Integrating SDGs into business operations

The eight multinational corporations of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC) – AkzoNobel, DSM, FrieslandCampina, Heineken, KLM, Philips, Shell, and Unilever – advocate the integration of the UN Sustainable Development Goals into long-term business operations. The CEOs of the DSGC and of many other Dutch companies convened in the Malietoren (Malie Tower) of VNO-NCW in The Hague on 1 September.

Hugo von Meijenfeldt, National Coordinator of Global Goals, is of the opinion that all of the 17 United Nation goals should be pursued by all companies in all sectors and industries. DSM CEO Feijke Sijbesma agrees that individual companies have a role to play. He feels that companies and their managers should adopt ‘purpose’ and a more long-term view in their actions. The CEOs were delighted to learn that many Dutch companies have already enshrined one or several Global Goals in their own corporate strategy and sustainability policy.

On 1 September, the entrepreneurs offered the following recommendations:

  • Integration of the Global Goals into the business operations of every company
  • Inclusion of the Global Goals and the underlying themes in all educational programmes
  • Collaboration in partnerships
  • Pricing of CO2 emissions and other negative externalities
  • Development of new financial instruments to fund large transitions with a long payback period, so-called ‘patient capital’
  • A transparent governance structure for long-term investments.