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Development Co-operation Report 2016

The Sustainable Development Goals as Business Opportunities

image of Development Co-operation Report 2016

The face of development has changed, with diverse stakeholders involved – and implicated – in what are more and more seen as global and interlinked concerns. At the same time, there is an urgent need to mobilise unprecedented resources to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The private sector can be a powerful promotor of sustainable development. Companies provide jobs, infrastructure, innovation and social services, among others. Increasingly, investments in developing countries – even in the least developed countries – are seen as business opportunities, despite the risks involved. The public sector can leverage the private sector contribution, helping to manage risk and providing insights into effective policy and practice. Yet in order to set the right incentives, a better understanding is needed of the enabling factors, as well as the constraints, for businesses and investors interested in addressing sustainable development challenges.

The Development Co-operation Report 2016 explores the potential and challenges of investing in developing countries, in particular through social impact investment, blended finance and foreign direct investment. The report provides guidance on responsible business conduct and outlines the challenges in mobilising and measuring private finance to achieve the SDGs.  Throughout the report, practical examples illustrate how business is already promoting sustainable development and inclusive growth in developing countries. Part II of the report showcases the profiles and performance of development co-operation providers, and presents DAC statistics on official and private resource flows.  

 

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Promoting sustainable development through responsible business conduct

Investment can help raise standards of living through job creation, skills and technology development, and distribution of wealth. Achieving these impacts, however, depends on the quality of the investment as much as the quantity. Irresponsible business practices not only erode the investment and business environment; they can result in economic loss, environmental degradation, poor labour conditions, and in the most serious of cases, injury and loss of human life. Responsible business conduct principles and standards emphasise the integration of environmental and social concerns within core business operations. This chapter discusses how responsible business conduct can directly contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, while also being good for business. It examines the main global guidelines, principles and standards, as well as the role of governments.Challenge piece by Marco Lambertini, WWF International. Opinion pieces by Peter Bakker, World Business Council for Sustainable Development; Sharan Burrow, International Trade Union Confederation.

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