The Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development gathered at Sida in May 2015.
Photo: Johanna Hanno
Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development
Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development is a network made up of 20+ companies, selected expert organizations and a Development Finance Institution. The network is coordinated by Sida and has become a forum for valuable knowledge-exchange and a platform for new partnerships, concrete projects and collaborative models for poverty reduction and sustainable development.
The new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) bring together various actors around issues of development and sustainability in a more comprehensive way than ever before. Tomorrow's solutions for poverty reduction are increasingly focused on building partnerships involving states as well as the business sector and civil society.
As part of Sida's evolving and adaptation to a changing world, the agency was part of the creation of the Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development in 2013, a network of more than twenty leading companies and expert organizations that all have a Swedish connection.
The members of the network exchange knowledge and experiences, while they initiate and carry out new cooperation projects. The network is coordinated by Sida but is based on the companies' own leadership and their commitment to the issue of sustainable development.
With the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the network came together in a Joint Commitment, stating how - through core business practices and collaborative efforts - the participating members will contribute to the achievement of these goals, through;
- Reduction of negative impacts on environment and promotion of efficient use of resources
- Creation of jobs with decent conditions
- Fighting corruption and unethical behaviour
The network members consider the promotion of gender equality and equal opportunities for all fundamental to sustainable development. Finally, the use of information technologies, innovation and new forms of financing are seen as key tools in achieving desired outcomes.
Projects within the network include initiatives for vocational training in a number of African countries and a joint project to reduce water and chemical use in the textile industry. The network has also contributed to the negotiations shaping the global development agenda post 2015, with a special focus on anti-corruption and the overall importance of active participation from the business sector for sustainable development. The network gathers at CEO level once a year to assess the work done and set the framework and guidelines for the next fiscal year.
Through Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development, the participating companies and organizations want to show leadership for sustainable development in practice - not least when it comes to partnerships between the public and the private sectors. With the adoption of the new Sustainable Develoment Goals, the network has agreed on a Joint Commitment. This explains how the members will contribute to the achievement of the goals through their respective core businesses. The network also strives to spread this form of cross-sectorial collaboration and inspire other global actors to build similar partnerships, to advance their positions in sustainability and to contribute in practice to the implementation of the new development agenda.
Already, the private sector accounts for most of the investments in the world's low- and middle-income countries. A dedicated business sector that takes long-term responsibility is therefore crucial to the creation of jobs, strengthening of markets and building of sustainable communities.
By initiating and coordinating a network such as the Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development, Sida wants to be a relevant partner for the Swedish business sector and contribute to private investments that make a difference for people living in poverty and vulnerability.
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