Better Business, Better World: Sustainable Business Opportunities in Asia
Asia’s economic transformation in recent times has been unprecedented. But its future is under threat from a swelling list of environmental and social burdens. This report offers a compelling alternative growth model: pursuing strategies in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The good news is that by 2030, opportunities created by pursuing the Global Goals identified in this report could create almost 230 million new jobs in Asia, providing work for around 12 percent of the current labour force.
Asia is profoundly affected by environmental trends that are challenging resource productivity and future growth worldwide, particularly climate change, loss of biodiversity, and changes in land use. More than 40 percent of arable land in China and India has been degraded due to climate change, local pollution, or topsoil erosion. On the social front, many people across Asia still lack access to basic healthcare, water, and sanitation services. More than 80 percent of Asia’s population lives in countries where inequality has risen over the past 20 years. And, in Asia’s middle-income countries, the growing burden of non-communicable diseases is eroding gains made with treatments for communicable diseases.
How can Asia’s businesses, governments, and leaders of civil society tackle these challenges and maintain the region’s economic momentum? This report offers a compelling alternative growth model: pursuing strategies in line with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals. This model reframes the region’s environmental and social threats as growth and development opportunities. It opens up possibilities in 60 sustainable market ‘hotspots’. Together, by 2030, across the region they will offer an economic prize worth more than US$5 trillion, and large social and environmental benefits.