To deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, an ambitious global effort is required over the next decade to accelerate sustainable solutions to the world’s economic, environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges. Two-thirds of businesses worldwide are owned or managed by families, employing 60% of the world’s workforce and contributing over 70% of global GDP. Family businesses are key actors in ensuring a transformative and sustainable future, to create a shared prosperity for all, mobilize investment in sustainable development and define success across generations. Increasingly, family-owned enterprises around the globe are embedding sustainability in their business practices.
Family businesses need to be empowered to maximize their potential and seize the untapped opportunities associated with embracing the sustainable development agenda. As a first of its kind partnership between the United Nations and the global family business community, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Family Business Network (FBN) jointly developed the global initiative Family Business for Sustainable Development (FBSD). Its ambitious package of deliverables aims at mobilizing business families and their firms to embed sustainability into their business strategies, thereby committing to concrete, measurable contributions towards the SDGs.
UNCTAD held the 7th World Investment Forum from 18th to 22nd October 2021, the focus being Sustainability and Environment Social and Governance.
Some of the sessions were organised by the FBN, a Lausanne based global organisation, chaired by Farhad Forbes.
Farhad spoke at two sessions:
- High- Level Roundtable - Beyond the Bottom line: How can family business advance the sustainability agenda
- The Evolving Role of Transparency in Privately Owned Family Firms
Forbes Marshall was also a part of a case study on Sustainability indicators for Family Businesses. Farhad mentioned that taking part in this case study helped us assess where we sood in relation to the benchmarks and helped us identify areas of improvement.