Meeting Closes with Call by Leaders to Work Together to Put World on Sustainable Path

Published
27 Sep 2018
2018
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Alem Tedeneke, Media Lead SDGs, Public Engagement, Tel.: +1 646 204 9191, Email: ated@weforum.org

· The state of the world is getting better, but only for some

· The purpose of companies pursuing sustainability is not about giving back, it is about responsibility

· If the world is ready for change and to take action, there are proven models,

· Meet the 100 coalitions accelerating climate action and sustainable development http://wef.ch/coalitions

· More information at www.wef.ch/SDI18 and follow the conversation at #wefimpact

New York, 25 September 2018 – The World Economic Form’s second Sustainable Development Impact Summit closed with a rousing call by Jerry Brown Jr, Governor of California, for leaders around the world pull together, collaborate and to muster the will and imagination to truly put the world on a sustainable path. “It’s all hands on deck. We have a challenge; we are not on a sustainable path,” he said. According to Brown, the state of the world is getting better but only for some.

Feike Sybesma, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM, noted that the purpose of companies pursing sustainability is not about giving back, it is about responsibility. “Those with power and impact are obliged because impact and responsibility must go together,” he said. “We work all here [at the summit] for the next generation.” Sybesma said that tremendous progress has been made, but there is a lot to be done if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. “There is no challenge too big for us if we work together.”

Bruktawit Tigabu, Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director, Whiz Kids Workshop, said if the world is ready for change and to take action there are proven models. “Public-private partnerships are critical for every country, but it is important to incorporate local voices and to believe in local solutions,” she said.

Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations, Development Programme (UNDP), said that when leaders come to the UN they have a tendency to describe work in times of challenges and risks. Then at the summit, people step into the world of technology and start-ups. Both realities are true. “The SDGs is not a glass half full or empty, it is an entirely different glass,” he said. He warned that time is running out. “This is where the private sector is critical and has to step up.”

Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, spoke of the summit’s “two amazing days”. He said: “The Forum is the world’s biggest multistakeholder platform that accelerates action and scale for sustainability and to combat climate change.”

The World Economic Forum, the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation, was hosting its second Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York on 24-25 September to drive solutions for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Agreement on climate change.

Announcements and highlights from sessions over the two days included:

· Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, who spoke at the summit on Monday, reiterated his decision to invest 2% of the city’s pension portfolio in green investment by 2021. He urged all other participants, from business and government, to do the same to contribute to the fight against climate change.

· The World Economic Forum connected 100 world-leading coalitions to raise ambition and convert commitments into action on climate change and sustainable development. The coalitions present at the summit included partnerships focused on closing the skills and gender gap, fighting disease, broadening the benefits of trade and protecting the planet’s dwindling biodiversity

· Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States, 1993-2001; Chairman and Co-Founder, Generation Investment Management, in his video interview, said: “We face an historic challenge without any precedent because there is now a collision between human civilization and the ecological system of our planet on which our lives and our civilization depends. Everyone can be a part of the solution.”

· The High-Level Group on Humanitarian Investing, co-chaired by Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum, Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer, World Bank, and Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross, will create channels for humanitarian and development agencies to collaborate with the corporate and investor communities. As we witness a growing spectrum of humanitarian needs, this recognizes how patient investment can bring hope and improve people’s lives in fragile situations.

· The World Economic Forum is mobilizing a new partnership to stop the growth in global plastic pollution by 2025. With support and over $10 million total funding from the governments of Canada and the UK, as well as The Coca-Cola Company, Pepsi-Cola International and Dow Chemical, the Global Plastic Action Partnership will collaborate with government and stakeholders in Indonesia and other coastal economies who are battling waste. It aims to show how business, communities and government can redesign the global “take-make-dispose” economy as a circular one – thus beating plastic pollution. It taps into the networks of PACE (a circular economy platform) and The Friends of Ocean Action (a network of ocean leaders).

· The World Economic Forum, through its System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Production and the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India, agreed to expand current efforts on Accelerating Sustainable Production and work towards the creation of a public-private platform for industry and government to collectively drive the implementation of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies for sustainable manufacturing.

