The Business and Sustainable Development Commission released a report on Monday that showed a few key development goals could potentially make companies $12 trillion in business savings and revenue gains by 2030 and create 380 million jobs in the process. The group, which includes global business and finance leaders, said businesses were likely to face more pressure to become “responsible social actor[s]”.
Members of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission include chief executives of multinational firms, academics, environmentalists, leaders of trade unions and philanthropists. The group was launched at last years’ World Economic Forum in Davos, to encourage businesses to pave the way for poverty reduction and sustainable development.
The report stressed the role businesses have in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. These goals aim to end poverty and protect the planet. Other goals, 17 in total, target issues like climate, clean water, gender equality and economic inequality. According to the report, “Achieving the global goals opens up an economic prize of at least $12 trillion by 2030 for the private sector and potentially 2-3 times more.” This could also be achieved by acting in the areas energy, cities, agriculture, and health.
The report also said that the $12 trillion would be equal to a tenth of the forecasted global economic output, while the developing world would see almost 90 percent of the new jobs.
The report urged a rebuilding of social contract. One of the key initial steps it suggested was paying taxes transparently. It also advocated reducing food waste and pricing the pollution caused by carbon trading. This step alone could be worth around $405 billion.
Goals like these do not come without their own price–it is estimated that these goals, together with the deadline of 2030, will require $2.4 trillion in annual investment. This is especially true in infrastructure.
The Business and Sustainable Development Commission recommended that this investment amount comes from “innovative financing” from the public and private sources.