In an open letter to the Prime Minister published today, more than 80 leading companies have united in a call on the Government to demonstrate its commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting taking place on 17-20 January, businesses say they are ready to work with the Government to help deliver the SDGs in the UK as well as internationally, but that the Government must create a framework to help businesses play their part.

The letter is published on the day that the Business and Sustainable Development Commission publishes its own flagship report on the business case for achieving sustainable and inclusive growth, and quantifying the value of private sector opportunities aligned with the SDGs.

Lucy Symons, Director of Public Policy at Open Energi commented “The SDGs set an ambitious and purposeful agenda for transitioning to a fairer, more sustainable world. Ensuring everyone has access to clean, affordable and secure energy is fundamental to long-term prosperity, and we’re proud our technology is helping to transform the global energy system. To go further, faster, it’s vital Government works with businesses to deliver the SDGs.”

The letter was co-ordinated by UK Stakeholders in Sustainable Development (UKSSD), a non-profit network of businesses, NGOs and academics working to advance sustainable development and help facilitate the delivery of the SDGs in the UK. The UKSSD steering group comprises Bioregional, Good Energy, ICAEW, Neighbourly,  Stakeholder Forum, UN Global Compact Network UK and WWF-UK.

Tanya Steele, Chief Executive for WWF-UK added “It’s good business to be fit for the future and consider long-term prosperity alongside the well-being of generations to come. Our current business models too often plunder and pollute the world’s natural resources with devastating consequences for our planet. From increasingly severe weather patterns to the dramatic bleaching of coral reefs and the destruction of rainforests, the need to protect our planet and its people is more urgent than ever before.

“By developing more sustainably, the UK can play an important international leadership role – and UK businesses are natural leaders.  This letter to the Prime Minister is a clear signal that businesses stand ready to play their part. It is time for the Government to heed this call and set out a strong plan that Ministers can translate into action. If governments and businesses work together to achieve the SDGs, they have the power to transform our world and deliver a future in which people and nature thrive.”

Further details of the UN Sustainable Development Goals can be found here