“Business as usual is not an option,” contends the Business and Sustainable Development Commission in its new report, Better Business, Better World. The report is a call-to-action to business leaders to adopt a “socially focused business model” based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It makes the case that business models that prioritise environmental sustainability and financial inclusion are the most viable for long-term economic growth.
According to the report, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in four sectors—food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, and health and well-being—could open US$12 trillion of market opportunities and create 380 million new jobs by 2030. However, if businesses continue to follow the status quo, the environmental and economic costs will be enormous, and there will likely be a popular backlash against business. Hence, the report urges business leaders to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals in their corporate strategies and to work with sector peers, policy makers, and society to build a financial system that prices carbon, attracts sustainable infrastructure investment, and regains public trust.