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CASE 2: UN GLOBAL COPACT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

UN Global Compact and Sustainable Development Goals


Alfredo Beltran, Blerina Berisha, Ruta Boghani, Jack Hawkins, Bach Tran
University of Texas at Dallas

CASE 2: UN GLOBAL COPACT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Introduction

Our world is not a perfect place by any means. Because of this, we as a society are
constantly looking for ways to better ourselves in social, economic, and environmental ways.
The United Nations (UN) agrees with the need for betterment and has come up with a list of
sustainable development goals (SDGs) known as the Global Compact. This Compact adds onto
the already existing millennium development goals that were established in 2001. This new list is
made up of 17 goals, all of which aim for a better world. These goals include no poverty, zero
hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and
sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry innovation
and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible
consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace and justice
strong institutions, and lastly partnership for the goals. Countries around the world adopted this
Compact on September 25, 2015, and efforts towards these goals were said to be started January
of 2016. The UN hopes to accomplish these goals by 2030 at the latest. In our paper we will go
into more depth on each of these goals.

CASE 2: UN GLOBAL COPACT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

1. No Poverty
Poverty has many different faces to many different people in all over the world. Poverty
is hunger; poverty is homeless; poverty is not having a job; poverty is not being able to get an
education. The UN goal is to end the poverty in all its forms everywhere. UN wants to invite
companies to join them in the fight to end poverty. Business can apply innovative and creatively
to product and service in order to better serve communities affected by poverty. UN encourages
local business to increase proportion of product to develop and emerge economic, also create job
opportunities and raise income for people who live in area with high rate of poverty. Moreover,
allocating research, development budget and build resilience helps suppliers and retailers reduce
risk of exposure and vulnerability in emerging economic. According the World Bank Data, share
of the world population living with less than $1.90 a day keep decreasing from 2010 to 2015
(from 16% to 9.6%).
2. Zero Hunger
The goal focus on ending hunger is to have food security, improve nutrition, and promote
sustainable agriculture. Hunger and malnourishment result because of individuals, who are less
effective, likely to have diseases, and unable to improve their lifestyles. About eight million
people in developing countries, experience this. Business has a huge role for providing valid
food safety and sustainable agriculture through the use of farmers, producers, traders, retailers,
and consumers. The UN is involved by working with governments, businesses, and societies to
encourage policies, management, and actions to improve this issue. There are five key points the
UN is focused towards, which include sustainable food system, rural poverty, loss and waste of
the food, access to enough food and healthy diets, and end of malnutrition. People are still
starving due to insignificant harvesting practices, environmental destruction, and waste. Hunger

CASE 2: UN GLOBAL COPACT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

effects health, the economy, education, and social development. However, to achieve zero
hunger, an estimated $267 billion per year on average is needed to end it by 2030. To help make
changes in your life, you need to protect the ecosystem, fight through climate changes, support
the farmers and local businesses, and don't waste food.
3. Good Health and Well-Being
The purpose is to ensure healthy lives and to promote universal well-being to sustainable
development. There is progress done by increasing access to clean water, sanitation, and
reducing diseases (malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS). There needs to be more investments to develop low
cost processes and products for middle and low-income countries. For example, improvements
in working conditions, and providing families with healthcare services and insurance will help.
Those in locations with high disaster risks develop disaster risk mitigation and prepare plans like
emergency, first-air, and rescue skills. This way, they provide these people with physical and
other supports after these events occur. The goal is to have many targets by 2030 but a few
include, reducing the global mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births, ending
outbreaks of communicable diseases, and substantiality reducing the number of deaths and
illnesses from dangerous chemicals, air/water/soil pollution, and contamination.
4. Quality Education
Education is the most important thing that leads people to this age and day, and unable to
get well education create poverty. Investing in education is essential to building a skilled
workforce for future and improving the economic growth. UN Global Compact has joined with a
number of partners to advance education around the world like UNESCO, UNICEF, and UN
Special Envoy for Global Education in order to enhance inclusive quality education and promote
lifelong learning opportunities for everybody. They provide training to component and raw

