Athens, 2 March 2017: WBCSD’s Greek Global Network partner SEVBCSD and CSR Hellas co-organized a conference under the heading Commitment for sustainable development – 17 global goals for a better common future.

Building on the recognition of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as fundamental game-changers for how we do business in today’s world, the conference aimed to delve into questions such as what tools and good practices already exist – and need to be developed – for companies looking to align their strategies with the SDGs. Furthermore, the panels focused on what type of public and corporate partnerships need to be formed to ensure effective SDG implantation globally and locally.

The event was structured into three sessions;

  • “Agenda 2030 – setting the frame”,
  • “The business perspective” and
  • “The power of collaboration”.

Filippo Veglio, WBCSD’s Managing Director for Social Capital, provided a global perspective about the relevance of the SDGs for business. While highlighting the critical role that business has to play with regard to the realization of the SDGs, he outlined the business implications of the SDGs, across the spectrum of risk, opportunity, governance and the need for collaboration. In doing so, he drew on the landmark research of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission which asserts that achieving the SDGs could be worth at least US$12 trillion a year in market value by 2030.

His remarks were preceded by insights from Ole Lund Hansen from the UN Global Compact, with whom WBCSD has collaborated towards developing the SDG Compass. For his part, Pedro Ortun of the European Commission centered on the European strategy and policies that were recently announced by the Commission for the 2030 Agenda. Hans Daems, Chairman of CSR Europe, built upon this regional outlook, by covering CSR Europe’s strategy for actively contributing to this global effort – including through alignment and collaboration with its national partners (NPOs).

From a national perspective, Nikos Trantas, Head of Coordination at the General Secretariat of Greek Governance, presented the Government’s objectives for contributing to the SDGs as well as to the process envisioned for drawing up the National Plan.

The Chairman of SEVBCSD, Yanni Paniaras, highlighted the necessity for broad dialogue and cooperation between all stakeholders, and shared insights from the Greek business community on its sustainability ambitions and commitments going forward. Mr. Paniaras announced that SEVBCSD will support the National Plan, by elaborating a study that will reveal the priorities and suggest the necessary interventions, in order to maximize the contribution of the Greek business community to its success.

Executives of WBCSD members Hitachi, Philips, TITAN and Unilever featured as speakers throughout the day, highlighting what the SDGs will entail for their companies from a strategic, operational and collaborative perspective. Together, they shared numerous examples of good practices and actionable solutions for integrating the SDGs into the core of their business models.

The conference was recorded, and can be accessed online here.

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