Businesses can unlock $12 trillion via key development goals: Davos study

Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:53am EST
 
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By Sujata Rao

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Companies could unlock at least $12 trillion in market opportunities by 2030 and create up to 380 million jobs by implementing a few key development goals, according to a study by a group including global business and finance leaders.

The report, released on Monday by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, said pressure on business to become a "responsible social actor" was likely to grow.

The group was launched at the Davos 2016 World Economic Forum to encourage businesses to take the lead in poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Members include the chief executives of multinational firms such as Edelman, Pearson, Investec, Merck, Safaricom, Abraaj, Alibaba and Aviva, alongside academics, environmentalists, trade union leaders and philanthropists.

The study said businesses have a key role to play in achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to end poverty and protect the planet.

"Achieving the global goals opens up an economic prize of at least $12 trillion by 2030 for the private sector and potentially 2-3 times more," the study said, adding this could be achieved by action in just four areas - energy, cities, agriculture and health.

The $12 trillion - made up of business savings and revenue gains - would be equal to a tenth of forecast global economic output while 90 percent of the new jobs would be in the developing world, the study said.

Mark Malloch-Brown, chair of the Commission, said the opportunities included measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions even though U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has sometimes dismissed man-made climate change as a hoax.   Continued...

 
People leave the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich