The general secretary of CEOE, Ana Plaza, inaugurated the Global Business Forum on Sustainable Development Goals, in which 200 experts from institutions, business organizations and companies from more than 50 countries participated.
The general secretary of CEOE, Ana Plaza, stressed that this international forum is “a sign of our commitment to the 2030 Agenda” and the firm will to contribute to the achievement of the 17 sustainable development objectives from a business perspective. She also explained how companies can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and what are the conditions that must be met for it; what degree of responsibility can companies assume within the framework of the 2030 Agenda; and, finally, how business organizations can help in the process of implementing the Agenda.
Ana Plaza considered that companies are called to play a crucial role in achieving the objectives. In this regard, she highlighted the management and mobilization capacity of the human, technical and financial resources of the companies, which make them indispensable actors to eradicate poverty in the world and guarantee the sustainable development of our societies. For this reason, she explained that it is crucial to foster institutional and regulatory frameworks that promote the birth, development and expansion of companies. She also stressed that the degree of economic, social and environmental commitment of companies should not imply in any case the assumption of responsibilities that are inherent to the States, nor translate into new regulatory burdens and obstacles that hinder business activity.
Director Involvement Stakeholders of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), Matthias Thorns, said the OIE is the only business association that brings together more than 140 organizations in 150 countries and whose main objective is to defend the interests of the private business sector before the United Nations and its specialized agencies. Thorns also insisted on the importance of maintaining an international dialogue and that the achievement of the SDGs does not fall only on multilateral institutions, national administrations and non-governmental organizations, but on all actors, including business organizations and companies.
The CEO of ICEX Spain Export and Investment, María Peña Mateos, highlighted sustainability as an internationalization tool and explained that the incorporation of social or environmental criteria in companies facilitates access to financing and also increases their competitiveness. Peña highlighted that there is a great relationship between sustainability and economic performance of companies. “Proof of this is that 19 of the 35 companies listed on the IBEX 35 base their strategic line of action to a large extent on sustainability since last year. He also mentioned the importance of the Made in Spain brand being seen as a “sustainable country” and spoke of turning global challenges into business opportunities. She also considered it crucial to strengthen the role of the private sector in achieving the SDGs.
The high commissioner of Spain for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Cristina Gallach, reported that the 100 companies considered more sustainable in the United States have seen their shares increased by 29% in the last year. In this regard, she insisted that our joint work should continue and involve the private sector more and more. Gallach said that for the Spanish government, the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the 17 SDGs constitute a priority project for the country and “it is necessary to work together with the ministries, administrations and companies to spread the importance of the Agenda and carry it out”, she said.
Extracted and translated from Spanish
Image: © David Mudarra