SDG 8: Decent work and economy growth

Over the past 25 years the number of workers living in extreme poverty has declined dramatically, despite the lasting impact of the 2008 economic crisis and global recession. In developing countries, the middle class now makes up more than 34 percent of total employment – a number that has almost tripled between 1991 and 2015.
 
However, as the global economy continues to recover we are seeing slower growth, widening inequalities, and not enough jobs to keep up with a growing labour force. According to the International Labour Organization, more than 204 million people were unemployed in 2015.
 
The SDGs promote sustained economic growth, higher levels of productivity and technological innovation. Encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation are key to this, as are effective measures to eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking. With these targets in mind, the goal is to achieve full and productive employment, and decent work, for all women and men by 2030. (UNDP, 2015)

 

Companies that are achieving this are:

Unilever Pte Ltd (NYSE:UL)

Industry: Food & Staples Retailing, Beverages, Food Products, Household Products, Personal Products
Headquartered in: UK

Unilever is a Multi-National Company with huge markets and supply chains in many developing countries. Unilever has recently met its committment to pay all its employees a living wage. Its next goal is to "ensure that everyone who directly provides goods and services to Unilever will earn at least a living wage or income by 2030", with a specific focus on the most vulnerable workers in manufacturing and agriculture. By improving living standards for low-paid workers, Unilever is making progress towards SDG 1.

Danone (EPA:BN, OTC:DANOY)

Industry: Food & Staples Retailing, Beverages, Food Products
Headquartered in: France

As part of Danone's dual commitment to business success and social progress, it is creating social value by supporting more than 100,000 employees in over 57 countries with a Human Resources strategy focused on the following topics:

Social Dialogue
Employee Training and Development
Inclusive Diversity
Health and Safety

In 2001, Danone formalized its seven Fundamental Social Principles, based on the standards defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO): abolition of child labor; abolition of forced labor; non-discrimination; freedom of association and right to collective bargaining; workplace health and safety; working hours; and compensation.

Danone also has an Ecosystem Fund which co-creates projects with social impact that strengthen vulnerable economic partners in Danone's value chain. Through its 88 projects the fund has improved the employability, social inclusion and secured revenues of thousands of family farmers, street vendors, waste pickers and care givers around the world. Indeed, since its creation in 2009, more than 62,000 direct beneficiaries have been professionally empowered and over 4.7 million people positively impacted worldwide. Meanwhile, Danone's Livelihoods Impact Investment Funds support the efforts of disadvantaged rural communities in developing countries to restore their natural ecosystems so as to improve their livelihoods by increasing their food security and their economic revenues.

LG Chem (KRX:051910)

Industry: Chemicals
Headquartered in: Korea

LG Chem has, since June 2020, been implementing the Magnolia Project(MProject) to radically improve the management system of environmental safety. Its main objective is to put in place standards and a management system appropriate for a global company in all of its business places across the world after reviewing all the measures for environmental safety from the very beginning.

Prudential (LON:PRU)

Industry: Life and health insurance
Headquartered in: UK

In November 2020, Prudential Singapore brought together 80 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across 50 industries and a government agency – SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) – to co-create the SME Skills Accelerator programme. This one-year programme is part of Prudential Singapore’s value-added services for SMEs to help them upskill and support them in their innovation efforts. SMEs are entitled to curated training programmes that are subsidised by SSG on topics such as design thinking, digital transformation and workplace learning. As part of the programme, SMEs get to join a network of like-minded people to share best practices and improve processes. SMEs are also connected to a dedicated skills manager who advises on the SMEs’ upskilling needs.


Recognising the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Prudential Indonesia has supported MSMEs across Indonesia by holding a series of financial literacy training webinars, in partnership with AKUMANDIRI, SMESCO and the Tangan di Atas Community. The initiative includes a series of webinar sessions delivered by experts from Prudential Indonesia, covering key financial literacy topics including the importance of financial management, business capital, developing business strategies, and cash flow management for business entities.

Swiss Reinsurance Company (SIX:SREN)

Industry: Insurance
Headquartered in: Switzerland

As the world's biggest reinsurance company, a committment to sustainability and building global resilience is a core part of Swiss Re's strategy to stay competitive by managing risks related to ESG issues.

Swiss Re incorporates innovative technology such as satellite technology and geospatial datasets to provide farming communities with protection against natural disasters, enhancing the resilience of these communities, their livelihods and the local economy. It has such insurance projects in South-East Asian countries like India and Vietnam.

Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY)

Industry: Pharmeceuticals
Headquartered in: US

Lilly is committed to maintaining a safe workplace and providing opportunities for employees to learn and develop. It believes that doing business with a diverse set of suppliers helps the company accelerate innovation and deliver strong results. In 2020, it spent more than $519 million USD with 1,223 suppliers classified as small businesses.