The World Economic Forum launched a shared Platform for Good Digital Identity today to bring together existing and new digital identity solutions that are inclusive, trustworthy, safe and sustainable. Coinciding with the launch, it published a white paper, Identity in a Digital World, with contributions from a range of stakeholders from business, public sector and civil society. The Omidyar Network committed a three-year grant to support the platform. An initial set of collaborative projects announced on the platform include the good identity dialogues led by the Omidyar Network, the Mission Billion Innovation Challenge from the World Bank, and the Identity for Good Accelerator from Evernym and Sovrin Foundation.

· Earlier this week, the World Economic Forum co-hosted the TB Innovation Summit with the Stop TB Partnership, Johnson & Johnson, UN Foundation and the Global Fund. Eight major commitments were announced from Becton, Dickinson, and Co., Cepheid, India Health Fund, Johnson & Johnson, Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting Co., PATH, Stop TB Partnership, and SureAdhere Mobile Technology. Tuberculosis, particularly drug-resistant tuberculosis, will continue to be a key issue for the System Initiative on Global Health and Healthcare.

Following the launch of the Global Battery Alliance in 2017, the Alliance developed a major programme of public-private action, established a global secretariat and triggered seed funding as well as in-kind contributions for delivery. Summit outcomes include a collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), which supports the Global Battery Alliance in its efforts for a sustainable and innovative value chain for lithium. This and other partnerships in Latin America, Africa, and Europe will be commenced later this year.

Members and Partners of the World Economic Forum who presented report findings at the summit included:

· AARP and FP Analytics presented the Aging Readiness and Competitiveness Report, which looks at how 10 small, innovative economies, including Chile, Lebanon, Mauritius, New Zealand, Singapore and the Netherlands, are leading their regions in responding to ageing societies

· The Organisation for Economic Development (OECD), IEEE Standards Association and the DQ Institute announced a new platform for digital coordination, the Coalition for Digital Intelligence (CDI). The coalition will serve as a coordinating platform for organizations implementing a common set of standards and definitions for digital intelligence across the technology and education sectors, allowing digital intelligence to be better tracked and understood.

· The Defeat-NCD Partnership, a public-private-people partnership to help low and lower-middle-income countries to progress towards universal health coverage for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) was officially launched, sponsored and hosted by the Governments of Denmark and Tanzania and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). Several Partners of the Forum announced their support for the partnership, including the Danish government and the European Commission.

· The Universal health coverage UHC2030 Partnership, housed at the World Bank and WHO, launched its call for expression of interest to join the UHC2030 Private Sector Constituency:

· Zurich Insurance Group has launched a report on Managing the impacts of climate change: risk management responses, which provides risk management tools, and outlines approaches and best practices to help businesses respond to the growing threat of climate change. “Companies must develop a climate resilience adaptation strategy and act on it now," said Alison Martin, Zurich Insurance’s Group Chief Risk Officer.

Finally, the World Economic Forum committed to meet the highest standards of sustainability in staging the Sustainable Development Impact Summit.

· The summit was hosted in an LEED-certified Gold venue. Sustainable catering elements included: the sourcing of 80% of ingredients within a 100-miles radius; the donation of leftover food; an 80% vegetarian offering relying on vegetable proteins; the use of plastic-free and compostable food and beverage containers; no bottled water; and Table for Two healthy menus supporting the provision of school meals in regions in need.

· Sustainable decoration materials included the use of FSC-certified cardboard and wood for signage and furniture, and 100% LED lighting.

· All CO2 emissions from World Economic Forum staff air travel have been compensated via carbon offsetting projects, contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals in the US, China and Zimbabwe.

Twenty years ago, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was founded representing the grassroots voice. Since then, more than 350 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year have been nominated. These are individuals who are role models in driving social innovation in entrepreneurial ways. They have been integrated into a Forum community and are actively engaged in positively impacting the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Girls’ education, sexual violence, prison reform, financial inclusion and disaster relief are issues where the 2018 awardees have developed cost-effective, scalable solutions.

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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.