“Growing global coalition to boost corporate contribution to SDGs”
While world leaders gathered in New York for the UN General Assembly and the Climate Week, the launch of the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) was announced at the New York Public Library on 21 September.
“Our idea is simple. We turn the SDGs into a corporate competitive sport. We draw up transparent data on performance towards meeting the SDGs, and we rank companies according to how well they are doing. This will motivate a race to the top and is what the proposed World Benchmarking Alliance is all about,” said Aviva CEO Mark Wilson at the launch event of the World Benchmarking Alliance.
Dutch Minister for Aid and Trade, Lilianne Ploumen, recalled that this all started with the vision of one man. Wim Leereveld started the Access to Medicine Index, first published in 2008, to encourage pharmaceutical companies to increase availability and affordability of medication in developing countries. This was soon followed by other initiatives like the Access to Seeds Index, the Access to Nutrition Index and the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark. “The Netherlands has been a proud supporter of these initiatives and will continue to do so. But we need more businesses of all sizes and investors to embrace the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, we welcome the World Benchmarking Alliance and the growing global coalition to back it.” Minister Ploumen called upon not only other countries but also the private sector to provide the financial support for this initiative.
Mark Field, UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office added, “The SDGs cannot be achieved without the firm commitment of the private sector to work with government and civil society to come up with the solutions and investments needed to achieve them. In short, the goal is to boost corporate contribution to the SDGs.”
Also speaking at this event, Gunhild Storndalen of the EAT Foundation: “EAT is proud to be a strategic partner to the WBA consultations and supports the development of metrics and indicators capturing the full range of co-benefits of sustainable and healthy diets. Competition makes us faster, collaboration makes us better. The WBA aims to do both. By ranking companies based on their contribution to the SDGs, competitive benchmarking can be a powerful catalyst for change.”
Read more on the website of the World Benchmarking Alliance