CEO Forum: Accelerating Business Actions for Realizing Sustainable Development Goals

Day: 22th February, 2023 | Wednesday
7:45 pm – 8:30 pm | Click here for time in your location
Venue: Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi


The world is facing unprecedented challenges in the form of socio-economic inequities, unemployment, climate change, environmental degradation, as well as health crisis. Business sector can play an important role in providing the much-needed support in terms of technology development, propelling innovation, and finance. Technology and innovation are at the heart of sustainable development. Innovation is not limited to new breakthrough technologies and often involves incremental improvements and adaptations of existing technologies, processes, and practices. The magnitude of the challenges associated with achieving SDGs and climate action, requires not just breakthrough technologies but also innovations that reach to the bottom of the pyramid. Indeed, businesses must act as accelerators of the 2030 Agenda. The conventional view is that the technology is primarily developed in the Global North is simply transferred to the Global South. This model has disadvantages since technology transfer involves complex processes of sharing knowledge and adapting to these technologies to meet local conditions, including for MSMEs. India’s G20 Presidency presents an unique opportunity to push for global agendas from a Global South perspective, to not just focus on large industries but also on MSMEs and vulnerable sectors.

Policy Instruments

Various instruments are important for supporting green innovations such as financial support for R&D, regulation, technology procurement, technology legitimization, eco-labelling, and standards. Private investments and scientific research in green technology is important; however, regulatory, financial, cultural, institutional, and policy instruments are equally important for understanding the problems and designing efficient and equitable solutions. With the known and unknown risks of developing these green technologies, the role of both state and markets becomes important. It is essential that the business sector and policymakers come together to unlock means such as finance and regulatory framework which is conducive for development, demonstration and deployment of green technologies and innovations. Green technologies can be strengthened by investing in research and development by the private and public sectors. It is also essential to target barriers to its early stages of innovation/ technology development as access to finance is especially difficult for firms engaged in green innovation, due to the relative immaturity of the market, and thus greater perceived commercial risk. Green innovations and policies can be given an impetus though green investments, demand-enhancing measures, innovation policies, standards, regulatory support, and public procurement.

Businesses and a ‘Public Goods’ Approaches

There is an urgent need to reorient innovation systems from market-based approaches to innovation-based approaches, for which the values are based on interactive learning, information exchange, and coordination between businesses, universities, research centres, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Market prices do not fully incorporate the societal costs of using brown technologies, such as greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental risks, with which green technologies compete. Typical market-based solutions to this have been carbon taxes or “cap and trade” schemes aimed at incorporating the societal costs into market prices, along with strong intellectual property rights to encourage investment in green technologies. Reorientation of the markets by adopting an innovation-based approach is the need of the hour. A Green National Innovation System (G-NIS) approach emphasizes the public-goods nature of many green technologies and innovations into the NIS framework. Unless green innovations and technologies are treated as ‘public good’s, the benefits of these will not percolate to the bottom of the pyramid. In a bid to accelerate sustainable development, multilateral institutions, and international bodies along with business champions can advocate for a public goods-based approach to innovations.

Through this session, executive heads from businesses & industries will come together to deliberate on how best can the society move towards a ‘public goods’ approach to accelerate achieving of the sustainable development goals.

Key Questions (speakers are requested to address all/ at least two questions)

[1] In what way can the private sector contribute to stages of innovation in terms of initiation, experimentation, demonstration, commercialization, and diffusion of green innovations & technologies for public goods?

[2] What are the various strategies and approaches that can be adopted to promote a ‘public goods’ approach by businesses for accelerating progress on sustainable development goals?

[3] How can businesses actions accelerate progress towards the 5 Ps (People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnerships) of SDGs? What enabling ecosystem support do businesses need?

[4] The five pillars of the Green Development Pact, under India’s G20 Presidency, are envisaged to include: Lifestyle of Environment (LiFE), Circular Economy, Climate Finance, Accelerating Progress on SDGs, and Energy Transitions & Energy Security. What role can businesses play in these G20 priority areas?


The session will involve a chaired/ moderated discussion, which will start with brief remarks by the chair/ moderator followed by brief addresses/ statements by the speakers. After the addresses, depending on the remaining time, the chair will pose 1–2 questions to the esteemed speakers based on issues emerging from the addresses. The chair/ moderator will then sum up the discussions. The total length of the panel discussion is 60 minutes. The addresses should be in the form of verbal interventions only. The WSDS Secretariat requests speakers to avoid using power point presentations. Strict time management is to be followed, for which there will be a timer/ buzzer.


WSDS Secretariat

Centre for Sustainable
Development Research and Leadership,
The Energy & Resources Institute
6C, Darbari Seth Block, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
New Delhi - 110 003 India

Email Us

Call Us

+91 11 24682100 (Ext. : 2464)