USCIB Organizes Second ‘Moving the Needle’ Business Roundtable at COP15 in Montreal

Eric Loeb speaks at the USCIB MTN Roundtable in Montreal

On the margins of the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Montreal, Canada in December 2022, USCIB held a second Moving the Needle business roundtable. The roundtable focused on the second priority area set out by the President of the 77th Session of the General Assembly: Science. Titled Creating a Safe Space for Collaboration: Enhancing Business-Science-Policy Interface to Accelerate Implementation of the SDGs and OCA Priorities, the roundtable focused on how business innovation and R&D can inform and strengthen implementation of the SDGs to achieve OCA targets, working with and through the multilateral system by identifying opportunities to strengthen the science-policy-business interface with the ambition to accelerate implementation.

Presiding over the session, Chair of USCIB and Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at Salesforce Eric Loeb highlighted the importance of promoting meaningful engagement by the business community across all sectors and the key role this will play in meeting the 2030 commitments working through and with the UN. Furthermore, “USCIB is focused on enabling private sector innovation, R&D, scientific partnerships and investments for nature-based solutions,” added Loeb.

The roundtable included eminent speakers such as OECD Environment Directorate Director Jo Tyndall, Chair of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Ana María Hernández and Head of Sustainability Partnerships, Scouting & Ventures at Novozymes Justin Perrettson, who also co-chairs the USCIB Environment Committee.

The speakers emphasized that science is key to accelerating the pace and effectiveness of government and business actions to deliver on the SDGs and OCA targets. While systems thinking and institutional innovation will be central to mobilizing private sector know-how and concerted efforts from all actors necessary to achieve our shared objectives, it is  critical for business to be part of that conversation.

Left to right: Chris Southworth (ICC UK), Daphne Yong-d’Hervé (ICC), and Prof. Tim Hodges (McGill University)

The main panel sessions included high level business speakers Kate Gibson, llobal head of ESG at Diageo, Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer at Walmart and president of the Walmart Foundation, Chris Southworth, secretary general, ICC UK, Timothy Hodges, professor of Practice in Strategic Approaches to Global Affairs at McGill University Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID) and Daphne Yong-d’Hervé, director, global policy, International Chamber of Commerce. As part of the knowledge community, inclusive engagement of business is important to better understand perspectives, priorities and identify the most suitable solutions. While many companies have already been involved in the science-based initiative, more widespread adoption is needed to strengthen the data, tools, and policies to guide assessment and disclosure of genuine corporate progress. The dialogue between business, government and society needs to be grounded in trust, respect and guided by science.

USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy and USCIB Policy Manager for Environment and Sustainable Development Agnes Vinblad worked together to organize this second MTN roundtable with the support of Lea Felluss, project manager for MTN.

BACKGROUND: About the Moving the Needle (MTN) initiative

USCIB launched the Moving the Needle (MTN) initiative during the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2022. MTN focuses on three priorities identified by the President of the UN General Assembly: Solutions for Sustainability, Science, and Solidarity.

MTN explores how business expertise, action and resources in these three areas can be brought to the table via dialogue, partnerships, and resource mobilization, accelerating SDG implementation through Our Common Agenda (OCA), working with and through the multilateral system.

Learnings from the three roundtables will conclude with a Moving the Needle Roadmaps for Results report and provide the foundation for a white paper on Business and the UN 2.0. Further information about USCIB’s Moving the Needle can be found HERE.

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