Summit to urge businesses to focus on sustainability


The Global Compact Network of Australia (GCNA) is set to host the Making Global Goals Local Business – Australia summit from 11-12 May 2021 with the aim of inspiring urgent action from the broader business community to support the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The summit comes on the back of recent studies indicating that investing in the SDGs will provide approximately US$12 trillion in opportunities and savings according to the United Nations, and that Australia’s private sector in Australia play a key role in bringing these opportunities to life.

With the country in the midst of a post-COVID recovery phase, the UN haS stressed that sustainability must remain a crucial cornerstone, with reviewing and adapting business practice key to achieving a better and more sustainable future for all.

“Businesses need to incorporate efforts to rebuild in a way that is equitable, inclusive, and sustainable for all, while taking into consideration how they can address inequalities while also managing the challenges of climate change,” United Nations Global Compact CEO and Executive Director, Sanda Ojiambo, one of the speakers at the summit, said. “Sustainability can be profitable and, with less than 10 years to achieve the SDGs, it is important for business to act now.”

GNCA Executive Director Kylie Porter highlighted the fact that global conversations have shifted and elevated focus on environmental, social and governance issues since 2020.

“This provides a ripe opportunity to invest in futureproofing our business practices, and in turn our economies,” Porter said. “The 17 goals outlined in the SDGs highlight the significant commitment required for global, and specifically local businesses to review the way that they operate and align business objectives with responsible and sustainable practice.

“Australian businesses not only have an opportunity, but also a responsibility, to reflect on their existing practices and partnerships, and establish strategies that will protect their ongoing investments,” Porter added. “We are actioning the MGGLB locally in order to create a space of ideation to ensure the resilience of local economies, local job security and local export abilities. Through collaboration, we can establish a best practice that future proofs Australian business capabilities in line with SDGs.”

The forum will discuss how responsible business practices can create new market opportunities and accelerate action to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Through panel discussions, break out groups and keynote speeches via the in-person and virtual event, this event also offers key networking opportunities with local and global leaders from business, government, civil society and academia.