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Sustainable Development Goals: How corporate disruptors are redefining success

UN Global Compact-Accenture Strategy CEO Study

Roadmap For Development

The Sustainable Development Goals provide a unique and universal roadmap for global development. As companies grapple with a disruptive, rapidly-evolving environment for business, CEOs see the global goals as a guiding light in shaping their action on sustainability: 70% see the SDGs providing business with a clear framework to structure sustainability efforts.

This year’s CEO Study demonstrates that business leaders are ready to accept a mandate to act on global development, reorienting their companies to create not only value for shareholders, but for society at large. The goals present new challenges for innovation and growth in new markets, turning the world’s greatest challenges into opportunities.

Guler Sabanci

“The SDGs should guide us in developing and implementing successful business models towards a more sustainable future.”

Chairman, Sabanci Holding


Ready To Act

Sustainable cities, climate-smart ag​​​​riculture, clean energy, health and prosperity for all: these and other critical goals demand solutions from the private sector, and business is ready to act, with three-quarters of CEOs saying their company has the skills and capabilities to take action on the SDGs.

These numbers represent a striking transformation in CEOs' approaches to societal impact, from an approach often characterized as managing "trade-offs" between society and business success, towards a positive relationship that creates business value through solving societal challenges.

"To be successful in the long term, we must create value not only for our shareholders but also for society."
CEO, Nestlé S.A.


Strategies For Growth

In the last CEO Study in 2013, business leaders across industry sectors were focused on the need to justify their investments in sustainability through traditional metrics of financial value. CEOs believed that the expectations of the market and other stakeholders were holding them back—views apparent even in companies taking a more progressive approach to sustainability.

This year, CEOs across industries are aligning around a common definition and ambition for sustainable development, recognizing new levers of value and looking beyond traditional measures of success to develop their strategy for future growth.


“To what extent do you agree with the following statements regarding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?”

Case Studies

Healthy Family

Healthy Family

Novartis, a global healthcare company, provides essential medicines and health services to 42 million people in 33,000 rural villages in India through a social business model, Arogya Parivar (“healthy family”).


Building a better future

Building a better future

CEMEX, a global building materials company, has provided access to microfinancing, building materials, technical advice and logistical support to over 550,000 low income families (credits more than $300 million granted, with an on-time payment rate of more than 98 percent) through an inclusive business model “Patrimonio Hoy".


Enabling electricity

ENabling ELecticity

Enel, the multinational utility operating in over 30 countries, already provided electricity to more than 2.5 million people in disadvantaged urban areas or isolated communities through the ENabling ELectricity program. This program develops new business models to fight energy poverty and aims at benefitting additional 3 million people by 2020.