In 2015, all 193 member states of the United Nations adopted a plan for achieving a better future for all — a total of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs characterize the sustainability debate at national and international levels. As a global goals system, the SDGs provide a common language and a compass for the challenges of the 21st century. 

The business community can play an enormous role in tackling these global challenges. Companies must increasingly leverage their resources to advance the SDGs.


SDG Ambition

Despite progress made in many areas, we are not on track to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. In fact, the United Nations Global Compact Progress Report 2020 reveals only 39 per cent of companies surveyed believe they have targets that are sufficiently ambitious to meet the SDGs by 2030. The need for increased business ambition is clear.

Therefore, the UN Global Compact has launched SDG Ambition. Led by the UN Global Compact in partnership with SAP and Accenture, SDG Ambition is an accelerator initiative that aims to challenge and support participating companies of the UN Global Compact in moving beyond incremental progress, step-up transformative change and accelerating integration of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into core business management.

Get Involved


Agenda 2030 and the SDGs for innovation and business success

The webinar below presents approaches and instruments that support companies and organisations to leverage the SDGs for innovation and improvement of business practices towards an inclusive and responsible economy.

pdfPresentation slides


Further Initiatives and Tools

To support companies in implementing the SDGs, the UN Global Compact has for example developed:

SDG Industry Matrix

The SDG Industry Matrix is a joint collaboration between the UN Global Compact and KPMG. The matrix highlights industry-specific examples and ideas for corporate action related to the SDGs. Presented in a series of publications, each matrix presents bold pursuits and decisions made by diverse companies for each SDG. The SDG Industry Matrices are intended to inspire greater business pursuit of opportunities which create value for society, as well as for shareholders. This could be through sparking new innovative approaches, prompting companies to replicate successful activities in new markets, and catalysing new collaborations and increasing participation in existing collaborations.

Global Platforms and Partnerships for SDG Implementation

For over a decade, the UN Global Compact has developed a comprehensive portfolio that supports business engagement in areas that support SDGs:

  • Issue platforms and programmes: The UN Global Compact together with UN partners hosts a number of global issue platforms – including Caring for Climate, the CEO Water Mandate, theWomen’s Empowerment Principles, Children’s Rights and Business PrinciplesBusiness for Peace – and other issue areas in the environmental, social and governance realms that drive individual and collective business action related to specific sustainable development challenges.
  • Leadership platform – Global Compact LEAD: The work taking place within Global Compact LEAD is helping to accelerate the full integration of business risk and opportunities related to sustainable development into all core corporate functions and business units, including top management and Boards of Directors. LEAD companies have played a key role in the UN Global Compact’s post-2015 consultations and many are taking steps to align their own corporate sustainability goals with the future SDGs.
  • UN-Business Partnerships: The UN Global Compact helps corporate participants and Local Networks navigate entry points to working with the UN through events, relationship-building initiatives and tools like the UN Global Compact Business Partnership Hub, which helps stakeholders to find partners.
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