Over the past century the world has experienced tremendous economic growth, seen scientific discoveries and rapid technological and digital developments that have vastly improved the lives of millions of people around the world. Business has played a major part in this progress, through innovation, delivery of new services and products, provision of jobs and connecting people and cultures through international trade. Today, all around the world we see inspiring examples of farsighted individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses that dare to think anew and take bold decisions to invest in solutions that can improve the lives of millions. Never before have we had the capacity, the knowledge and the resources to shape the future we all want. Yet, despite these successes, we face unprecedented challenges that demand a whole new level of human initiative. If we continue on the current path – with intensifying climate change, depletion of vital natural resources and rising inequalities among people – we not only threaten future prosperity, but risk a reversal of the progress in human development that we have seen so far. A change in course is needed, and the global business sector is encouraged to play a key role.
United Nations Global Compact, 2017