Join the global search for change agents who are advancing the SDGs in their business from the bottom up.

Apply or nominate by October 23, 2020!

As part of the 2020 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers program, the Global Compact Network USA (GCNUSA) is searching for professionals who are committed to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Through their own company or by mobilizing other businesses, SDG Pioneers help advance one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals while also contributing to business success.

The GCNUSA will award the 2020 Global Compact Network USA SDG Pioneer at the local level. The selected individual will then have the opportunity to participate in the final search of global SDG Pioneers to be recognized during the 2020 UN General Assembly in September in New York.

Why apply or nominate someone?

Who can apply?

Selection process


Submit an application


SDG Ambition is an accelerator initiative that aims to challenge and support participating companies of the UN Global Compact in setting ambitious corporate targets and accelerating integration of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into core business management. SDG Ambition enables companies to move beyond incremental progress and step-up transformative change – unlocking business value, building business resilience, and enabling long-term growth.

The need for SDG Ambition today is clear. The world is not delivering progress towards the SDGs at the pace and scale needed. While it is still possible to shift the world towards a 1.5°C trajectory and achieve the SDGs by 2030, it will take urgent, scalable and multi-stakeholder action to dramatically accelerate progress. Companies must take a clear stand and demonstrate bold leadership to transform business models and economies so they become more just and inclusive – leaving no one behind. This is our starting line as we launch SDG Ambition.

Led by the UN Global Compact in partnership with SAP and Accenture, SDG Ambition will empower and equip participating companies of the UN Global Compact to develop and implement innovative business strategies that significantly increase their positive impact on the SDGs. Through the Global Compact Local Networks in 60+ countries, participating companies will assess current performance, identify risk areas, discover new opportunities across business units and functions and take ambitious business action towards achieving the SDGs.

Join the Network USA accelerator to be amongst the US cohort contributing to global SDG Ambition. There is no charge to join the Network USA accelerator if your company is a participant of the Network. Onboarding starts in October 2020 and workshops begin in January 2021 and continue until July 2021. Apply on the main UN Global Compact website.



The UN Global Compact invites companies to join SDG Ambition. In order to take part, companies are required to beparticipants of the UN Global Compact and to meet the following criteria:

  • Currently engaged with a Global Compact Local Network in your region or willing to join (In-country programme)
  • Committed to strengthening corporate target setting and action to increase progress on the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Willing to appoint two representatives to participate in programme activities and events and an executive-level “Ambassador” to follow programme developments, provide support and participate in high-level events


  • How to strategically prioritize actions that will accelerate your company’s contribution to the 2030 Agenda.
  • How to set targets aligned with absolute benchmarks that today may seem aspirational but are critical to spearhead the transformation of economies and societies.
  • How to hardwire SDG-related business goals and outcomes into core processes and management of business, to materially.


  • An understanding of baseline impacts across the business in creating a comprehensive sustainability strategy.
  • The ability to achieve ambitious goals aimed at galvanizing business action with what is actually required to achieve the SDGs.
  • An overview of how to integrate and mainstream ambitious sustainability goals across business units by pioneering a performance integration approach that utilizes enabling technologies.
  • An opportunity to communicate and track progress over time aligned.+


Q: What activities does the SDG Ambition accelerator include?

The accelerator programme consists of up to six in-country capacity-building workshops with peers and experts to help companies set, manage and track ambitious targets to advance progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. The workshops are informed by the research and deliverables published as part of the SDG Ambition programme and designed by Global Compact Local Networks to recognize and respond to different country contexts. They will be organized around the following themes:

1) Understanding Baseline Impact: What is SDG Ambition and what are the SDG business benchmarks?

Outcome: Understanding the essential actions and strategic prioritization required to support a comprehensive sustainability strategy

2) Prioritization & Goalsetting: How might a company increase its ambition?

Outcome: Establishing & identifying ambitious goals within organization

3) Integration & Enabling Technologies: How will the targets be built into the core business?

Outcome: Defining responsibilities of goals across organization & use of technology to track and manage progress

4) Beyond the six-month accelerator program:

Outcome: Committing and tracking progress over time aligned with theUN Global Compact’s Communication on Progress

Q: What is the duration of the program?

Company registration will begin in July 2020. On-boarding activities will start in October 2020 and will be available on-demand. The workshops will start in January and will conclude in July 2021. A detailed schedule of activities in the USA will be released in the coming months.

Q: Who from our company should participate in the programme? Are there eligibility criteria that we should be aware of?

All participating companies are asked to nominate two representatives to actively participate in the programme on behalf of the company. This includes attending SDG Ambition workshops/events and coordinating with colleagues across the organization to advance SDG Ambition objectives. In order to derive full value from our participation in the initiative each company is strongly encouraged to consider nominating two representatives to engage in the work on the initiative. One representative responsible for prioritization and goal setting (i.e. from Sustainability/Strategy Depts) and one representative with responsibility for overseeing systems to track and manage performance against organizational goals (Information Technology Dept, M&E etc). In addition to the SDG Ambition representatives, all participating companies are requested to nominate a top-level “Champion” to follow SDG Ambition developments, provide support to the company representatives as needed, and represent the company at high-level events that are part of or related to SDG Ambition. The SDG Ambition Ambassador should have a direct line of communication to the CEO (e.g., Member of the C-Suite or Board). The company’s CEO may also decide to take on the role of SDG Ambition Ambassador.

Q: Is there an extra cost for my company to participate?

There is no extra cost for US-headquartered companies committed to and in good standing with the UN Global Compact. However, we do welcome sponsorship inquiries for the Network USA accelerator.

Q: My Company is just getting started on our journey to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Is SDG Ambition an appropriate programme for us to participate in?

The SDG Ambition programme starts by helping companies to strategically prioritize based on an inclusive understanding of positive and negative impacts across the value chain and operations. A series of up to six in-country workshops will help participating companies set concrete sustainability targets aligned with the programme’s SDG business benchmarks but unique to their company context and performance status. While participating companies are encouraged to be ambitious, the programme emphasizes continuous progress.

Q: My company does not currently have corporate targets in place to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Are we required to set a target in order to participate?

No. The purpose of SDG Ambition is to help companies set and meet ambitious targets to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Companies need not have targets in place in order to participate. Through SDG Ambition, we aim to provide participating companies with the research and knowledge needed to confidently set corporate targets aligned with the SDG business benchmarks and integrate these targets within core business operations.

Q: My company already has targets in place to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Is SDG Ambition an appropriate programme for us to participate in?

Yes. Companies that already have targets in place will benefit from engaging with experts and engaging in peer-to-peer learning. In addition to uncovering strategies to fast-track progress toward existing targets, companies may be inspired to raise the ambition of their targets to better align with the Global Goals and stakeholder expectations. Participating in SDG Ambition also provides a platform for leading companies to share their experiences and showcase progress made.

Q: Who are the primary partners for SDG Ambition?

SDG Ambition is an initiative of the UN Global Compact developed in partnership with Accenture and SAP. Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than40 industries and all business functions — underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network — Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 505,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives.

SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best:77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables our customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of440,000+ customers in 180+ countries, 21,000+ partners, 101,150+ employees, and thought leaders SAP helps the world run better and improves people’s lives.