UN Global Compact in Partnership with Accenture and SAP, and with 3M as Patron Sponsor, Launch SDG Ambition Guidance to Accelerate Business Action to Achieve the SDGs

Press Release

UNITED NATIONS, New York — The United Nations Global Compact in partnership with Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and SAP SE (NYSE: SAP), and with 3M joining as Patron Sponsor, today (Tuesday, 22 September) launched SDG Ambition guides to support businesses in accelerating action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The new guides launched at the opening of this year’s historic 75th session of the UN General Assembly provide business leaders and their technology partners with directional support on measuring and managing sustainability performance through business technology systems and enterprise software solutions. The partners will support the roll-out and implementation of the guides around the world, which include:

  • Ambition Guide: Setting Goals for the Decade of Action establishes the initial set of SDG Ambition benchmarks that challenge organizations to set more ambitious goals and targets in the areas in which business is positioned to have a substantial impact. Business leaders can use this document to support their strategy and set goals ambitious enough to deliver the SDGs by 2030.
  • Integration Guide: Designing Business Systems for the SDGs presents the approach through which the 10 SDG Ambition benchmarks can be integrated into core business processes and systems to enable effective measurement and management of sustainability performance. Business leaders can use this publication to identify the system opportunities to integrate the SDGs into core business processes.
  • SDG Ambition Benchmark Reference Sheets (for consultation) provide illustrative details regarding the steps to integrate each of these benchmarks into a company’s business systems, as well as the key design decision required to engage technology partners.

Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, commenting on the launch said: “The Sustainable Development Goals will not become a reality without greater ambition as well as deeper integration within businesses. By translating the ambition level of the SDGs into concrete aspirations, actions and outcomes for business we hope that these new guides will enable business to have a substantial impact to help the world meet our collective goals.”

The guides highlight the key steps and design decisions business leaders can take to track sustainability performance through core business systems, as well as enhance their impact in line with the SDG Ambition business benchmarks. For instance, the guides show how companies can implement better enterprise-wide data management processes that put sustainability and social responsibility on par with other business metrics and enable leaders to make faster decisions based on an understanding of commercial, environmental and social factors.

“Improving sustainability performance and achieving business outcomes cannot be viewed as separate goals in the Decade of Action – together, they represent shared success,” said Julie Sweet, Accenture’s chief executive officer. “Through SDG Ambition, we are using innovation to accelerate sustainability commitments that create measurable value for business, society and our planet.”

Research from Accenture Strategy and the UN Global Compact shows that despite private sector progress on the SDGs, only 21 percent of CEOs felt that business was playing a critical role in contributing towards the SDGs.* According to the UN Global Compact’s annual Progress Report, only 39 percent of companies believed they had targets ambitious enough to fully meet the SDGs.**

“Technological advancements can help turn the world’s greatest challenges into our biggest opportunities and make sustainability profitable and profitability sustainable,” said Christian Klein, SAP’s chief executive officer. “Data and tools allow organizations to step up in collaboratively managing the planet’s limited resources responsibly, contributing toward an inclusive economy, and driving progress toward the SDGs.”

3M has recently joined SDG Ambition as a Patron Sponsor and will work in close collaboration with program partners and UN Global Compact Local Networks, located in more than 60 countries, to lead the implementation of the guides. As the SDG Ambition moves forward, 3M will collaborate with program partners and the UN Global Compact to provide leadership in program development, lending expertise on sustainability goal setting and bringing an advanced manufacturing perspective. SDG Ambition aims to engage more than 1,000 companies across industries in more than 40 countries to focus their sustainability efforts on high-impact strategies and business models.

“Every day 3M applies science to improve lives – from fighting the pandemic, to solving global challenges, to leading in sustainability. We’re setting ambitious goals and creating more efficiencies in our operations – including our plan to move to 100 percent renewable energy – while driving innovations that helped our customers avoid 17 million tons of emissions last year alone,” said Michael Roman, 3M’s chief executive officer. “The environmental and public health challenges the world faces are not insurmountable if addressed by a collaborative, science-based approach. Business has a responsibility to provide leadership, and 3M is pleased to partner with the United Nations and other premier organizations to make the world a better place.”

The SDG Ambition guides are available for download here.

About the United Nations Global Compact

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the mandate of the UN Global Compact is to guide and support the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 10,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 60 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services in strategy and consulting, interactive, technology and operations, with digital capabilities across all of these services. We combine unmatched experience and specialized capabilities across more than 40 industries — powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. With 513,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture brings continuous innovation to help clients improve their performance and create lasting value across their enterprises. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

About SAP

SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers across 25 industries globally to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

About 3M

At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 96,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews.

*“The Decade to Deliver: A Call to Business Action,” September 2019
**“20th  Anniversary Progress Report: Uniting Business in the Decade of Action,” June 2020

Media inquiries and questions:
UN Global Compact, +447887 804594, Alex Gee, ex@mackworthassociates.com, media@unglobalcompact.org
Julie Bennink, Accenture, +1 (312) 693-7301, julie.l.bennink@accenture.com
Susan Miller, SAP, +1 (610) 661-9225, susan.miller@sap.com
Taylor Johnson, 3M, +1 (763) 219-3816, tjohnson9.cw@mmm.com