PROFIT AND PURPOSE – AN (IM)PERFECT MATCH?

What is business for? What role does and should business play in society? To what extent should it perform a public purpose alongside its commercial activities? How should the aspirations of humanity, as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals, be reflected in the objectives of business?

The rules for companies have changed. The focus is increasingly on their sustainable, social, and ecological impacts. The strategic orientation toward the so-called corporate purpose is decisive for profitable growth in the future. This currently results in a large number of questions for businesses: How do you find an inspiring and future-oriented corporate purpose, and how can it be aligned in such a way that it brings profitable growth and social responsibility in concert? The new 2019 edition of the Global Goals Yearbook offers answers to these crucial questions thanks to its consistent orientation toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals and a competent editorial board and author pool.

The driver of development is to a large extent competition for the best minds. But it is not only the human resources departments that are pushing the topic. Experts speak instead of “inclusive capitalism” and urge that all stakeholders be taken along, including boards of management, customers, and even fund managers. Responsible businesses have governance structures that monitor and advise on environmental, social, as well as financial issues. When leaders understand and thrive within the broader social and environmental con- texts in which their businesses operate, it signals to employees, investors, and key stakeholders just how important purpose really is.

TESTIMONIALS

Sheila Bonini, Senior Vice President Private, Sector Engagement at WWF US

Professor Colin Mayer, Management Studies Said Business School, University of Oxford

PROMOTION

The Global Goals Yearbook is presented at various high level events around the world. Examples:

SDG Media Summit 2019  @ United Nations New York

Annual UN Summer Academy (UNSA) @ United Nations Bonn

United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 2019) @ United Nations Office Nairobi

Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations System (UN JIU) & World Association for Sustainable Development (WASD) @ United Nations Geneva, Palais de Nations

PREVIOUS EDITIONS

2018

 Münster/New York 2018: 172 pages, paperback macondo publishing Subscription: 30.00 USD ISBN 13: 978-3-946284-05-5 ISSN-Print: 2365-3396 ISSN-Internet: 2365-340x

Presenting the Global Goals Yearbook 2018, with a Focus on Partnerships for the Goals 

The future of the United Nations is more uncertain now than at any time before. Like his predecessors, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has promised to reform the United Nations. The drivers are two major agreements: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Accord. Both stand for a move away from statal, top-down multilateralism and toward a new form of partnership between the public and private sectors as well as civil society. But how can these new partnerships for the Global Goals look like? This is the main topic of the Global Goals Yearbook 2018, published under the auspices of the macondo foundation.

Our world is truly not sustainable at this time. To make the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development a success story, we need an enormous increase in effort. This cannot happen without help from the private sector. But businesses need a reason to contribute as well as attractive partnerships that are based on win-win constellations.

We have no alternative but to rethink the role that public–private partnerships can play in this effort. That is why United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is calling upon UN entities to strengthen and better align their private-sector engagement. In every change there is a new chance. The Global Goals Yearbook 2018 discusses the many aspects of how private-sector engagement can be improved.

Recommendations are, among other things, to revise multilateralism, partnership models, and processes as well as to invest more in trust, a failure culture, as well as metrics and monitoring. When businesses engage in partnerships for the Goals, this is more than just signing checks. It means inserting the “do good” imperative of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into corporate culture, business cases, innovation cycles, investor relationships, and, of course, the daily management processes and (extra-)financial reporting.

The Yearbook includes arguments from academic and business experts, the World Bank, and the Club of Rome, as well as UN entities, among them UNDP, UNSSC, UNOPS, UN JIU, and UN DESA. A core question concerns financing partnerships.

Sustainable development requires sustainable financing.

UN sources estimate the need for financing the SDGs to be from $4 to 4.5 trillion annually. Current annual investments total about $1.5 trillion. So we are talking about an annual investment gap of $2.5 to $3 trillion. To close this gap, financing from private sources is needed, including from capital markets, institutional investors, and businesses. With private-sector engagement, not only does a new player enter the arena, but also new rules are being applied: “Financing” is a fundamentally different concept than the traditional idea of “funding.” It connects the “return on investment” concept with the SDGs. The question is: How do we combine social benefits with profit?

Good practices.

Corresponding to the idea of learning from role models, the Global Goals Yearbook 2018 includes 39 good practices of corporate participants that showcase different approaches to the implementation of the SDGs.

