Why bother with sustainability if companies fail to consider Sustainable Development Goal 16?

The future of sustainability is focused around the new global Sustainable Development Goals launched in September 2015. Momentously, Goal 16 calls governments, business and civil society to:

“Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

Without peaceful, inclusive societies, sustainable development has no ‘enabling environment’. Yet, discussion of ‘peace and stability’ with many corporate representatives is often received with a quiet, “not really our responsibility” or “we don’t oTGG_Icon_Color_18perate in conflict zones”. But as part of a community, or part of a social ‘system’, business can work with other actors to support their peace efforts. Business contributions to peace are crucial for conflict-affected countries, as well as countries not seen as
‘conflict zones’ but which experience instability and low-level violence. Indeed business support for peace is important in all countries, and can include for example, supporting measures aimed at inter-cultural/faith/sect understanding and countering terrorism. If companies ignore how they impact (both positively and negatively) on a country’s conflict(s), and how they can proactively help prevent or mitigate violent conflict, what is the point of sustainable development when big business is such a key global player? And ultimately, peace means prosperity for both communities and business.  Continue reading

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UK launch of Beyond Governments

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Beyond Governments
Making Collective Governance Work – Lessons from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

Eddie Rich and Jonas Moberg
June 2015, Greenleaf Publishing

With a Foreword by Clare Short, former Secretary of State for International Development

In a world characterised by globalisation, governments increasingly find themselves unable to govern. Corruption is everywhere, natural resources are being exploited, the environment damaged, markets distorted, and the fight against poverty is often ineffective. Certain challenges cannot be addressed by governments alone. Increasingly, collective governance “beyond governments” is seen as part of the solution, with state and non-state actors working together.

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