By: Peter Bakker, President & CEO, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Steve Cahillane, Chairman & CEO, Kellogg Company
With just over 4,000 days until the end of 2030, we must move quickly and collaboratively to achieve the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are “of critical importance for humanity and the planet.” 4,000 days means 4,000 opportunities, creating no excuse for avoiding this responsibility or not achieving the Goals. However, we urgently need to scale-up global partnerships to make it happen, as no one organization can achieve these ambitious Goals alone.
Business has a critical role to play in the realization of these ambitions as a source of finance, an engine of economic growth and employment, and a driver of innovation. The SDGs also provide a framework to support business in managing risks and identifying potentially historic market opportunities.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and Kellogg Company are all-in to make businesses’ shared SDG ambitions and responsibility a reality.
Yesterday, Kellogg launched its next-generation Kellogg’s® Better Days global commitment, taking its corporate responsibility work and impact to the next level. By the end of 2030, Kellogg aims to drive positive change for 3 billion people by focusing on the interconnected issues of food security, climate and wellbeing. While Kellogg is committed to making significant contributions to several SDGs, this work ladders up to focus on SDG2 – Zero Hunger.
In the past 10 years alone, Kellogg has supported 329,000 farmers, reduced greenhouse gas emissions to the equivalent of taking 317 million miles off the road, and provided 3 billion servings of food to people in need.
WBCSD works together with over 200 leading businesses to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. WBCSD projects range from financing social impact to reforming the food system for sustainability and health (FReSH) to Vision 2050, mapping out the transformative changes necessary to allow over 9 billion people to live well, within the boundaries of the planet, by mid-century. All of this work is aimed at driving SDG progress at scale through WBCSD’s network of companies and their supply chains.
Our organizations are making progress. But we know our efforts alone are not enough. Millions of farmers around the world continue to struggle. CO2 emissions continue to climb. And more than 820 million people still face a future of food insecurity brought on by our growing population, climate vulnerability and malnutrition.
Kellogg has certainly set ambitious goals and is forging strong collaborations around the world − with colleagues, supplier partners, customers, government leaders, NGOs, people who enjoy its foods and others − to help achieve them. For example, the company works with WBCSD and others on FReSH initiatives to help transform the global food system. Our collaboration with WBCSD also enables Kellogg to support the CocoaCloud, a critical weather tracking tool in West Africa to help cocoa farmers make climate-smart agriculture decisions.
Other leading companies, including WBCSD members, are doing similar important work. It’s a good start; but it won’t be enough to successfully address the 17 UN SDGs in just over 4,000 days.
That’s why we, together, are calling on all companies and their employees to mobilize, to do all they can so people can live well and within the limits of our planet.
To achieve this, we must scale up private-sector efforts. We must partner with the scientific community to identify areas where business can have the greatest impact. We must internalize the SDG agenda, foster opportunities for collaboration and peer learning, and provide a platform for business to interact with intergovernmental discussions at the UN-level. And we must bring together all aspects of civil society in developed and developing countries.
Working together, we will make a difference. Please join us.
More information on WBCSD can be found here. More information on Kellogg’s® Better Days can be found in Creating Better Days, the company’s 2018/2019 Corporate Responsibility Report and on its website.