2017

 Münster/New York 2017: 172 pages, paperback macondo publishing/UN Publications Subscription: 30.00 USD ISBN 13: 978-3-946284-03-1 ISSN-Print: 2365-3396 ISSN-Internet: 2365-340x

Sustainability in Troubled Times – Global Compact International Yearbook 2017

 We live in times of uncertainty and global (dis)order. „Understanding global mega-trends is crucial. We live in times of multiple, evolving and mutually-reinforcing shifts“, says UN Secretary-General António Guterres. He adds: „These dynamics, of geopolitical, demographic, climatic, technological, social and economic nature, enhance threats and opportunities on an unprecedented scale.“ Therefore sustainability in troubled times is the key topic of the Global Compact International Yearbook 2017, edited by macondo publishing.

In the opening essay, Elmer Lenzen, publisher of the Global Compact International Yearbook, takes a critical look at the relationship between democracy and globalization. For decades this combination was a formula for success. Now both are experiencing troubled times. UN Global Compact founding director Georg Kell and Princeton professor Larry Diamond, who are well-known figures in this field, explain some of the reasons why in a profound interview. One reason is that today’s world is becoming more fragmented. So how can sustainability work in these times?

It can work if we focus on the needs of the present without compromising the abilities of the future, says Global Compact Action Platform fellow Richard Roberts, and by utilizing the advantages of tomorrow. But doing the right thing in critical times is also a question of attitude. The entrepreneur Richard Branson and the actor Colin Firth both show in their own ways that sustainability means authenticity.

Other issues are

Post-Paris Climate Accord: What´s next?

The Paris Climate Accord was one of the biggest diplomatic breakthroughs of the United Nations in the last years. It stands for the vision of multilateralism and the ability of the global community to set ambitious goals for itself. Therefore, the direction that the new US administration has taken is irritating, mainly because there is no way back – the global momentum must be continued, as CDP head Paul Simpson explains in his introductory review. Many new trends in financing climate change underpin this. The old fossil-fuels industry is losing ground because renewables have become competitive. Companies can substantially benefit from this, as the new Science Based Targets initiative of the Global Compact and others shows.

The Plastic Pledge

Worldwide plastic pollution is overwhelming our planet. Up to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year – threatening precious ecosystems and endangering human health. But it does not have to be this way. A growing number of companies are pledging to reduce their plastic consumption.

The Sustainable Development Goals in Japan

A critical aspect of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to leave no one behind. Cooperation between governments and the private sector that goes beyond geographical borders is imperative for achieving this goal. The global mission to propel the world a step closer to achieving the SDGs is one that intermittently intertwines business and individuals from various walks of life. However, it seems Japan and her people are too shy to transmit such efforts to the world. As a leader in technological innovation – a critical driving force in achieving the SDGs – Japan has great potential to also be a leader in bringing the world together to move forward with this collective goal. Introducing pieces by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs of Columbia University, and a joint report by IGES and GCNJ, this yearbook is the first attempt to offer an overview of the key players within Japan and the cross-country collaboration necessary for the country to grow into this role.

Corresponding to the idea of mutual learning, the Global Compact International Yearbook includes 37 good practices of corporate participants that showcase different approaches to the implementation of the Ten Principles of the Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

2016

Global Compact International Yearbook 2016 published

The idea of sustainability is based on the certitude that we have planetary boundaries. The WWF vividly illustrates this with “Earth Overshoot Day.” It describes the day of the year on which human demands on natural resources exceed the capacity of the earth to reproduce these resources.

„We need new ways of living that will end the suffering, discrimination and lack of opportunity that define the lives of billions of people around the world, and that drive instability and conflict,“ says Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary General in his note in the new „Global Compact International Yearbook“, edition 2016.

What does this mean for corporate sustainability? Business must fit into planetary boundaries. This probably will not work with traditional business models. That is why we need new, fresh ideas. We need change, even when it happens in a rough, disruptive way, and the earlier the better. When you talk about the Sustainable Development Goals, you have to talk about sustainable innovation. The SDGs are the agenda, innovation is the pathway.

The focus theme of the Global Compact International Yearbook 2016 therefore is sustainable innovation, dividing the topic into the chapters disruption, decarbonization, talents and future markets. This categorization corresponds to this years SDG approach of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Other issues of the yearbook are:

Changemaker

Be the change that you wish to see in the world, Mahatma Ghandi said. In a time of profound political, environmental, and social upheavals, examples are more important than ever. In our category “Changemaker,” we introduce women and men who are making credible contributions to sustainable development. Most of us desire change, but there is only a small group of people who are acting to make that change happen. That makes them exceptional. And we are proud to introduce them through interviews and individual profiles.

