Concern launches programme to engage corporate leaders on the UN Global Goals

Concern staff members participate in Project Us Café run by students participating in the Concern TY Academy. Photo: Gavin Douglas/ Concern Worldwide.
Concern staff members participate in Project Us Café run by students participating in the Concern TY Academy. Photo: Gavin Douglas/ Concern Worldwide.

Businesses looking to improve their impact on the world are invited to take part in a new programme from Irish humanitarian aid agency Concern Worldwide.

Concern, with support from the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs, is facilitating Global Goals Business Conversations, engaging high-level decision makers within the Irish business community on ways they can help to achieve the United Nations’ 17 Global Goals, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals, which aim to end issues such as poverty, hunger and inequality by 2030, while protecting our planet from climate change, were agreed by all 193 UN member states in 2015.  

According to Concern’s Communications Director Sarah Martin: “With only ten years to reach the ambitious goals agreed by the United Nations member states, it is critical that businesses play an even bigger role in driving this agenda forward.”  

“Business leaders have the power to influence and change worldwide production systems, employment conditions and issues such as climate change and gender equality. We need this leadership now more than ever.” 

Concern is already partnering with Chambers Ireland and Ibec for these discussions and counts amongst its supporters, EY Ireland and Kerry Group.  

Collaboration will be key

These discussions will challenge business leaders to make sustainability and climate change a top business priority, according to EY Ireland Managing Partner Frank O’Keefe.  

“Achieving the SDGs won't be easy but think about the impact if we focus on making progress in these critical areas,” Mr O’Keefe said.  

“Collaboration will be key. Companies can gain so much from a sustainable society through reliable access to natural resources and an educated and healthier population to support their work forces. It’s the right thing to do.”  

The Global Goals Business Conversations will explore with business leaders which of the goals they are choosing to prioritise, how they are moving them forward and what obstacles or barriers they are encountering.  

While COVID-19 restrictions continue, the discussions will take the form of online discussions and workshops, which Concern is facilitating for a variety of business sectors and sizes.  

The input of participating businesses will form part of a University of Limerick report on Ireland’s engagement with the SDGs, prepared in partnership with Concern and Irish Aid. There has already been engagement with community and voluntary groups on the Global Goals and the final phase of the programme in 2021 will involve engagement with political figures and opinion leaders.  

If you are involved in the corporate sector and would like to have a facilitated Global Goals Business Conversation please visit: www.concern.net/global-goals-business-conversations. 

ENDS

For media queries contact Jason Kennedy, Media Relations Officer, Concern Worldwide, at jason.kennedy@concern.net

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