy Director of BBVA Microfinance Foundation. The institution is non-profit, with the mission of driving sustainable and inclusive economic and social development for disadvantaged people in society, with Responsible Productive Finance.

The BBVA Microfinance Foundation is developing and consolidating a group of sustainable microfinance regulated entities in Latin America, with a majority stake in all of them. Since its official launching, the Foundation has consolidated a group of eight financial institutions in seven different countries: Colombia, Peru, Chile, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Argentina and Panama. With a network of 500 branches and total headcount of 8,000 employees, it is providing financial services to more than 1.7 million low income entrepreneurs, and has granted more than $ 7 billion in accumulated loans since 2008.

It is a pleasure to be here in this online discussion with a topic that inspires to this group of people who are connected, that believes in the need to build a better world.


(Jeff Geipel) #17

Thanks Paloma. I'd love to hear a bit more about how your organization is approaching promoting business contributions to the SDGs, as a strategy. Hope we'll get into that over the next hour!

Paloma Duran said:

Dear all, I'm Paloma Duran, Director of the SDG Fund, I want to thank Business fight poverty and all the members of the private Sector Advisory Group who participated in the process of launching this report. Thank you all for joining us today. We look forward to a rich and informative discussion.



Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Welcome to this online discussion!

This is a written live chat. We'll work through the three questions set out above over the course of the hour. Please add your comments, ideas and examples in the text box at the top of the page or by clicking on "reply" under a specific comment you are responding to. Please add links or attachment that you think would be useful.

I am delighted that we are joined by a great panel to help us explore this topic. I will ask each of them to introduce themselves briefly before we get going.


(Richard Hardyment) #18

I'd be interested in what the panel think about the current level of awareness amongst businesses on the SDGs. Do enough companies know about the opportunity? When we published our own research on this last year (From My World to Our World: What the SDGs mean for business), we found many companies knew about them - but weren't clear what action they could take. Does the panel see that changing? How can progress be made faster?


(Ketan patel) #19



(Giovanni Di Placido) #20

The SDGs provide a comprehensive framework for individual and collective action. The agenda it`s universal inclusive and ambitious, that makes attractive to get into it, but at the same time challenging. The SDGs are ambitious and demand equal ambition in using the current flows of official development assistance and all available resources to attract, leverage and mobilize resources in investments of all kinds, public and private, national and global. The SDGs have opened new opportunities for businesses to shift in the achievement of development goals. They also offer a unique opportunity for development actors to be strategic about their collaboration with the private sector, so it´s important to manage expectations, believe that there is a significant premium on the business reputation of being involved in doing something to contribute to the SDGs agenda. The private sector is playing an increasing role in financing goods, services and infrastructure and the multilateral development banks must be committed to engaging differently with private sector partners on a wide range of interventions, including connecting investors with opportunities, helping countries make investments more attractive, and building local financial markets.

For example, we believe, that financial inclusion is essential in order to reduce vulnerability and achieve more inclusive economic growth. It is fundamental for anyone wanting to begin an activity or expand an existing one, to smooth consumption, to create assets and mitigate risk. Financial exclusion is an obvious obstacle to development and therefore for the SDGs goals. Increasing financial inclusion for individual help for example to SDG´s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10. But expanding the financial inclusion requires a well-coordinated effort among different stakeholders.

The SDGs are more ambitious than the MDGs, embracing the view that development needs to be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable, to do it, need all kinds of supports.