Kazakhstan, UN discuss business sector role in promoting Sustainable Development Goals

ALMATY (TCA) — Representatives of the United Nations and the business sector of Kazakhstan on February 15 met to discuss how businesses can become more sustainable by embedding the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their practices, processes and strategies.

This was the first of a series of dialogues planned to be held on a regular basis. The goal was to meet with the prominent business representatives who have expressed interest in advancing the Agenda 2030.

Among others, participants from the business sector included Baiterek National Managing Holding, Astana Group, Raimbek Group, BI Group, Chocolife.me, Astana Banki JSC, BSH Home Appliances, and Rixos Almaty Hotel.

The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. However, working together is not optional anymore. For each goal to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, and civil society.

“Achieving the SDGs could generate at least USD 12 trillion of market opportunities and create 380 million new jobs by 2030 in the four economic systems: food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, health, and well-being,” said UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan Norimasa Shimomura.

“Sustainable Development Goals present an ideal strategy and opportunities for business growth, and open access to new markets. London School of Business cites statistical data, which show that companies that chose sustainable development generate 5 to 6 percent more return on investment compared to traditional businesses. Examples of such companies are Tesla and Unilever. We would like more companies in Kazakhstan to be aware of the Sustainable Development Goals. That is why there is a need to increase awareness of the benefits of SDGs among the public,” said Dinara Seitzhaparova, Board Member, Managing Director of JSC National Managing Holding Baiterek.

“We are here today to encourage the full and meaningful collaboration with the business sector in Kazakhstan It is clear that the SDGs cannot be achieved without all actors – government, the United Nations, civil society, and the business sector – working in-step together. Every business, big or small, shares this responsibility and it is our role as the UN to help consolidate those efforts to realize the better future that the next generation deserves,” said UNICEF Deputy Representative Fiachra McAsey.

“Our goal today was to sit together and talk with the representatives of businesses about the ways we can help them make SDGs part of their fabric on an even more sustainable basis. So, it is very much a meeting of friends working out options of helping more people and making their businesses prosper by introducing globally-recognized standards of sustainability,” said Norimasa Shimomura.