The United Nations Global Compact UK’s Steve Kenzie joined businessman Jim McColl OBE to encourage Scotland’s business community to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They spoke at a Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) event, Making Global Goals Local Business, part of a UK roadshow organised in collaboration with the UN Global Compact and PRME UK Networks.
Mr Kenzie, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network UK, said: “The UNGC’s mission is to mobilise responsible business and we hope the roadshows will allow us to speak face to face with 1500 people, and reach thousands more, to show them the opportunities offered by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and ask them to think about how they can do business in a sustainable way.”
Mr McColl, who is best known for leading a management buyout of Clyde Blowers plc and developing the business into a portfolio of global engineering companies, discussed how his business is actively working to implement a key goal – quality education. The company works with 11 schools to offer 30 young people each year academic, vocational and life skills to help them develop careers.
He said: “Business owners and companies can use their resources, talent and finance to give back to, and make changes in, their communities just as we have. If you can impact on global problems in such a simple way, why wouldn’t you?”
The UN’s SDGs is a set of 17 global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.
GCU became a PRME signatory in 2012, and in 2013 became the first Scottish university to join the UN Global Compact, the world’s biggest voluntary corporate responsibility partnership. GCU is also one of only 30 members of the global PRME Champions Group in recognition of its leadership role.
As a PRME Champion Institution, GCU hosted one of 11 UK events held by university business schools, explaining to a local audience what the SDGs are, why business and academia should care about the Goals, and how business and academia can both contribute to achieving the goals and benefit from doing so.
Dr Alec Wersun, Senior Lecturer in the Glasgow School for Business and Society, said: “As a UN PRME Champion institution, it is our role amongst other things to demonstrate thought and action leadership in the area of responsible business and management, and develop projects that further the goals of PRME.
“Co-organising the UK-wide SDG Roadshow is a great example of this. By bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss the SDGs, we are hoping to make global goals local, and to stimulate dialogue and action in business and academic communities.”