CASE 2: UN GLOBAL COPACT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

material suppliers to increase productivity and sustainability. For instance, Dangote, a Nigerian
manufacturing conglomerate creates their own academy program, which provide technical and
management training for their employee and potential employee. After the first academy opened
in 2010, about 550 students graduated and gained employment within the group. This company
is collaborating with a German consortium to implement German model of Dual Vocational
Education System at Dangote Academy. Investment in education expands business opportunities,
creating new markets and customer bases. Additionally, Promoting and investing in university
and vocational STEM education (i.e. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
ensure access to more skilled workforce which meet future business in countries of operation
(data analysis, product designers, engineers). In 2014, Airbus Group launched a partner program
with 22 countries in 12 countries to put their degree courses to the future requirements in
aerospace industry. They worked closely with universities to building the Groups competencies
portfolio, promoting the brand, and widening the diversity workforce. More than 119,000
students with relevance skill will have chance to access their professional career. Airbus Group
and UNESCO opened a global idea competition named Fly Your Ideas to challenge student in
innovating the future aviation. A more educated workforce leads to better wages and more
disposable income for consumer spending. When people have money, they will spend more, and
demand increase makes providing increase as well.
5. Gender Equality
The United Nations is trying to achieve gender equality by empowering women and girls.
Since women and girls represent half of the population inn the world the UN is trying to tap into
that potential by pushing for empowerment. The UNs goal is to get as many women as possible
in business and in managerial positions. They plan on implementing this by adapting

CASE 2: UN GLOBAL COPACT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

manufacturing plant facilities, process, and the culture in order to increase recruitment for
women. Another area they are working on is increasing women-owned businesses in the
manufacturing supply chain. The UN believes that with these tactics it can push the world to
achieve gender equality. Companies like DBL Group, Tata Steel, Volkswagen AG, and Xerox
have already started implementing programs to help empower women and get them involved in
their companies.
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
Establishes availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for everyone.
This problem affects 1.8 billion people globally who access water that is contaminated.
Approximately 2.4 billion of the people lack basic sanitation services. This arises major causes
of death. Therefore, the right use of water and sanitation is the key to good health and sustainable
development. Managing the water leads to better food production and reserves water for the
ecosystem. The cost to fix this from 2015-2030 is $28.4 billion per year. If the problem isnt
improved, then it will be costly for the people and economy due to deaths from diarrheal
diseases. If there is no structure and management then people will continue to die. Therefore, to
resolve this situation there needs to be advances in water research and development, increased
awareness, a reduction in water consumption, improved water treatment, integrated water
recycling, and more access to community water in order to have a sustainable future.
7. Affordable and Clean Energy
The UN is trying to take steps towards sustainable development by ensuring that there is
access to affordable and clean energy for every nation. The plan is to develop energy
infrastructure and technologies that make renewable energy a more economic proposition. Most
companies see renewable energy is as getting in the way of their manufacturing process. The UN

CASE 2: UN GLOBAL COPACT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

believes that if renewable energy looks more attractive to investors it will become the new way
of manufacturing. As clean energy becomes more and more popular we see a shift in the way
companies are manufacturing. Weve even seen companies like Royal Phillips investing in
communities in Africa by creating community light centers.
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
The first question with this goal is how to define decent work? Decent work can be
defined as productive work that can give a fair wage and a fair living. In simpler terms, this
means that the work being done needs to be work that you can see results from, and that the
employee earns a wage that they can live on. Economic growth is a much simpler term to define.
It simply means growing the economy in smaller, less developed nations. The UN hopes to
accomplish this by increasing local sourcing and manufacturing in second and third world
countries, promote higher standards of health and safety in manufacturing plants, and by
investing in technology to reduce human error and accidents. Automotive titan Ford has already
begun to implement a training program to increase safety in their supply chain.
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
The ninth goal in the Global Compact has to do with building resilient infrastructure,
promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and sparking innovation. A specific
measure of this goal would be to develop an alternative to the traditional concrete and concrete
products and find better ways to use concrete by-products. This ties in with the overall Global
Compact because it hits on the social, economic, and environmental front. One example of a
company taking initiative in this goal is ITOCHU. They have been exporting blast furnace slag

