The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define global sustainable development priorities and aspirations for 2030 and seek to mobilize global efforts around a common set of goals and targets. The SDGs call for worldwide action among governments, business and civil society to end poverty and create a life of dignity and opportunity for all, within the boundaries of the planet.

The SDGs were born out of what is arguably the most inclusive process in the history of the United Nations, reflecting substantive input from all sectors of society and all parts of the world. Through the UN Global Compact alone, more than 1,500 companies provided input and guidance. The goals are universally applicable in developing and developed countries alike. Governments are expected to translate them into national action plans, policies and initiatives, reflecting the different realities and capacities their countries possess.

While they primarily target governments, the SDGs are designed to rally a wide range of organizations, and shape priorities and aspirations for sustainable development efforts around a common framework. Most importantly, the SDGs recognize the key role that business can and must play in achieving them.