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‘Gold Standard for the Global Goals’ Helps Track Environmental Initiatives, Including Improved Economic Outcomes

A new certification, Gold Standard for the Global Goals, has been launched to help businesses and investors measure, report and track the full range of benefits they have contributed to by funding climate and development projects around the world. The Gold Standard certification, supported by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other international NGOs, will quantify the progress organizations have made towards the sustainable development global goals (SDGs) set forth from the Business and Sustainable Development Commission and toward the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

But when it comes to corporate environmental initiatives, the global conversation is increasingly expanding beyond companies wanting to move forward with reducing the effects of climate change and proving to be good corporate citizens: organizations are increasingly realizing and even promoting the fact that sustainability involves reducing risk and improving economic outcomes.

The business case for sustainability – and achieving the SDGs – creates at least $12 trillion in opportunities in areas including food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, Elaine Weidman-Grunewald told Forbes. Weidman-Grunewald heads Ericsson’s Sustainability and Public Affairs efforts and is also Head of Ericsson Response, the company’s humanitarian and disaster response program.

Senior government representatives met at the UN this week for the start of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to track progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), two years after they were adopted.

At the Environmental Leader 2017 Conference earlier this summer, one of the major take-aways was that sustainability is increasingly a critical component of many corporate missions. Companies that focus on the so-called triple bottom line — economics, environment and social — are the ones that consistently do well by all standards. Those using such guideposts are outperforming other broader indices and they are also demonstrating that they are living their missions and ingraining their brands among their customers.

“I don’t see any way for this to go backwards,” said Maureen Kline with Pirelli, an Italian tire company, at the conference. “If all the regulations were rolled back, they would still be asking us to become more sustainable. Now it is going down the supply chain and throughout the investor community,” which are led by 401k pension funds and institutional investors, as well as the big banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

 

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