The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)is the first global strategy addressing the most pressing social, environmental and economic barriers to sustainable growth and prosperity. The private sector has been called upon to contribute with new solutions, new business models and new technologies that can contribute to solving the challenges facing humanity and our planet today.

Our journey with the SDG Accelerator for small and medium-sized companies started with a joint ambition to demonstrate how the private sector can use the challenges addressed by the SDGs as a starting point for business innovation. We wanted to explore how the SDGs could be translated into a practical framework for accelerating business innovation by starting the ideation process through addressing concrete societal or environmental needs.

Albert Einstein once said that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. The world’s use of resources, our production and consumption patterns, the way we design our cities , our transportation system and financial infrastructure all need to be revitalised to meet the needs of future generations.

To succeed, we must find pathways to turn global challenges into local business opportunities; we must empower our business leaders with actionable tools and inspire them with frontrunner cases so that they can support the journey. Finally, we need to create new collaborations across industries, sectors and silos to foster new thinking and innovation.

In this Blueprint, we showcase the great cases and learnings from the SDG Accelerator for SMEs 2018 and we present how the SDGs can be used for innovation, business development and for entering new markets and sectors.

We hope that the Blueprint will be used to inspire other companies and to accelerate their engagement in sustainable development.

 

Preface by Camilla Brückner, Director, UNDP Nordic Representation Office, Sten Scheibye, Chair, the Danish Industry Foundation and Anders Dons, CEO, Deloitte Nordic.