Today at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2016 in New York, Claus Stig Pedersen, Head of Corporate Sustainability at biotech giant Novozymes, was announced as one of ten 2016 Local Pioneers of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Pedersen was recognized for his efforts that align with SDG 12, on Responsible Consumption and Production. Launched in 2016 as part of the UN Global Compact’s Making Global Goals Local Business campaign, the Local SDG Pioneers program seeks out individuals who are demonstrating how the SDGs can enable business to unlock economic, social and environmental gains for the world. Over 600 nominations were received from 100 countries between February and April 2016.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit and came into force on January 1, 2016. Over the next 15 years, all countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, tackle climate change and make the world more sustainable, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
The Pioneers are made up of entrepreneurs who are championing sustainability through their business models and change-makers who are mobilizing the business community broadly to take action in support of the SDGs. A Pioneers Selection Group, comprised of experts from the UN, academia, civil society and the private sector, ranked the nominees based on a set of criteria, resulting in the ten 2016 Global Compact Local SDG Pioneers. In the years to come, the Global Compact’s Pioneers program will become a vital part of the organization's priority to make global goals local business.
In his keynote presentation at SB’16 San Diego earlier this month, Pedersen shared part of his journey: “30 years ago, I was a Greenpeace activist – I was driven by the vision of making the world a better place, and business was really the bad guy. Today … I’m still that activist, I’m still striving every day to make the world a better place, but today I use much more powerful tools – I use business as a tool to make the world a better place. I’ve done that for 20 years in sustainability in business, driving that agenda.”
He then goes on to describe how Novozymes has made sustainability its company purpose and, through the lens of the SDGs, has set about activating its strategies through collaboration and partnerships, and is encouraging other companies to do the same.
“Each of the 2016 Local SDG Pioneers exemplifies how business can be a force for good in addressing the challenges we face as a global society,” said Lise Kingo, UN Global Compact Executive Director. “In his role within Novozymes, Mr. Pedersen has put the SDG agenda into the heart of the company’s core business. He brings vision and insights to help identify, develop and deploy business opportunities to build a better future – making him a pioneer for sustainable business strategies.”
The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2016 is a two-day gathering of the private sector, UN, Government and civil society to jump-start action to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Together, over 800 leaders from around the world are gathered in New York to identify how to unleash the business activities, thinking and innovation required for a new era of sustainability.