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Governments and businesses agreed on urgency to tackle SDGs at RBF

Governments and businesses agreed on urgency to tackle SDGs at RBF

The second day of the Responsible Business Forum for Sustainable Development (RBF) drew to a close on 24 November 2016 with over 750 business leaders, government representatives and NGOs coming together to share solutions and tackle the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); including climate action, partnerships, life below water, life on land, responsible consumption and production and peace, justice and strong institutions. Other issues discussed during the second day of RBF included a session on how the circular economy could contribute to delivering the SDGs.

Michelle Yeoh (above photo), UN Goodwill Ambassador for Gender Equality, who presented at the opening address on the second day of RBF, gave a strong call to action to attendees on the importance of the SDGs: “The success of the SDGs depends on many actors coming together to save the world! We must leave no one behind.”

Fokko Wientjes, VP Nutrition in Emerging Markets, DSM commented on the importance of partnerships between the public and private sector- “It’s extremely important to understand each other, we need to be able to see things from a different perspective. We need to have a shared goal." Lucita Jasmin, Director of Sustainability at APRIL Group added, “We need to embrace the concept of shared value creation.”

Andrew Morlet, CEO of Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Mark Cliffe, Chief Economist, ING Group and Roelof Westerbeek, President of Amcor Flexibles, Asia Pacific and Peter Wong, President of Dow Asia Pacific gathered in an afternoon session at Responsible Business Forum to discuss how the circular economy can contribute to delivering the SDGs.

The circular economy presents a new form of economic opportunity and growth that moves away from current linear extractive and consumptive patterns, characterised by chronic waste and negative externalities, towards a system that is restorative and regenerative by design. In addition to delivering direct economic and societal benefits, the circular economy also dramatically lowers energy and water demands of the system, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and reduces many other externalities, while at the same time preserving stock of finite materials and building natural capital.

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