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International Business Collaboration

According to the United Nations, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can only be achieved through strong international partnerships and cooperation. So how can business collaboration across borders help enhance the action toward sustainability?


The scope, scale, and complexity of the economic and social transformation will be such that no one sector can manage this shift alone. To achieve scale and sustained impact, cross-sector and international partnerships are essential to bringing different sectors together. These partnerships can unleash innovative working methods, mobilizing expertise and hard-to-reach resources, and create shared accountability in an increasingly complex world. Each industry has a valuable role, but collaboration's value is truly transformative.


Private sector partnerships have the most significant impact. To progress toward the SDGs, actors across entire value chains must band together and take collective action on issues threatening business growth and social development. Collaborations effectively engage and retain corporate participants when they address a critical issue to business continuity. The trend toward private-sector-led partnerships still requires increased speed, depth, and expanse.


An excellent example of international collaboration is the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition (GISC), a partnership between leading companies to build more inclusive global supply chains by advancing the large-scale adoption of Impact Sourcing. In this business practice, a company prioritizes suppliers that intentionally hire and provide career development opportunities to people with limited prospects for formal employment. Furthermore, in 2018, GISC launched an Impact Sourcing Challenge, challenging its members to hire 100,000 impact workers by the end of 2020, which was achieved. These inclusive businesses benefit from a more diverse set of employees' skills and talents and from building stronger relationships with clients, employees, and the communities in which they operate.

In the context of global instability and economic transformation, when a business leverages its collective reach, expertise, and power, it can impact beyond what one company could accomplish alone. Working together internationally toward the SDGs contributes to an environment where businesses can thrive.

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