Posted on March 30, 2017

The arrival of the new industrial revolution - or Industry 4.0 - promises considerable opportunities for inclusive and sustainable development for both manufacturers and governments, according to a new report launched today: “Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals - seizing the opportunity in global manufacturing”. Greater sustainability can help manufacturing and industrial businesses unlock trillions in growth opportunities. At the same time, governments will turn to business to help them shape and implement policy measures that advance sustainable economic growth and inclusive prosperity.

The report, developed jointly by PwC, UNIDO and GMIS, explores the relevance for manufacturing businesses of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - also called the Global Goals - and examines how global manufacturing organisations can align their strategy with SDGs. The report states that SDGs offer tremendous economic opportunities for global manufacturing players and businesses at large, if captured and applied as part of long-term and inclusive growth strategies. A systematic, collaborative relationship between governments and manufacturers is therefore vital for the successful achievement of the global development agenda. The paper is timely and relevant to the upcoming Global Declaration on the future of manufacturing, industry and sustainable development.

It also aligns with the Business and Sustainable Development Commission’s flagship report “Better Business, Better World” issued in January 2017 at Davos, showing how pursuing the Global Goals could raise trillions in new market opportunities in ways that extend prosperity to all. It revealed that sustainable and inclusive business models could unlock economic opportunities worth at least US$12 trillion a year by 2030 and generate up to 380 million jobs, mostly in developing countries. But that the total economic prize from implementing the Global Goals could be anywhere between two and three times larger still, assuming that the benefits are captured across the whole economy and accompanied by much higher labour and resource productivity.

Dr. Anil Khurana, Partner, Strategy & Innovation at PwC and a member of the Organizing Committee at GMIS said: “The SDGs offer businesses - including manufacturers - a unique opportunity to set their course towards a genuinely sustainable long-term strategy, one in which they can align better with governments and regulators, use energy and other resources much more efficiently, lower their costs and improve their innovation in terms of both products and production methods. The countdown has already begun in the race to achieve the SDGs, but global manufacturing should see it as a long-term play. CEOs therefore have much to consider and many moving parts to assimilate when it comes to the SDGs, but if they can meet these challenges, the rewards that await them are considerable indeed.”

Mr. Ludovico Alcorta, Director, United Nations Industrial Development Organization: “Building vibrant and systematic partnerships with industry is a vital prerequisite for the successful implementation of today’s transformative agenda toward accelerating poverty reduction and sustainable development. Government and business must work together to create clear policy frameworks and incentives to ensure that profits are translated into sustained economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.

Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 9 will foster strong, sustainable and balanced growth and prosperity by creating jobs and mainstreaming cleaner industrial solutions. But leveraging industry’s potential to create lasting development results calls for new forms of partnership that put forward innovative business models that respond to commercial priorities while also delivering on the development front.” The report, “Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals - seizing the opportunity in global manufacturing” was launched today by PwC and UNIDO at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in Abu Dhabi and can be accessed through the following link:  

The inaugural Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit is held at the Paris-Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, UAE, from March 27-30, 2017. A joint initiative by the UAE Ministry of Economy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and co-hosted with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, the Summit will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The Summit is the world’s first global gathering for the manufacturing community, bringing together leaders in business, government and civil society to shape a vision for the sector’s future.