CASE 2: UN GLOBAL COPACT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

for over twenty years now, allowing other companies to use this iron and steel manufacturing byproduct as an eco-friendly alternative to concrete.
10. Reduce Inequalities
Reducing inequalities not just in the work place, but all over the world has been a goal for
the UN for a while now. However, in this case their focus is on the inequalities in the work place.
The UN wishes to create opportunities for lower paid workers to develop their skills and have the
opportunity for a higher paying job. Also, they hope to see everyone make a living wage, which
is defined as a healthy income to live properly off of. Lastly, the UN hopes for all companies to
adopt equal opportunity policies to prevent discrimination of any kind. The company Cemex has
been providing their employees living wages for years while also protecting their labor rights in
a safe workplace. This is just one example of a company who has already taken a step in the right
direction.
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
The UN hopes to make all cities and human settlements, notice it is not explicitly cities,
inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The three biggest key points that make up this goal
include developing low-cost construction materials to address housing needs everywhere,
develop and market more sustainable transportation, and collaborate with governments and
companies to bring greater connectivity and safety to urban communities. OSRAM, a fully
owned subsidiary of Siemens, has already begun a project to develop new technologies to
expand access of affordable and sustainable energy for developing countries.
12. Responsible Consumption and Production

CASE 2: UN GLOBAL COPACT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Responsible Consumption and Production is the U.Ns goal to promote and push for
supply chains around the globe to be more efficient and clean. This not only focuses on the
supply chain for the creation of products and services but also the products themselves. The U.N
main focus for this goal is to make the Industry be cleaner, greener, and more efficient while
moving away from using fossil fuels and inefficient materials in their manufacturing processes.
Furthermore, companies that have lead the charge in this category have strove to be more
efficient by increasing their percentage by which they recycle material and products they have
either discarded or not used as well in their manufacturing processes. One example of what the
U.N is looking for from the private sector is a little known company called Hyundai , who has
focused on trying to recycle its plastic and rubber at a 85% rate and has actually reached 95%
actual rate on it. By doing so it has reduced its cost by reusing these materials for use in other car
parts while reducing waste. Hyundais innovation is an example of the U.N program of Global
Protocol and Packaging Sustainability 2.0 effects and what it is striving for.
Another big point for this goal is that the U.N wants companies and governments to focus
on reducing their carbon footprint and keep it in mind when they are creating budgets and plans
to produce their current products and new products they might have in the pipeline. Another
great example of this is a company called Apollo Tyres. They have found ways in which they
reduce the use of fossil fuels and its by-products to create its tires by using silica instead. This
yielded more fuel efficient tires and has attracted big companies to use them like Ford Motor
Company. Another program of the U.N predesignated to help companies like Apollo Tyres do
what they do. One big program is Eco-Synergy. This program helps companies by providing
analytics to help companies see the resources they are using and how they are affecting the
ecosystem around that those resources.

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13. Climate Action


This goals title is vague in the sense that it is very broad. The U.N wants to fight climate
change in a set of steps instead of huge radical changes. Once again it is pushing for this to be
started by the private sector. One of the big ways it wants to fight climate change is to have
companies aware of what climate change will pose to their business. As more and more of the
environment is wasted the more scarce resources will become and lead to very high prices for
products making it hard for small to intermediate and even bigger firms to keep up demand and
keep customers buying their products. The biggest U.N program that has been in place since
before this goal is the GHG Protocol or the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. This program helps
business and government leaders see and manage their greenhouse emissions. On top of this is
also focuses on developing countries to try to help them compete and promote their business but
while being responsible about the environment and keeping it in mind when making decisions.
14. Life below Water
The ocean has been source of food and many other resources for our civilization. This
U.N goal strives to clean it up and keep pollutants out of it. The damage done to ecosystems
under water has been extreme but further destruction can be avoided. The U.N wants more
companies to focus on the removal of plastics from the oceans around the world. Currently it is
estimated that last year around eight million metric tons of our plastic entered the oceans in
addition to the tons already in the ocean. This can affects ecosystems and can affect businesses
as well. These plastics can interfere in resources gathering and for fisherman it leads to plastic
inside the fish they catch and try to sell. One program provided by the U.N to help business and
world leaders achieve this goal is the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool or IBAT.
This program helps leaders identify the risk of the environment they do business in. In addition

