London Midtown businesses launch new SDG partnership

A coalition of more than 400 businesses in London's Midtown has partnered with the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD), to accelerated business contributions towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The two groups hope the initiative can act as a pilot for the rest of London and the UK

The two groups hope the initiative can act as a pilot for the rest of London and the UK

The UKSSD, a network of more than 100 organisations, has officially partnered with BEE Midtown, which covers businesses int eh Midtown area of central London. The partnership will design programmes that enable members to develop solutions that accelerate progress towards the SDGs.

“Our mission is to drive long-term sustainable commercial and social growth in Midtown, which is why we are excited to be working with UKSSD,” BEE Midtown’s chief executive Tass Mavrogordato, said.

“Increasing numbers of our businesses are innovating and growing as a result of aligning their corporate strategy with civic value, demonstrating leadership in London and providing an example for other districts across the UK to follow. Thanks to this partnership we hope to be able to build on this momentum and transform the SDGs from theory into practical, immediate and tangible benefits for our members.”

The two groups hope the initiative can act as a pilot for the rest of London and the UK to embed the SDGs into regional and business action plans.

Overall, Midtown consists of 14,000 business, 157,000 employees and generates a GVA output of almost £16bn. Only the City of London has more workers than Midtown in the capital. BEE Midtown members will gain access to UKSSD’s national programmes.

However, the London-based group has already implemented sustainable action roadmaps. Together with the Evening Standard, Bee Midtown is creating a pilot project on the reduction in the use of plastic and is working to improve biodiversity in the area.

Government’s SDG approach

As for the UKSSD, the organisation launched a landmark report into the UK Government’s approach to the SDGs.

The UKSSD’s report revealed that the nation was only performing well on 24% of targets considered relevant to the domestic delivery of the Goals.

Presented to MPs at the House of Commons in July, the report listed policy gaps or inadequate performance alongside 57% of the 143 targets, while 15% had “little to no policy in place” to address them.

MPs have since scrutinised Government’s reluctance to launch a Voluntary National Review for the gaols and the UKSSD believes that updates on targets are needed to inspire cross-sector collaboration to tackle areas where the UK is lagging. The Government eventually launched the Review this summer.

Previously, the UK Government's attempts at addressing and implementing the SDGs have been labelled "a total fail" by the chair of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) Mary Creagh.

Emily Auckland, Network Director, UKSSD, said: “We are delighted to launch our new partnership with BEE Midtown, which is the first business network of its kind in the UK to commit to bringing its members together to work collectively for the Sustainable Development Goals.

“This offer gives Midtown businesses the opportunity to be pioneers in London and is designed to enable hyper-local action on global issues and create a point of collective representation in the capital.”

Matt Mace



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