The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) announced today the launch of the SDG Sector Roadmap for the electric utilities sector, aiming to provide utility business leaders with a guide to drive transformative change by contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)* agenda.

The WBCSD is a global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses, representing combined revenue of more than USD $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees, working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. The roadmap was developed with 11 electric utilities with multinational operations spanning Asia-Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and Europe, including ACCIONA, Celsia, CLP, EDF, EDP, Eletrobras, Enel, ENGIE, Iberdrola, Kansai Electric Power and Tata Power.

Peter Bakker, President & CEO, WBCSD, said:

“The road-mapping process that WBCSD’s electric utilities sector members have undertaken exemplifies the type of action-focused collaboration that will be instrumental in realizing the broad ambitions of the SDG agenda.”

According to the WBCSD, electric utilities have a key role to play in realizing the SDGs, particularly given their role in shaping the future of sustainable energy. The roadmap explores the electric utilities’ interaction with the SDGs, highlighting nine key goals for the sector, and outlining seven impact opportunity areas where the it is well placed to drive transformation.

The SDGs targeted by the new roadmap include Gender Equality (SDG 5), Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12), Climate Action (SDG 13), and Life on Land (SDG 15). Impact opportunities for the sector include decarbonizing electricity generation in line with 1.5°C warming; enhancing electricity system flexibility, resilience and efficiency; ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern electricity services for all; leaving no one behind in the energy transition and respecting human rights;  employing a diverse and inclusive workforce; protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of ecosystems and driving net biodiversity gains, and; accelerating the transition to a circular electric utility sector.

Ignacio S. Galán Chairman and CEO, Iberdrola, said:

“This Roadmap shows how electrification plays an essential role in contributing to the SDGs. We have been working to drive towards decarbonization for decades, generating progress and employment, while promoting equality, innovation, health and partnerships to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda.”

Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade CEO, EDP & EDPR, added:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives across the world and slowed our collective progress towards the SDGs. Tangible and measurable action is needed from our sector to support the economic green recovery of our communities and regain this lost ground. This WBCSD Roadmap provides an ambitious and attainable pathway from which we can collectively drive these efforts towards the 2030 targets.”

*What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

The UN SDGs refer to the 17 categories of Sustainable Development Goals adopted by world leaders at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, with the aim to protect the planet and improve quality of life globally.  The UN SDGs set targets to achieve a broad range of aspirational goals, including ending poverty and hunger, improving education, and protecting the environment.

The UN SDGs are divided into 17 categories: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land, Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions, and Partnerships for the Goals.