[RECAP] Responsible Business Forum 2017
This year’s Responsible Business Forum was held from November 21 to 23 in Singapore. No less than 124 speakers and 900 participants attended the three-day event with the sole purpose of accelerating the outcome of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unlike its predecessor, SDGs got the attention of government, civil society, and most importantly businesses.
The Responsible Business Forum started with the opening plenary addresses by UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner, and the Singapore Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Masagos Zulkufli. The plenary addresses remind us that this would be the first time in which the UN has a development plan that does not distinguish between the North and South divide. The minister also added that climate change is a shared global responsibility.
The conference continued with an opening discussion panel on business leadership in accelerating SDG action. Some key highlights:
- Uncommon collaboration is needed to accelerate SDG. Not only with government or society, but also with your own competitor because we cannot make the change alone.
- We must operate on 5Cs: good for the community, country, climate, customer, then only it will be good for the company.
The event was then separated into several workshops, each based on the SDG. ANGIN attended the workshop on SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). Below are some key recommendations gathered from the workshop to accelerate the SDG for businesses
SDG 1 (No Poverty)
- Providing SMEs access to markets through online platforms
- Inclusive measures to capture multiple dimensions of poverty
- Build linkages as each initiative impacts several SDGs
SDG 5 (Gender Equality)
- Digital economy and technology as accelerators for progress
- Stronger leadership at higher level for gender equality
- Inclusive work practices and positive business cultures
SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities)
- Supply chain of businesses to support the disadvantaged
- Set baseline and measure effect against corporate values
- Bring multi-sectors and ministries together
SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production)
- Educate civil society through youth and government engagement
- Consumer awareness about product footprint through labelling
- Design and ownership modification to extend product life
Through the workshops and conference, ANGIN becomes more and more positive that all 17 SDGs will be achieved well ahead before 2030; and we welcome the notion of uncommon collaboration to achieve those SDGs!