Better Business, Better World Report

On April 6, 2016, the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings Institution in Washington, DC co-hosted a panel discussion along with the United Nations Foundation on the role of the private sector in global sustainable development, with opening remarks from Lord Mark Malloch-Brown. Lord Malloch-Brown chairs the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, which recently released the ‘Better Business, Better World’ report in Davos. The report makes the case that, not only do the SDGs need the private sector, but business needs the SDGs too. Specifically, the report argues that sustainable business models could open economic opportunities worth up to $12 trillion and increase employment in the developing world by up to 380 million jobs by 2030.

The Better Business, Better World report was led by the commissioners, and supported by: the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The 37 Commission members include leaders from business, finance, civil society, labour, and international organisations..

Key highlights from the report: 

Food and agriculture. The global food system faces unprecedented challenges. There are 800 million undernourished people and 2 billion suffering from micronutrient deficiencies41; crop yields are growing much more slowly than world population, which means that up to 220 million additional hectares of cropland could be needed by 2030 to meet expected demand for food, feed and fuel42; and major environmental stresses, including water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, unsustainable fertiliser use and climate-driven extreme weather, all threaten supply.

The 14 largest opportunities in 2030 identified for companies that develop business models addressing these and further challenges facing food and agriculture have an estimated potential value of over US$2.3 trillion at current prices. These opportunities include:

  • Reducing food waste in the value chain (worth US$155-405 billion a year by 2030). Today, 20-30 percent of food is wasted, much of it in post-harvest losses that are easy to prevent with technologies like small metal silos or plastic crates.43 In India and Rwanda, such technologies have reduced losses by over 60 percent – and increased smallholder farmers’ incomes by more than 30 percent.44
  • Low income food markets (US$155-265 billion). The world’s-poorest people spend as much as 60 percent of their household income on food – yet undernutrition and malnutrition remain widespread.47 Business can address this challenge by investing in supply chains and food innovation to give those on very low incomes access to food products that are more nutritious. As poverty decreases in line with Global Goal 2, so the 800 million people now undernourished will have more to spend on food.

Resources:

Full length report

Report Executive Summary

More about the Commission

GAIN’s Executive Director, Lawrence Haddad’s Blog Post

Better Business, Better World Report

On April 6, 2016, the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings Institution in Washington, DC co-hosted a panel discussion along with the United Nations Foundation on the role of the private sector in global sustainable development, with opening remarks from Lord Mark Malloch-Brown. Lord Malloch-Brown chairs the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, which recently released the ‘Better Business, Better World’ report in Davos. The report makes the case that, not only do the SDGs need the private sector, but business needs the SDGs too. Specifically, the report argues that sustainable business models could open economic opportunities worth up to $12 trillion and increase employment in the developing world by up to 380 million jobs by 2030.

The Better Business, Better World report was led by the commissioners, and supported by: the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The 37 Commission members include leaders from business, finance, civil society, labour, and international organisations..

Key highlights from the report: 

Food and agriculture. The global food system faces unprecedented challenges. There are 800 million undernourished people and 2 billion suffering from micronutrient deficiencies41; crop yields are growing much more slowly than world population, which means that up to 220 million additional hectares of cropland could be needed by 2030 to meet expected demand for food, feed and fuel42; and major environmental stresses, including water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, unsustainable fertiliser use and climate-driven extreme weather, all threaten supply.

The 14 largest opportunities in 2030 identified for companies that develop business models addressing these and further challenges facing food and agriculture have an estimated potential value of over US$2.3 trillion at current prices. These opportunities include:

  • Reducing food waste in the value chain (worth US$155-405 billion a year by 2030). Today, 20-30 percent of food is wasted, much of it in post-harvest losses that are easy to prevent with technologies like small metal silos or plastic crates.43 In India and Rwanda, such technologies have reduced losses by over 60 percent – and increased smallholder farmers’ incomes by more than 30 percent.44
  • Low income food markets (US$155-265 billion). The world’s-poorest people spend as much as 60 percent of their household income on food – yet undernutrition and malnutrition remain widespread.47 Business can address this challenge by investing in supply chains and food innovation to give those on very low incomes access to food products that are more nutritious. As poverty decreases in line with Global Goal 2, so the 800 million people now undernourished will have more to spend on food.

Resources:

Full length report

Report Executive Summary

More about the Commission

GAIN’s Executive Director, Lawrence Haddad’s Blog Post

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