Editor’s note: Achieving the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals is essential to protect nature and save the bottom lines of businesses everywhere, a leading conservationist told business leaders this week at a meeting of the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the U.N. Global Compact.
“The goal of protecting nature isn’t an addition — it’s integral to the success of the entire spectrum of the Sustainable Development Goals. You can’t address issues of equity, of health, of hunger without recognizing the role nature plays in addressing these challenges,” said Peter Seligmann, the CEO of Conservation International (CI).
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals that have been adopted by U.N. member states aimed at ending poverty, fighting inequality and tackling climate change by 2030.
Seligmann’s talk touched on everything from current corporate trends in sustainable production to the “Aha!” moment of the conservation movement. An edited transcript of his speech follows.