Center Stage Podcast

Integrating the Global Goals into day-to-day business operations

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The United Nations developed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations Conference in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 with the idea of institutionalizing "a set of universal goals that meet the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing our world," according to the United Nations website.

They replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) originating in 2000 that sought to tackle the "indignity of poverty" through a "global movement for free primary education, inspiring countries to invest in their future generations and combatting HIV/AIDS and other treatable diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis."

The sustainable development goals are a bold commitment to finish what was started in both the public sector and the private sector. They can seem like lofty ideas that present an "ideal world" — but the beauty of them is that they're actually achievable, and progress towards them is measurable. 

Peter Bakker, president and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and Tim Mohin, CEO of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), sat down with GreenBiz editorial director Heather Clancy at GreenBiz 19 in Phoenix, Arizona, to talk about how to actually work towards the SDGs by "operationalizing" them as a mission. Their conversation touched on how to avoid greenwashing, what is important in measuring them and the urgency with which businesses must adopt them.

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Technical direction for GreenBiz Center Stage by Isaac Silk.