With interviews and portraits of

•    Angelina Jolie
•    Alejandro Aravena
•    Navi Radjou
•    Robert Redford
•    Sigourney Weaver
•    Peter Singer
•    Mina Guli
•    Kevin McCloud

Cities of the future

To navigate the big challenges of the next decades, cities must be innovative, flexible, livable, and sustainable. By 2050, seven out of ten people on earth will live in cities. Urban living will be the norm, but life for many of these roughly 6 billion people will be everything else but normal. Water, waste, and transportation problems; the lack of housing, jobs, and security; and access to education, participation, and information will be just some of the challenges.

Future cities will not automatically be romantic, smart, zero-emissions sites. It is rather hard work to make cities places worth living in. on the path, many questions have to be answered: Where will our food come from? How can we overcome gridlock? How can we motivate locals for sustainable lifestyles? Can we create sharing cities? What do green buildings and green neighborhoods look like? Answers to these and other questions are given in our section “City of the Future.”

Good Practices

Corresponding to the idea of mutual learning, the Global Compact International Yearbook includes 29 good practices of corporate participants that showcase different approaches to the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in accordance to the Ten Principles of the Global Compact. The Global Compact International Yearbook is a product of the macondo publishing and United Nation Publications in cooperation with the Global Compact Offices and networks around the world.

2015

The Global Compact International Yearbook is with more than 400,000 readers one of the worlds leading CSR publications. In the new edition Leonardo DiCaprio speaks about business and sustainability. Declares DiCaprio: “We need to change our thinking and our sense of urgency .” Leonardo DiCaprio may be one of the world’s top movie stars, but he would rather be defined and respected more for his work as a committed environmentalist. Over the years, he has personally funded as well as helped to raise tens of millions of dollars for a variety of green-related causes. He believes that his greatest legacy will be the progress he has helped make toward safeguarding the planet against the ravages of global warming, pollution, and species protection.

Other issues are

The state of CSR and 15th anniversary of the UN Global Compact
When the UN Global Compact was founded 15 years ago, globalization was just starting and so was the concept of corporate social responsibility. In fact, many early approaches were about fair global trade. Kofi Annan then came to the point, saying if we fail to make globalization work for all, then it will ultimately not work for anyone. Fifteen years later, this belief of Annan’s is still urgent. But the framework of the UN Global Compact and CSR comprises much more than globalization. It is about complex – sometimes too complicated – issues such as the depletion of planetary resources, global warming, and the understanding that we will have to change our lifestyles to make this one Earth habitable for all.

Private Inves tment and Sustainable Development
Private-sector actors have an inherent interest in seeing sustainable development succeed. As companies, markets, and economies become more global and interdependent, businesses and investors are becoming increasingly aware of the overlap between public and private interests. They realize that their ability to prosper and grow depends on the existence of a prosperous and sustainable society. Conversely, they see that social and income inequality, as well as environmental damage, are already having negative material impacts on supply chains, capital flows, and employee productivity. In this chapter, we highlight the role of private capital in financing the post-2015 sustainability agenda.

Voluntary Sustainability Standards
In today’s globalized world, national standards quickly reach their limits. Therefore, sustainable development needs the support of further partners. One concept is voluntary sustainability standards (VSS), which have progressed rapidly over the last decades. Some are governmental initiatives but most are set up by partners from civil society and responsible business. The standards are voluntary by definition, but once such a standard is adopted, compliance becomes compulsory, turning the standard into a kind of “soft law.” Considering the present global situation, VSS are among the best options we have to foster sustainable development. The following chapter offers profound insights into the evolution and different types of VSS. Implementation by businesses and implications for governance issues are also discussed.

2014

Fighting poverty and global warming are key challenges for mankind. „This year we are laying the groundwork for success in 2015 on three fronts: achieving the Millennium Development Goals, adopting a meaningful new climate agreement, and establishing a new vision for a sustainable future“, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in the 2014 edition of the Global Compact International Yearbook. Edited by macondo publishing the new yearbook offers insights to political as well as sustainability issues.

This years´ focus lies on the Post-2015 Agenda. We discuss the transition from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals. Question are among others: Are the concepts compatible? How does the architecture of a sustainable future look like? And above all: What role does corporate responsibility play in this context?

