The BEYOND Virtual presents world-class entrepreneurs, scientists, global investors, and tech experts to share with us the trends of technology, investments, and the impact of each industry in shaping the world we live in today and the future.
In his keynote address, Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China, stressed the importance of sustainability and sustainable development in doing business. For large enterprises, small businesses, or government organizations, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can be considered a blueprint for success in unlocking new markets and ensuring longevity in business operations.
Chatterjee stresses that sustainability enhances brand trust and investor support. It is not just a lofty ideal, but ultimately both good for humanity and good for business, and it is what impact investors look for.
Below is the full text of Siddharth Chatterjee’s speech at the BEYOND Virtual Opening. The text has been edited for clarity and brevity:
Greetings distinguished guests, friends, ladies, and gentlemen.
I wish to thank the Macao Technology General Association for the opportunity to address the 2021 BEYOND International Technology Innovation Expo.
On behalf of the United Nations family in China, I congratulate the organizing committee and the co-founders, Mr. Jason Ho and Dr. Gang Lu, for their initiative in raising the question – “What’s Next?” and exploring the technologies that are critically needed to address our global challenges.
Today’s world faces a series of tests in fighting poverty, rising inequalities, the climate crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, adopted by all UN member states in 2015 remains our shared blueprint to achieve a better and a more sustainable future for all, leaving no one behind.
At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, representing a set of interconnected and complex challenges that recognizes that economic growth must go hand in hand with strategies that improve health, education, the participation of women and girls, the potential of young people, all while preserving our oceans and our forests.
With less than 10 years remaining to achieve these SDGs in this decade of action, global efforts must accelerate to deliver on the ambitious 2030 Agenda, demanding action and innovation from all stakeholders, including governments, individuals, and of course, the private sector.
The SDGs are not simply a lofty ideal or the right thing to do, but a formidable instrument for companies, including state-owned and small and medium-sized enterprises looking to unlock new markers and the longevity of their operations.
Corporate and organizational success requires stable economies and vibrant societies with healthy, skilled, and educated workers.
Sustainable companies experience increased brand trust and investor support with consumers today desiring more than just the cheapest goods and services. They demand sustainability and wish to take comfort in the knowledge that the goods and services they purchase do not create negative externalities and contribute positively to the world we all inhabit.
While legislation and regulation will catch up to companies who fail this test, those that state and prove their credentials in sustainability, time and time again, will be rewarded in the marketplace.
Sustainability is good for humanity and good for business. That’s essentially what impact investors look for.
Companies here in China and the world already contributing, offering fresh ideas to make the SDGs their own. More than 14,000 business participants from around 170 countries are lining their strategies and operations with the SDGs and the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.
Academia and civil society are answering the call, working closely with the UN University Institute in Macau to generate solutions to the 2030 Agenda through innovations and frontier technologies.
With your support, the United Nations in China stands ready to renew collaboration and multilateralism in new partnerships to achieve the SDGs.
I wish you all every success at this very important event.