For Businesses, Social, Economic Goals Must Overlap To Achieve Sustainable Development

Forbes: How Do We Get Businesses Working Towards the Sustainable Development Goals?
Bhaskar Chakravorti, senior associate dean of international business and finance at the Fletcher School at Tufts University

“…With the majority of [future economic] growth expected from the developing world, self-interest may be the most compelling reason for businesses to participate in sustainability and inclusive growth. … Africa has emerged as the last frontier for corporations seeking untapped growth opportunities — a perfect lab for perfecting sustainable and inclusive business models. However, Africa is also a perfect reminder that getting these models right will be far from easy. Case in point: Nestlé executive Cornel Krummenacher recently announced that his company is scaling back massively on its Africa operations. … There are three important lessons for stakeholders — in both the private and public sectors — to take from Nestlé’s retrenchment: 1. Interpret market growth forecasts in context, know the territory, and do your own math. … 2. Prepare to be surprised, create options to grow as the market grows — and help the market grow. … 3. Funding plans for the sustainable development goals must factor-in commercial imperatives. … For business to play its part, social goals and narrow self-interest — realistically crafted business goals — must find an overlap” (7/20).