September 8, 2016 – Konica Minolta Australia Managing Director, Dr David Cooke, is part of a group of eminent Australian business leaders that have come together behind a public CEO Statement of Support for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The SDGs, agreed by all 193 United Nations member states and applicable to all countries, are a set of 17 well-considered goals, supported by 169 targets that seek to dramatically improve the lives of millions around the world by 2030.
According to a recent study by the UN Global Compact and Accenture, 87 per cent of CEOs say the SDGs represent an essential opportunity to rethink approaches to sustainability, and 49 per cent say businesses will be the most important actor in their delivery. 1
Konica Minolta President and CEO, Shoei Yamana, who was interviewed for the study, said, “Our approach is to be open and circular about our activities and impact – we disclose information to our suppliers to and help them improve.” 2
The CEO Statement of Support, launched at the inaugural Australian SDGs Summit on September 7, is a call to action for the Australian business community that it can and must do more to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet.
Dr David Cooke, Managing Director, Konica Minolta Australia, said, “In February 2016, Konica Minolta Australia became the first technology company to join the United Nations Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA).
“Around the same time we also conducted an initial sense check to see what activities we were already doing that aligned with the SDGs. Since then, our thinking on certain goals has expanded and we are integrating these activities into our corporate strategy. We need to shift from simply aligning to the SDGs, to using the goals as a burning platform for informed decision-making.”
There are three areas that Konica Minolta Australia will focus on:
1. SDG 3: Good health and well-being. Globally, Konica Minolta has developed nursing support solutions to improve the delivery of aged care. Examples include portable digital imagery equipment such as x-ray machines, and an ultrasound device that can be transported to home-based patients for accurate diagnosis in situ; while innovations such as a Sensor Box to monitor patient falls can help nurses predict patient behaviour, and respond appropriately and effectively. Konica Minolta Australia has similarly invested in med-tech start-up Clevertar, which creates digital agents or avatars for the healthcare industry. Clevertar's apps have the potential to democratise healthcare, and are already being used to improve patient outcomes in the diabetes and aged care spaces.
2. SDG 5: Gender equality. Konica Minolta is serious about its responsibility to contribute to a world where gender equality is the norm, rather than the exception. In March 2016, Konica Minolta launched its Gender Equality Strategy with targets to improve the representation of women across all levels of the business. More recently, it submitted its application to be considered Employer of Choice by the Women’s Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). Partnerships with the Women’s Legal Service and Project Futures exemplify the company’s efforts to support women vulnerable to, or victims of, abuse or exploitation.
3. SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth. Eradicating the worst forms of child labour and forced labour cannot be achieved without businesses being key stakeholders. Konica Minolta Australia’s Ethical Sourcing Roadmap localises the group’s global commitments to drive better human rights outcomes in business operations and supply chains.
Dr David Cooke said, “As individuals, we have a moral propensity to do what is right; as businesses, we have a clear responsibility to ensure our operations do no harm and positively contribute to social, environmental, and economic development. The SDGs provide a platform for all companies to take targeted action in a way that is both strategic and meaningful.
“Konica Minolta Australia sees the SDGs as a timely and unique opportunity to pursue our agenda of innovation and collaboration. Engagement with the SDG agenda will further bring to life our company philosophy: the creation of new value. Like Konica Minolta Australia, the SDGs will grow and evolve over time. As the year progresses we will identify opportunities for alignment and engagement, while considering elements of the SDGs in planning and actions.
“We encourage our solutions partners, industry peers, and suppliers to develop their own agenda, no matter how large or small, or join together with Konica Minolta Australia as we undertake this journey.”
For more information visit: http://www.unglobalcompact.org.au/2016/09/07/gcna-launches-ceo-statement-of-support-for-the-sdgs/