International accelerator for Sustainable Development Goals opened for Russian business and NGOs


From 24 September, companies that want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can join the international programme.

The national network of the UN Global Compact and the companies SAP CIS and Accenture Russia announced the launch of the track of the international programme SDG Ambition in Russia.

SDG Ambition launched globally in the summer of 2020; the programme is a six-month acceleration course broadly aimed at helping companies achieve the SDGs. In a narrow sense, companies plan to teach how to set “ambitious” tasks in work to achieve the SDGs, and provide them with the necessary tools and opportunities to improve corporate management.

The SDG Ambition presentation was held on 24 September in the format of a Zoom conference with the participation of foreign programme developers.

Think globally – do it locally

“This programme will allow for formulating and setting Sustainable Development Goals in a company. But the key is, as we say, an illustration of the saying: whoever wants, will find an opportunity. It is this opportunity that we are being given today: I am really very optimistic about this part. I believe that this is a unique opportunity not just scrupulously to look for what else you can help in, but to find out what the company can do in practice, “said Alexander Plakida, Chairman of the Governing Council of the National Network of the Global Compact Association. According to him, the programme is a vivid illustration of the principle “think globally, do locally”.

“The main feature of this programme is that it is focused at regional and local levels. The challenge here is to focus on specific countries and territories, to help companies implement the SDGs,” adds Plakida.

Despite the international scale of the accelerator, it is suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. In general, the organizers do not set any framework for potential participants. These can be large corporations, small and medium businesses, or NGOs.

Non-profit organizations, according to Anita Varshnyaya, vice-president of Purpose and Brand Experience SAP, after participating in the programme, can help increase the responsibility of the business that sponsors them.

Why is all this necessary

“Now is the time to act and launch large-scale sustainable development activities. <…> The current year is rich in various events, but one way or another, these events have confirmed and proved that the current business standards and models, to which everyone is accustomed, are no longer so effective. Accordingly, it is necessary to take some measures, – said Irina Musina, head of the Accenture sustainable development practice in Russia. – The pandemic served as a catalyst. It seems to me that it is important to note two points here. First, we realized the importance of technology in our lives when we started to work remotely. Second: the onset of the pandemic itself. This was a turning point, because to many it all seemed unlikely, it seemed that it would not happen. But when it came, today, I think, many of us are thinking that we underestimate some risks, for example, those associated with climate change, and that they are not far off either. “

During the presentation of the programme, experts have repeatedly noted that the world may not be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. This delay has become even more pronounced as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses.

“Even before the start of the pandemic, it looked as if we were not going to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Take for example, the following fact: according to the World Economic Forum, it would take 250 years to eliminate economic inequality between men and women (one of the goals of the SDGs – ASI note). And now, when the pandemic has begun, women are suffering more socially and economically than men, and this gap is only widening,” said Pia Haslauer, UN Global Compact Leadership Initiative Coordinator. This, she said, is just one small fact that demonstrates that we need to strengthen our efforts to achieve the SDGs.

Logins and passwords

The only condition for studying in the programme is to be a member of the UN Global Compact (GC). If the company has not yet joined the GC, it has the opportunity to do so by 16 November 2020. This date is the last day for accepting applications for participation in the SDG Ambition programme. To participate, it is recommended to nominate two representatives from the company: one responsible for sustainable development and CSR, the second – an IT specialist or an information technology specialist. You can apply here.

Participants who have joined the national network of the UN Global Compact (the Association “National Network of the Global Compact”) will enter the program free of charge. The rest – according to the approved system of contributions, depending on the size of the company.

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