Along with Heads of State, Chief Executives, and social and business leaders, Chambers Ireland joined the UN Global Compact’s ‘Uniting Business Live’ summit at the 76th UN General Assembly and called for greater ambition and accelerated action on the SDGs ahead of COP26.
Speaking this afternoon, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot outlined the importance of SMEs to future economic growth and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals:
“Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for an overwhelming majority of private sector business and economic activity in both developed and developing countries. According to the World Bank, SMEs represent 90% of business and more than 50% of employment worldwide.
As key drivers of innovation, contributing up to 40% of GDP in Ireland and emerging economies, the expertise and agility of these businesses have a transformational role to play in catalysing sustainable development – whether they are aligning with globally recognized indicators such as the SDGs or adopting a purpose-led approach to their business operations.
In Ireland, we are delighted to see the business community taking the lead on this. With SMEs accounting for 99% of active enterprises in Ireland and over two thirds of jobs, Chambers Ireland and our Network of Chambers are doing all that we can to support these businesses on this important journey.
The launch of our SDG Toolkit for Business earlier this year has proven to be hugely successful in encouraging employers to advance their sustainability journey by integrating the Goals into their day-to-day activities.
Whether an organisation has vowed to make several small changes or is undertaking significant projects, we encourage every business who uses this Toolkit to document its plans, communicate actions and record its impact. Reporting on your business’s sustainability, biodiversity or equality initiatives will help to encourage policymaking and bring about more significant change.
With just over one month to the COP26 summit, and less than nine years to 2030, a marathon of works lies ahead. One change, one plan or one step in the right direction by each individual, business or organisation will have a huge impact on our collective action to achieve the SDGs and bring about a more sustainable future for generations.”
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For more information, please contact Shane Conneely, Director of Policy and Communications at Chambers Ireland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editor
- The United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. It hosted Uniting Business LIVE, a three-day online event from 20–22 September to kick off the high-level opening week of the 76th UN General Assembly. Taking place in the run up to the major UN Climate Summit, COP26, in Glasgow in November, this year’s Uniting Business LIVE will focus on driving corporate ambition and action to help tackle climate change and reach the Sustainable Development Goals as businesses look to build back better from the pandemic.
- Chambers Ireland SDG Toolkit for Business