Why global partnerships are the foundation for a sustainable future (Paid content by UBS)
In 2015, the United Nations unveiled a list of 17 goals intended to make the planet a more sustainable, more unified, and generally more peaceful place for humanity to grow and thrive. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are wide-sweeping: They include objectives such as ending hunger, reducing global inequality, and improving access to healthcare and education.
One of the SDGs — number 17 — stresses the importance of collaboration on a global scale. Achieving the SDGs will require partnerships both large and small: Between corporations and nonprofits, between governments and civil society, between individuals and bureaucrats. It means cooperation among global citizens from every walk of life.
This year’s Social Good Summit, an annual conference hosted by Mashable each September, is a prime example of business entities and individuals coming together for a shared vision. Below is a little more information about the event and why UBS was a key part of it this year.
UBS and a vision for the future
As an official sponsor of SGS, UBS is committed to the event’s foundational spirit of collaboration. In fact, SGS is just one of several events at which UBS had a presence during “Climate Week” and the UN General Assembly Week. The company also attended the World Economic Forum’s SDI Summit, the Sustainable Investment Forum, and the WEF Climate Leaders Sherpa Symposium.
As part of UBS’ mission to further the UN SDGs, the company has also recently unveiled a series of social-good-focused initiatives. UBS’ Global Visionary Program, for example, highlights individuals, entrepreneurs, and companies helping to turn the UN SDGs into reality. In addition, UBS has recently intensified its focus on impact investing by launching a series of groundbreaking financial products. A few of these products include the RISE Fund, the UBS Oncology Fund, the Rethink Impact Fund, and “Loans for Growth.”
Rina Kupferschmid-Rojas, the global head of sustainable investing at UBS Wealth Management, explains that UBS has a strong commitment to driving social and environmental change.
The company recently announced a five-year pledge to drive $5 billion in private client investment toward the UN SDGs. A few of the impact initiatives and themes that UBS has paid close attention to in 2017 include world literacy and education; global hunger; clean, affordable, and sustainable energy; improved industry, innovation, and infrastructure; global health and wellbeing; and climate action.
“These cornerstones are well reflected in the agenda of the Social Good Summit, which is why we decided to join like-minded companies and thinkers and share our experience, commitment, and passion to help drive positive change,” says Kupferschmid-Rojas.
As an advocate for global partnerships, UBS is leading the pack, working with dozens of international organizations, NGOs, think tanks, and peer-related network groups to drive action. The company works directly with several UN organizations and committees, such as the UN Global Compact, of which UBS is a founding member, and the UN Environment Program Finance Initiative.
“As part of the UNEPFI, UBS is helping take the lead in promoting sustainable finance and disclosure of climate change risk in financial reporting,” explains Kupferschmid-Rojas. “UBS is also a cofounder of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing around the world.”
At SGS, Kupferschmid-Rojas hosted a seven-minute presentation to further discuss UBS’ commitment to the UN SDGs and impact investing. Upon taking the stage, Kupferschmid-Rojas asked the audience to close their eyes.
Imagine a world without poverty, without famine, or widespread sickness
“I want you to imagine you’re in the year 2030,” said Kupferschmid-Rojas. “Imagine a world without poverty, without famine, or widespread sickness.”
Upon the audience’s return to reality, Kupferschmid-Rojas went over the myriad ways people everywhere could contribute to this dream of 2030 — one of which being impact investing.
“Clearly the UN SDGs target global challenges that cannot be solved by any single country, business, or organization on its own, not even the UN,” she said. “Back when the UN SDGs were launched, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called on the private sector to help raise the estimated $5-7 trillion annually needed to achieve the goals by 2030. UBS along with others have responded to the call with our own initiatives to help raise these vast sums.”
The Social Good Summit explores how the intersection of technology and new media is redefining human progress in our rapidly changing world. The theme of the Summit is #2030NOW, which represents how we can collectively make the world a better place in the next 13 years.
The event, which occurs annually during the UN’s General Assembly Week and took place this year on September 17, naturally aligns with the SDGs. In previous years, thought leaders like Vice President Al Gore and Malala Yousafzai have detailed possible solutions to global issues like climate change, global hunger, gender inequality, and violence.
The speakers at this year’s SGS — which included the likes of Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Women’s March Co-Chair Carmen Perez, and United Nations’ High Commissioner on Refugees Filippo Grandi — addressed pressing issues on global, national, regional, and local levels. The event took place at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, a world-class cultural and community center, and gave attendees an unfiltered look at what can be done in the world when social good is at the forefront of their minds.
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