Making progress against GSMA Sustainable Development Goals
At a recent United Nations Private Sector Forum, the GSMA unveiled the ‘2016 Mobile Industry Impact Report: Sustainable Development Goals’, a study that provides a current assessment of the mobile industry’s impact in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and outlines future actions that will expand and strengthen that impact.
The GSMA also announced several industry commitments, including actions to elevate the focus on humanitarian assistance, as well as a partnership with the UN to drive ongoing engagement around the SDGs across the mobile industry and adjacent sectors.
The report finds that the mobile industry impacts all 17 SDGs to varying degrees, with the greatest effect being felt on SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 13 (Climate Action).
The study identified three primary ways that the mobile industry can accelerate progress against the SDGs: expand the global mobile network footprint and connect subscribers to voice and data services; enhance the quality of connectivity and ease of access and innovate mobile-enabled services to meet sustainable development needs; and contribute to sustainable development policy alongside governments and agencies.
“This first-of-its-kind report offers critical insights into the transformative impact of the mobile industry on individuals, societies and economies around the world, in developed and developing markets,” said Mats Granryd, director general, GSMA. “Importantly, it establishes a benchmark through which we will assess our industry’s progress in contributing to the SDGs by 2030 and serves as a blueprint for other industries as they commit to achieving the goals.”
Further, the GSMA announced several commitments that will align the mobile industry even more closely with the United Nations, governments, development organisations and other industry sectors to address the ambitious agenda set out by the Sustainable Development Goals. These commitments include: partnering with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser to create a road map for ongoing engagement in the SDGs, identifying the most critical areas for mobile industry action; elevating the mobile industry’s focus on humanitarian assistance – an area requiring immediate intervention – with emphasis on expanding the adoption of the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter; and implementing a programme, in cooperation with the UN Global Compact, to advocate sustainability principles and support mobile operators in advancing sustainability reporting linked to the SDGs.
The report, which was developed by Deloitte for the GSMA, is designed to facilitate progress reporting by creating a common, measureable system that links the industry’s activities to their impact on the SDGs and will serve as an input into industry decisions on strategy, planning and investment.