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to this, the program checks to see if these companies and governments are doing their part to
safeguard any species and environments in which they are doing business in
15. Life on Land
Although the goal mentions life on land it focuses more on the land itself. This U.N goal
focuses on maintaining Terrestrial Ecosystems and deforestation. This goal wants reduce soil
degradation by having manufacturing companies and agricultural-based companies focus on
maintaining the soil in which we not only live on but grow our crops on. Although they is mainly
focuses on this specific area of business like food growing and production it is a huge industry
that is vital to our survival. Furthermore, the U.N wants to for companies and governments to use
woods from certified sustainable sources and not push into new forest and further deforest. A
company leading the charge on this front is Caterpillar. They have focused on restoring natural
infrastructure like forest, wetlands and coastal landscapes. These helps protect coastal shores and
cities from natural disasters that might strike the area. Another company doing this is Tata Steel
who used bioengineering practices to save some of its mines. They were trying to reduce their
runoff since it has created a barren wasteland. It has then changes it to a green dump and has
incorporated this to its other mines around the world. To help other companies achieve what Tata
Steel and Caterpillar did, the U.N has some programs and tools to help them. There two big ones
that help business the leaders the most, the first one is Biodiversity Risk & Opportunity
Assessment or BROA. This helps business leaders of agricultural companies identify the risk
of their practices on their land and work with local business leaders. The second tool is the
Eco4Biz. This is a decision tree that helps managers decide which area they might need to
focus on more, the ecosystem or biodiversity when deciding what needs to be preserved the
most.

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16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions


Violent conflict and instability breaks market and societies. In 2014, since violent
conflict, global economic lose over $9.8 trillion. The UN goal is 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. Business has power in bringing
people together across national and culture life through creating relationship based on shared
sense of identity. UN Global Compact has worked for over 15 years to engage the companies in
these areas. They develop useful resource; convened multi-stakeholder dialogues and establishes
innovative partnership in order to help business reduce corporate risk and ensure their capacity
having long, lasting positive effect on the UN goal, peace. They design and implement a robust
anti-bribery and corruption compliance program. Furthermore, they also make a good
contribution in demonstrating ethical leadership by publishing a statement on human rights
consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and sign up to the ten
principles of the UN Global Compact.
17. Partnerships for the Goals
The UN wants to establish partnerships with the private sector in order to meet
sustainable development objectives. The private sector has to take immediate action in order for
these goals to be met. Foreign investment is especially needed in developing countries in order
for them to increase their economic prosperity. Investments in sustainable energy, infrastructure,
and technological communications are sectors that must be focused on. Nations must also
promote business coalitions and partnerships to work with policy makers in order to pass
environmental regulations; this will be the step toward sustainable energy. Each sector when

