Mastercard and HP pledge support to SDG principles

Financial services provider Mastercard and global tech firm HP have this week shown their commitment to the doctrines of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with respective pledges around food poverty and education.

In partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), Mastercard has vowed to raise funds to provide 100 million meals to vulnerable communities across the world. The project will focus on leveraging expertise and giving campaigns, with donations accepted on Mastercard’s Priceless Causes website.

Mastercard has already helped raise funds to provide over 17 million school meals to children around the world. Among last year’s highlights, Mastercard link up with Virgin Money to help raise funds equal to over 250,000 school meals in Mali. The overarching programme aims to directly tackle four of the key targets of the SDGs, including ‘No Poverty’ and ‘Zero Hunger’.

“Mastercard’s work toward ending hunger is an inspiring example of how the private sector plays a vital role in social good,” WFP’s executive director David Beasley said. “Their new commitment to 100 million school meals is the next phase of an already very successful journey with WFP to reach Zero Hunger. This contribution to saving lives, changing lives and feeding dreams for kids is truly priceless.”

Building skills for future success

Meanwhile, HP has pledged its support to Goal Four of the SDGs to provide ‘Quality Education’, by committing more than $20m in technology, training and R&D to enable better learning outcomes for more than 100 million people by 2025.

The tech firm aims to assist national governments in building education solutions in poor communities to help children break the cycle of poverty. The project will be facilitated by programmes such as HP World on Wheels,  which brings digital literacy to rural India through mobile learning labs, and HP Learning Studios, which provides refugees in the Middle East with access to personalised learning experienceshardware, software, and teacher training services.

“HP’s efforts to advance quality learning and to support the SDGs are expanding social and economic opportunities for people all over the world,” said HP’s chief sustainability and social impact officer Nate Hurst. “I’m proud to work for a company that creates and invests in technology that can help teachers teach and students learn while building the skills needed for future success.”

Mapping against the SDGs

Research shows that the SDGs could add $12trn to the global economy by 2030. Reports suggest that momentum within the private sector is gradually increasing, as companies begin to witness material opportunities, rather than feeling forced to respond to the SDGs solely due to internal and external pressures.

Since the framework’s introduction in 2015, a host of businesses from a range of sectors that have used the SDGs to shape their sustainability strategy. Corporate giants such as PepsiCoCoca-ColaSABMiller and Unilever have all mapped their sustainability targets against the Goals that concern them the most.

Elsewhere, Swedish multinational home appliance manufacturer Electrolux’s sustainability framework, ‘For the Better’ includes a number pledges for social investment which align with the SDGs, including a positive impact on the ‘Zero Hunger’ and ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ targets.

George Ogleby

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