In 2015, the Member States of the United Nations (UN) adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Devised as an agenda for global sustainable development, the SDGs reflect the commitment of stakeholders to eradicate poverty, respect human rights, empower women and girls, and bring prosperity and peace, while tackling climate change and working to preserve oceans and forests.

However, in its 2020 SDG report, five years after the adoption of the SDGs, the UN warned that the global response has not been sufficiently ambitious, despite progress in some key areas. There is therefore an urgent need to increase the pace of action from all stakeholders if the goal of achieving the SDGs by 2030 is to be met.

In the meantime, the world is increasingly facing global societal challenges (climate change, health, demographics, cybersecurity, etc.) that necessitate both a public impetus and large-scale private investment. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the urgency of tackling these issues and stresses the role of the private sector in overcoming these global societal challenges.

The Industrial Policy for the Sustainable Development Goals publication, supported by the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), aims to support governments’ efforts to foster the private sector’s contribution to the SDGs.

This book investigates the contribution of firms to the SDGs, particularly through their core business, taking into account intersectoral linkages and global value chains, using novel techniques and data sources. Despite the fact that the private sector has the potential to contribute to a wide range of SDGs, and that many firms find it economically viable to develop sustainable products and services, firms still face significant hurdles in their sustainability transition. Based on this new evidence, this book provides some recommendations on the design of industrial policies to enhance the contribution of businesses to the SDGs.

The OECD Committee on Industry, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) declassified the content of Industrial Policy for the Sustainable Development Goals: How to Increase the Private Sector’s Contributions to the SDGs on 7 June 2021. The OECD Secretariat prepared the report for publication.

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