SDG Summit USA
As part of the United Nations Global Compact Uniting Business Live, UN Global Compact Network USA hosted SDG Summit USA on September 20. This event brought together US companies who actively support the UN Secretary General's call to align their strategies and operations with universal principles and showcase actions that they are taking to increase ambition, innovation, and implement the SDGs into their core operations.
Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General; Executive Director and CEO, UN Global Compact, delivered the opening keynote. She emphasized the need for companies to integrate sustainability throughout their operations:
"Businesses have become increasingly more trusted on the global stage; therefore, expectations for companies to do more for society have increased. Businesses are seen and expected to take a positive leadership role in all elements. We have also seen a shift in how the private sector views sustainability and its role in securing a company's future. The UN Global Compact did a survey last year, showing that companies are becoming more interested in sustainability as one of the critical drivers for responsible business and strengthening their brand perception.”
After Ms. Sanda Ojiambo's introductory remarks, three panels focused on SDG Ambition, SDG Innovation, and SDG Implementation were held. The SDG Ambition panel, moderated by Sebastian Steinhaeuser, Chief Strategy Officer, SAP, discussed the importance of setting ambitious corporate targets aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. The panel on SDG Innovation, moderated by Richard Pearl, Senior Advisor, UN Global Compact Network USA, showcased actions American companies are taking to integrate the SDGs into their core operations and examined best practices in the innovation process. The final panel, moderated by Kristen Siemen, Chief Sustainability Officer, General Motors, concentrated on discussing how organizations can achieve tangible outcomes from their sustainability strategy. In addition, during this event, Network USA recognized its 2022 SDG Pioneer finalists, including Network USA's 2022 winner, Dianne Heiler, Senior Director of Packaging and Sustainability, Repligen.
The Summit closed with keynote speeches from Solitaire Townsend, Author and Co-Founder, Futerra, and Clinton Moloney, North American Sustainability Services & Strategy Lead, Accenture. Each spoke of the critical role the business community plays in forging a sustainable future and implored all in the room to consolidate around our shared values to accomplish the SDGs and create a more sustainable world.
For more information about 2022 SDG Summit USA, please contact Claudia Herbert Colfer.