Sustainable Development Goals: A lighthouse for business

For the first time in history, 193 countries have agreed to a set of goals for global development towards 2030.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or just Global Goals, very significantly call for business solutions and therefore point at incredible commercial opportunities for the private sector. In fact, many of the societal needs, defined by the goals, can only be met through business solutions.

It is a realization that some of the world’s most pressing challenges, and our common aim to confront these, – climate change, dwindling natural resources, rising population – also represent some of our biggest future business opportunities.

At Novozymes, we find solutions in nature – enzymes and microbes –, and produce these in large quantities for use in industry. Here, they replace harsh chemicals and help accelerate production processes. They help customers make more from less, while saving energy and generating less waste. In 2016, our customers reduced their CO2 emissions by 69 million tons through the application of Novozymes’ technologies – equivalent to taking 30 million cars off the road.

Against this backdrop, we have very strong reasons to integrate sustainability principals into our operations.

While our solutions are microscopic, we know they can have a big impact and help address some of the major challenges the world is facing.

The Global Goals have guided the definition of Novozymes’ own long-term targets for fulfilling the company’s stated purpose of finding biological answers for better lives in a growing world. Among those targets is an ambition to reach six billion people with our biological solutions, deliver 10 transformative innovations, catalyze five global partnerships for change, and save 100 million tons of CO2 through the use of our products – all by 2020.

This is our interpretation of where we can make a difference in the world.

When we work with our commercial partners, the products we develop together can save up to 100 times the amount of CO2 that went into producing them.

Even if the world achieves only on meeting the SDGs by 50%, the opportunity for businesses is immense.

The goals represent a lens to the future to understand where sustainable business solutions will be most needed. As such, they represent a high-level, solid foundation of long-term policy guidance for business – business that is always looking for as much certainty as possible.

With 193 countries agreeing to a set of goals for global development towards 2030, here is the lighthouse to steer from.

Novozymes is a Sustainable Brands Corporate Member and Claus Stig Pederson serves on the company’s Advisory Board.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and Sustainable Brands on Redefining the Good Life for a new economy of business. The Redefining the Good Life conversation will take place at conferences around the globe. To find and join an event near you, visit sustainablebrands.com/events.

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