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Forward Faster Initiative to Accelerate Private Sector Action to Reach SDGs
news update

Forward Faster Initiative to Accelerate Private Sector Action to Reach SDGs

September 18, 2023

The United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, launched Forward Faster today to accelerate private sector action at the pace and scale needed to deliver on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and meet the 2030 Agenda. Forward Faster calls on business leaders everywhere to take measurable, credible and ambitious action in five areas — gender equality, climate action, living wage, water resilience and finance & investment — that have the power to accelerate progress across all SDGs where the private sector can collectively make the biggest, fastest impact by 2030.

The SDG Progress Report released earlier this year by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, showed that just 15 percent of the Sustainable Development Goal targets are on track, progress on 48 percent is weak and insufficient and progress has stalled or gone into reverse on 37 percent of the SDGs.

Speaking about the new initiative, Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact said:

“Now more than ever companies are taking action on sustainability, but there's still not enough progress towards meeting the 2030 Agenda. Companies must be more ambitious and put words into action. Forward Faster is here to guide companies on where they can make the biggest, fastest impact for 2030.”

Companies who sign up to the initiative, will be asked to commit to nine targets — at least one of the selected targets from the five action areas in:

Gender Equality

  • Equal representation, participation and leadership across all levels of management by 2030.
  • Equal pay for work of equal value by 2030.

Climate Action

  • Set corporate science-based net-zero emissions reductions targets in line with a 1.5°C pathway, with the goal of halving global emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2050 at the latest.
  • Contribute to a just transition by taking concrete actions that address social impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in partnership with actors such as workers, unions, communities and suppliers.

Living Wage

  • 100 percent of employees across the organization earn a living wage by 2030.
  • Establish a joint action plan(s) with contractors, supply chain partners and other key stakeholders to work towards achieving living wages and/or living incomes with measurable and time-bound milestones.

Water Resilience

  • Build water resilience across global operations and supply chains and join hands to achieve collective positive water impact in at least 100 vulnerable prioritized water basins by 2030.

Finance & Investment

  • Align corporate investment — to the fullest extent possible — with SDG policies and strategies, and set targets, track and report on the amount and proportion of such SDG investments.
  • More than 130 companies are already taking action amongst the five action areas, and the list of companies committed to Forward Faster is expected to increase significantly. More than 20 organizations agreed to serve as supporters across the different action areas of the initiative.

To learn more about Forward Faster please visit

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