Press Release - December 6, 2017

New report from Silicon Valley Community Foundation helps companies align with the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Eliminating poverty. Achieving universal access to energy. Ending inequality in education. These are just some of the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a United Nations framework to address the world’s most pressing social, environmental and economic challenges by 2030.

A new report from Silicon Valley Community Foundation – The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: A Why, When and How Guide for Business – will help business leaders understand the Sustainable Development Goals and the key role that businesses play in addressing them, and will help companies map their way forward with the SDGs.

Although experts say achieving the SDGs can unlock trillions of dollars in new market value, the agenda is uncharted territory for most businesses.

 “The U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals are relatively new, and many business leaders are still trying to figure out what the goals mean for their companies,” said Stuart Burden, vice president of corporate responsibility at SVCF. “In this practical guide, we hope to get business people talking about the SDGs and putting plans in place that catalyze real change. With the right tools, businesses can harness their capacity for innovation, strategic partnerships and finance to play a key role in making the world a better place by 2030.”

Along with the U.N. member states that will use the goals to frame their political policies over the next decade, the SDGs explicitly call on businesses to play an active role. Many are well-positioned to do so, but they may not know how to begin. 

Over the past 10 years, SVCF has helped more than 100 companies leverage philanthropy to address local and global challenges. With this report, SVCF hopes to help companies take these efforts a step further by aligning with a global push for a brighter future.

Written by a journalist with a background in corporate social responsibility, the report details why the SDGs matter to the private sector and how businesses can get involved with the agenda. Featuring tips from social entrepreneurs and case studies from some of America’s best-known companies — including Marriott International, Kimberly-Clark, Cisco and Airbnb — the report gives both startups and large businesses the tools they need to get started. Experts offer advice for each step of the process, including:

  • Define priorities: Tips help companies craft an SDG approach that aligns with their business goals. 
  • Get input: Engage internal and external stakeholders around the SDGs with inspiration from established technology companies and startups alike.  
  • Set goals: Case studies demonstrate how to turn priorities into actionable, time-bound goals that align with the SDGs.

SVCF will celebrate the launch of its report on Dec. 13 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. CSR leaders will share their experiences with integrating the SDGs into their companies in a moderated discussion, and discuss ways to move this bold new framework forward. Register for free here.

Read the full text of the report.

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. We engage donors and corporations from Silicon Valley, across the country and around the globe to make our region and world better for all. Our passion for helping people and organizations achieve their philanthropic dreams has created a global philanthropic enterprise committed to the belief that possibilities start here. Learn more at