Event to outline reasons why West Midlands businesses should embrace sustainable development goals

Elizabeth Lincoln

Companies in the West Midlands will be challenged this week to tackle inequality, climate change and to end extreme poverty, unlocking $12 trillion in new opportunities in the process.

Business In The Community (BITC) is hosting a high profile event at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Wednesday (11th), designed to show how firms in the region can leverage the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Bosses will be given the opportunity to understand what they are, how other companies are responding to them and how they might be a useful framework for setting sustainability ambitions and targets.

Matt Sparkes (Head of Corporate Responsibility at Linklaters LLP) and Laura Spiers (Head of Sustainability at Interserve) will give their own personal insights into how they are working towards meeting some of the SDGs, whilst BITC’s Elizabeth Lincoln will provide an overview of support available to both small and large businesses keen to embrace them going forward.

“Sustainable Development Goals are increasingly important in the way businesses operate and focus on economic and social development and environmental protection between now and 2030,” explained Vimme Rathour, Corporate Adviser at BITC.

“The Goals cover 17 different areas, including social protection, education, health, affordable clean energy, climate action and job opportunities. This event will help West Midlands businesses begin to understand how they can align their own CSR objectives in line with SDGs.”

She went on to add: “It is estimated that firms who embrace this movement will be in an ideal position to unlock their share of a $12 trillion untapped marketplace and we’re hoping that the event tomorrow could be the first step many take on the journey.

“We are also hearing that there could be legislation coming that will be directly linked to these goals. Now is the perfect time for our businesses to get ahead of the game.”

More than 45 people have already signed up to the event, which is run as part of Business In The Community’s WM Peer Network series.

The Sustainable Development Goals, which has 17 goals and 169 targets, provide the blueprint for action for governments, institutions, civil society and business globally.

It is the most comprehensive call for urgent collective action ever and considerable progress has already been made to address the SDGs and the critical role business has to play in it.

For more information on BITC, visit www.bitc.org.uk