Business thrives in peaceful environments with effective institutions where operating costs are predictable and working environments are stable. Failure to implement responsible business practices can result in additional expenses and risks (financial, legal, reputational). It can also exacerbate tensions and instability and undermine the rule of law. Corruption causes inefficiencies in markets because it renders transaction costs uncertain, is anti-competitive and hampers businesses’ ability to comply with human rights and other obligations.
How can we pursue SDG16?
A responsible business can undertake strategic social investment, public policy engagement and collective action to make meaningful contributions to lasting peace, development and prosperity while ensuring long-term business success. Businesses can also commit to working with governments and civil society to eliminate all forms of corruption and support strengthening the rule of law.
Businesses can take positive actions:
- Comply with laws and seek to meet international standards, and require and support business partners to do the same.
- Commit to and implement conflict-sensitive, lawful and transparent operational policies and practices.
- Conduct risk and impact assessments to identify and mitigate risks that may contribute to corruption, violence and conflict, and weakening of the rule of law and identify opportunities for positive impacts.
- Reject business and supply chain practices such as bribery, slavery, smuggling, and false claims about products/services.
Individuals can take purposeful actions that include:
- Stay well informed and apply critical thinking.
- Vote, taking advantage of your right to elect the leaders in your country and the local community.
- Know your rights at work.
- Be active in your local community in voluntary roles.
- Run for a public or community post.
- Speak up, asking your local and national authorities to engage in initiatives that don’t harm people or the planet.
SDG16 aims to "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels".
It has associated aims that include:
Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere.
End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.
Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all.
Significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organised crime.
Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms.
Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.
Provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.
Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.
Good Dividends in partnership with QuoLux™ provide purpose-led leadership training programmes to enable leaders to align their businesses with Sustainable Development Goals.