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Time to Take the Lead on the Sustainable Development Goals

Date: 29/03/2021

With the UN Food Systems Summit this year and 10 years left to achieve the SDGs by 2030, will Irish food businesses take a lead on game changing ideas? Sarah Martin, Director of Communications, Concern Worldwide

Take part in the Global Goals Business Conversations and UN Food System Summit dialogues

Watch: Global Goals Business Conversations Supported by Concern Worldwide

Five years on from the agreement of 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 193 UN Member States in 2015, we now have 10 years remaining to achieve these ambitious targets to end issues such as poverty, hunger and inequality, while protecting our planet from climate change. Accelerated ambition and a ‘decade of action’ is required to achieve the Global Goals by 2030. We are also one year into a global pandemic that has shaken the foundations of society and reminded us of the fragility of existence. UN Secretary- General António Guterres said last year that this crisis was an “unprecedented wake-up call”, one that gives us the “opportunity to do things right for the future”.

The current crisis is an unprecedented wake-up call.

We need to turn the recovery into a real opportunity to do things right for the future”.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, April 2020


The Global Goals cannot be achieved without everyone’s involvement. As we emerge from the crisis of Covid-19 and wake-up to the realities of the climate and biodiversity crises, as well as extreme poverty and inequality, it is critical that businesses play an even bigger role in driving the sustainability agenda forward. Business leaders have the power to influence and change worldwide production systems, employment conditions, and issues such as climate change and gender equality.  We need corporate leadership now more than ever; we need leaders who are willing to make bold decisions to “do things right for the future” of people and planet.

2021 will also see the UN Food Systems Summit take place, recognising the unique role of our food system and its actors in environment, climate, health, peace, and a just society. As food producers, both local and global, you are part of that system and have a vital role to play in ensuring our food system becomes more sustainable, ensuring everyone can access adequate nutrition while staying within planetary boundaries.

The UN Food Systems Summit will propose ‘game changing ideas’ focussed around 5 objectives or ‘action tracks’: ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all; shift to sustainable consumption patterns; boost nature-positive production; advance equitable livelihoods; and build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stresses. The ‘game changing ideas’ will draw on the expertise and experience of actors from across the world’s food systems, gathered through national and independent dialogues in the months leading to the summit. You can have a voice in these dialogues, which are already happening and will continue over the coming months, and more importantly, you can and must be a part of making these game changing ideas and solutions happen.

In Concern Worldwide’s work across 23 of the world’s poorest countries, we see some of the most extreme impacts of climate change, conflict, and inequality. While much of our work takes place far away from Ireland, we are acutely aware of the impacts, both positive and negative, all of our actions here at home can have far from our shores.

Through the Global Goals Business Conversations, with the support of Irish Aid, we are inviting Irish businesses to consider their impact on the world and how they can have a role in helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. We are calling on business leaders to consider how they can personally drive the Global Goals within their company.

We invite you to be part of the conversation and be part of creating a better more sustainable future for all.


The Global Goals Business Conversations

Through ‘Chatham House Rules’ round table discussions (delivered online) we will explore with business leaders where they can have most impact, how they are moving the goals forward, and what obstacles or barriers they are encountering.  The input of participating businesses will form part of a University of Limerick report on Ireland’s engagement with the SDGs, prepared in partnership with Concern and Irish Aid, and will help inform government on how they can better support businesses in their sustainability ambitions. 

If you are interested in taking part in a Global Goals Business Conversation for the agri-food sector and/or availing of an internal Global Goals Business Conversation for your senior management team, REGISTER YOUR INTEREST HERE or please get in touch for additional information by contacting Aimée Vaughan on