The second key aspect in our Post-2105 discussion is about measuring the SDGs. In the past indicators have been developed and used in reporting progress toward the MDGs, and now the approach to upcoming SDGs must be systematically developed. This section also includes lessons from innovation management and „big data“.

Climate change is another focus of the yearbook. It counts on very prominent authors like Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Sigmar Gabriel, Vice-Chancellor of the German government and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Other issues are
1. Traceability: How certification brings positive impacts and better traceability to business. Elaborated NGO inputs by Karin Kreider, the Executive Director of the ISEAL Alliance and one of the world’s leading experts on credible certification and eco-labeling, as well as Markus Arbenz, Executive Director of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and Caroline Hickson, Director of Brand, Communications and Strategic Partnerships at Fairtrade International.

2. Mandatory CSR: When CSR discussions started in the late 1960s, early 1970s ethical and moral arguments were the drivers. Since then CSR activities have become more holistic and professional. This becomes a principle-based approach in which business seeks to identify smarter business models, products, and services. Elmer Lenzen illuminates the boder zone between voluntary and mandatory CSR.

2013

The UN Global Compact is the world’s leading platform for corporate sustainability. In describing the future aims of the Global Compact, UN Secretary-General H.E. Ban Ki-moon says: “A growing number of business in all regions recognize the importance of reflecting environmental, social, and economic considerations in their operations and strategies. Now the challenge is to move from incremental process to transformation – in society and markets alike.”

The new 2013 edition of the Global Compact International Yearbook offers proactive and in-depth information on key sustainability issues and focuses on recent developments of stakeholder management such as managing corporate legitimacy, for example. Concomitant to this is the call for a more holistic reporting of companies’ financial and nonfinancial performance, which is expressed in the idea of integrated reporting. Furthermore, this edition highlights the connection between the sustainable development of African societies and the ways of managing and governing their natural wealth. The newest developments concerning the move toward a low-carbon economy are shown in the chapter on climate change, which emphasizes the importance of reducing the output of greenhouse gases.

Corresponding to the idea of mutual learning, the Global Compact International Yearbook includes 43 good practices of corporate participants that showcase different approaches to the implementation of the Ten Principles of the Global Compact. The Global Compact International Yearbook is a product of the macondo media group and United Nation Publications in cooperation with the Global Compact Office in support of the UN Global Compact and the global advancement of corporate sustainability. It contains 196 pages.

2012

With over 8,700 corporate participants and other stakeholders from over 130 countries, the UN Global Compact is the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world. „I hope these diverse expressions of support for the UN’s global mission will inspire many more businesses to follow this path and bring corporate sustainability to true scale“, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in the 2012 edition of the Global Compact International Yearbook. Edited by the German publishing house macondo the new yearbook offers insights to political as well as sustainability issues.

Main issues are United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20 Conference):
Twenty years after the first international Conference on Environment and Development was held there, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) has again taken place in Rio de Janeiro. In our special the authors describe results and observations from the preparatory process, while others comment the outcomes and their expectations. A focus lies on the follow-up of the Rio+20 process where CSR-Manager.org is a new, advanced learning platform.

Strategic Philantrophy:Philanthropy is about donating to charity without expecting a return. Companies have historically contributed to society in this way. Strategic philanthropy, which is a more modern approach, is about directing corporate giving to a cause that is aligned with the core business. Yet in the 21st century, strategic philanthropy does not suffice in providing leadership. There is a growing demand for companies to move beyond strategic philanthropy to modern community partnerships, co-creating solutions to pressing societal and environmental problems by contributing core competencies and truly aiming for impact. In the process, shared value creation for both society and the company is not only desirable for companies, but also to stakeholders.

2011

Over the last several years, the United Nations has become a trailblazer in promoting corporate responsibility. “In the 11 years since its launch, the United Nations Global Compact has been at the forefront of the UN’s effort to make the private sector a critical actor in advancing sustainability,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in the 2011 edition of the Global Compact International Yearbook. Edited by the German publishing house macondo, the new Yearbook offers insights on political as well as sustainability issues.

Exemplary entrepreneurial commitments can foster and create incentives for other companies. To guide companies along this road, they need a blueprint for corporate sustainability. This is the focal topic of the new Global Compact International Yearbook. Guidelines for consumer standards and labels, an analysis of the new ISO 26000 SR Standard, and a debate about the historic changes in the Arab world are other major topics explored. Among this year’s prominent authors are Lord Michael Hastings, NGO activist Sasha Courville, and the former Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Sergei A. Ordzhonikidze.