The Spanish Global Compact Network has presented on september 26th in Madrid the publication: «The private sector and the SDGs. Practical guide for action”. This publication coincides with the first anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aims to provide business and private sector guidelines, actions and tools to contribute to the SDGs.

The document was presented in a conference held in collaboration with Metro de Madrid company, in which also representatives of the private, public and third sector have made a retrospective of this first year of SDGs and have marked priorities for further work in coming years.

According to Isabel Garro, General Manager of the Spanish Global Compact Network, «entities have been asking for a translation of the SDGs to their language and we have tried to provide a main publication to contribute to each of the SDGs and to find partners and appropriate resources».

The publication contains a total of 268 actions, classified into two groups: inside the organization and with external stakeholders. For example, about 122 of these actions refer to the management of the company and more than 50 to partnerships between organizations: universities, supply chain or public institutions. These suggestions are complemented by practices that are been already underwaying by more than 35 organizations associated with the Spanish Network.

The conference was opened by Pedro Rollán, Counselo of Transport, Housing and Infrastructures of the Madrid, who has declared that «the SDGs are tools to involve companies and Metro de Madrid renews with the SDGs its commitment to sustainability supporting responsible, innovative and social management.»

A context that calls for action everywhere

United Nations recognized in this Development Agenda, whose pillars are the SDGs, that companes are vital actors to achieve the established objectives. «After a year working on awareness» said Isabel Garro, «we encourage the private sector and companies to take action as soon as possible. We will all show that, with the private sector, the results will be better.»

Asked about the main steps for companies that want to be protagonists of the global challenges of development, Garro focused on five steps: «identifying the SDGs that affect them and those that they impact; marking actions and indicators; integrating in management; communicating progress with transparency; and finding a business opportunity in development».

Colloquium: a year of SDGs

The final part of the event has been composed by a company, an NGO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order to organize the work and perspective of each stakeholder. María Larrea, general assistant director of development policies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Cristina Moral, manager of corporate responsibility of Ferrovial, and Jose María Medina, director of Prosalus.

María Larrea, pointed out that ”the Agenda 2030 is an opportunity for the coherence of public policies and the big challenge is to make it transcends among all ministries and among citizens; the ideal way is partnership». Questioned by the ministerial role, she explained that they have «done a mapping to know which areas of the SDGs are already covered by public policies , to set priorities and to know in which points we have to emphasize».

Cristina Moral explained that «for Ferrovial, 6, 9 and 11 SDG are the ones we are more involved with» and acknowledged that when assimilating a CSR strategy to SDGs the most difficult issue has been «setting specific and quantitative targets for the coming years.» Moral highlighted an infrastructure project in the Valle del Cauca as an example of public-private partnership.

Jose Maria Medina explained the importance of fighting against hunger for Prosalus, «linking SDG 2 and SDG 12» and acknowledged that he was «surprised by the great interest that the SDGs have raised in the private sector, especially among large companies». He pointed too the role of Global Compact «to involve SMEs and third sector organizations, because although they are smaller, they have a great expertise».

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