SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

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 costs and risks (financial, legal, reputational) to the business itself, and, can exacerbate tensions and instability in society 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.

By contrast, a responsible business can through its core business, strategic social investment, public policy engagement and collective action make meaningful contributions to lasting peace, development and prosperity while ensuring long-term business success. Among other things, businesses can commit to working with governments and civil society to eliminate corruption in all its forms and to support strengthening of the rule of law. By focusing on the ways responsible business contributes to advancing these three dimensions of sustainable development; conducting business responsibly in high-risk areas, fighting corruption, and respect and support for the rule of law- business can contribute to more peaceful and inclusive societies, and support effective and accountable institutions.

  • Effective, accountable and transparent governance
  • Compliance with laws and regulations
  • Anti-corruption
  • Public access to information
  • Physical and economic displacement
  • Inclusive decision making

The below examples are non-exhaustive and some may be more relevant to certain industries than to others.

  • Comply with laws and seek to meet international standards; require and support business partners to do the same.
  • Commit to and implement conflict-sensitive, lawful and transparent operational policies and practices, including on human resources, public and corporate procurement, and in the value chain more generally.
  • Conduct risk and impact assessments to identify and mitigate risks of contributing to corruption, violence and conflict, and weakening of the rule of law and identify opportunities for positive impacts.
  • Measure and report on implementation progress, including on operations in high-risk areas.
  • Engage in public-private dialogues, partnerships and collective action in conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, anti-corruption and the rule of law.
  • UN Global Compact-Oxfam Poverty Footprint, PF-6.19: Does the company publically state it will work against corruption in all its forms, including bribery and extortion?
  • Access to Medicine Index, A.III.4: The company has a system in place to incorporate external and local (market) perspectives on access to medicine needs in the development and implementation of access strategies
  • The Women’s Empowerment Principles, Reporting on Progress: Does the business have an explicit, well-publicized policy of zero tolerance towards gender-based violence and harassment? Is there a confidential complaint procedure?
  • GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, G4-56: Describe the organization’s values, principles, standards and norms of behavior such as codes of conduct and codes of ethics

The complete overview of business indicators can be found at Business Indicators

  • UN Global Compact-Oxfam Poverty Footprint
  • The Bribe Payers Index
  • The Anti-Bribery Checklist
  • Social Hotspots Database/Portal (SHDB)
  • Impact Reporting & Investment Standards (IRIS)
  • Human Rights Compliance Assessment

The complete overview of business tools can be found at Business Tools

16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere

16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children

16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all

16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime

16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms

16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels

16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels

16.8 Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance

16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration

16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime

16.b Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development