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vitalized can increase the wealth and prosperity of developing countries. In order for the UN
objectives to be fulfilled, the UN must strengthen the link between corporate and societal values.
Problems with the Sustainable Developments 17 Goals
The goals that have been adopted by 193 nations that are part of the United Nations are
all goals that help and strive to make the world the best possible place it can be for us and future
generations. The world is constantly is changing and more difficult challenges arise for business
and world leaders , these goals will help us be on the right path to handle these situations. But
not all is well with the 17 goals. There are various problems and details that can be noticed if one
dive deeper into how these are being carried implemented and measured.
No way to enforce the goals
The first problem or hurdle the U.N faces in trying to achieve these goals is that it itself
has no way of enforcing countries to try to achieve these goals on their own if they are not doing
so already. The 17 goals were merely adopted by these countries. Although, if the countries did
adopt them one would assume they will try to get them done by the due date they have imposed
on themselves. Regardless of this wishful thinking, smaller, developing countries might not see
these goals as beneficial. One developing country might not care about the environment as longs
as its business grows and helps their population live better and improve their economy.
Third World Countries cannot do it themselves
This follows up and leads the second point. Smaller, poorer , developing , third world
countries do not have the infrastructure, big companies, big business to help and push to
accomplish these goals when these countries and business are small and simply trying to survive.
Although the SDGs goal 17 focus on partnerships between businesses to try to push the private
sector to achieve these goals, it doesnt guarantee these companies will work together. From

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what has been seen, companies benefit from each other as they improve their sustainability. In
addition some of the goals are even meant to help smaller countries improve their way of life and
they need help in these social and economic factors before even trying to achieve other goals.
No clear way to benchmark the progress of the 17 goals
The 17 goals are a very new undertaking by the U.N member nations being only adopted
as of today just one year ago. So far there isnt a concrete way to track the progress of these
goals how each country is doing or what companies are doing within said countries to try to help
achieve these goals. Per the U.N SDGs committees they will use four levels of reporting:
national, regional, global, and thematic. It is stated that the nation level will be most important
because they will be using and relying on the National Statistical Offices (NSO). Each country
usually has one of these offices that helps create, monitor and analyze statistics for their
respective country. But how will the private sector (big companies, corporations, and business)
be measured. How will the U.N know that companies are striving for these goals and which ones
are lacking considering that these goals will help and improve international business?
Considering that the U.N wants the private sector to be the front runner in the pursuit of these
goals, one would think they have a way to measure them.
Recommendations
Although the Global Compact has only been around for roughly half a year, we believe
that the UN will need to make some changes in order to accomplish their goals. The biggest and
most apparent problem they need to tackle is their lack of clear benchmarks for these goals. The
only suggestion that we can offer is to devise a schedule and clear milestones for each of these
goals to compare companies to. Including this recommendation of installing benchmarks to
measure their goals on, all other suggestions or recommendations we could make have already

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been brought to the UNs attention and they have publicly said that they are still working on
finding solutions to these problems.
Conclusion
The UN created 17 goals for sustainable development to create a better world for us and
our children. Three key elements need to be harmonized in order for this to be achieved:
economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection. For this to be successful, it
calls for all countries to come together and promote prosperity while also protecting our planet.

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Work Cited
1. 17 Goals to Transform Our World | UN Global Compact. (n.d.). Retrieved September 24, 2016,
from https://www.unglobalcompact.org/what-is-gc/our-work/sustainabledevelopment/sdgs/17-global-goals

2. SDGMatrix-Manufacturing [PDF]. (n.d.). United Nation Global Compact & KMPG.


https://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/issues_doc/development/SDGMatrixManufacturing.pdf

3. De la Mothe, E., Espey, J., & Schmidt-Traub, G. (2015). Measuring Progress on the SDGs: Multilevel Reporting [PDF] SDSN.
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/6464102-Measuring Progress on
the SDGs Multi-level Reporting.pdf

4. Van Sebille, E. (2016, January 12). How much plastic is there in the ocean? Retrieved
September 22, 2016, from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/how-much-plastic-isthere-in-the-ocean/

5. Roser, M. (1945). World poverty. Retrieved September 27, 2016, from


https://ourworldindata.org/world-poverty/

6. Scott, R. (2015, September 9). 17 Ways Your company can help the United Nations achieve its
global development goals by 2030. Retrieved September 26, 2016, from
http://www.forbes.com/sites/causeintegration/2015/09/09/17-ways-your-company-canhelp-the-united-nations-achieve-its-global-development-goals-by-2030/#41409af031e5