Forward Faster: Accelerating SDGs and Sustainable Leadership

Title image showing - Forward faster: Accelerating SDGs and sustainable leadership

Global, Oct 16, 2023

Attributed to Sharon Kekana

Our responsible business agenda is shaped by who we are as a business and dedicated to helping Logicalis conduct business in a responsible way. While we are working hard on our robust responsible business plan, especially with regards to our sustainability goals, there is still a long way for us all to go. Responsible Business Manager Sharon Kekana, recently participated in the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, held at the Javits Centre in New York.

This year the theme for the UN Leader’s Summit was ‘Forward Faster’, marking a pivotal moment in our global pursuit of worldwide sustainable development goals (SDGs). A remarkable gathering, it united leaders from diverse sectors, who were all passionately dedicated to the critical task of accelerating SDG action.

Sharon Kekana at the UN Leaders Summit


The aim of the summit was clear: to inspire and challenge organizations to move forward faster by setting measurable, credible, and ambitious targets aligned with calls to action in gender equality, climate action, living wage, water resilience, and finance and investment. These key areas were chosen for their potential to expedite progress across all 17 SDGs, recognizing the private sector's capacity to catalyse substantial change by 2030. The summit came at a crucial juncture when only 15% of SDGs are currently on track for 2030, underlining the pressing need for accelerated action. In her inspiring opening remarks, Assistant Secretary-General and CEO of the United Nations Global Compact, Sanda Ojiambo set the tone for the event, emphasizing the call for forward-thinking, action-oriented leaders who are ready to be doers, builders, changers, and movers to get us back on track in achieving Agenda 2030.

View of talk at UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2023

Gender Equality

One of the most pressing issues addressed during the summit was gender equality. At the current rate of progress, it would take over 160 years to achieve gender equality in terms of women's economic empowerment and participation. Leading CEOs shared their ambitious strategies for promoting gender equality. They emphasized that “appointing women leaders should not be a mere checkbox exercise for companies but should be based on merit”, echoing the call for genuine inclusivity and diversity. Empowering and uplifting women leaders requires an investment in their growth, development, and mentorship. It is an investment that not only benefits individuals but also contributes to the broader goals of gender equality and a more equitable society.

Climate Action

Leaders agreed on the critical need to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 while aligning business strategies with climate goals. The collective voice of leaders echoed a resolute call for businesses to set science-based net-zero emissions reduction targets, aligning with a 1.5°C pathway. The overarching goal is to cut global emissions in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

At Logicalis we have already committed to these science-based targets, accompanied by a comprehensive carbon reduction roadmap. Our commitment and the steps we've taken, serve as a powerful testament that even though we may be early in our sustainability journey, our unwavering dedication and bold initiatives exemplify our determination to play a pivotal role in minimizing our environmental impact.


A key lesson gleaned from the climate and gender equality discussions is the profound truth that "leadership is not solely about setting targets; it's about taking tangible action." Indeed, while setting ambitious targets is an essential first step, genuine leadership comes to the fore when these targets are not just aspirations but are achieved through purposeful and impactful actions.

Businesses must avoid the pitfall of viewing sustainability solely through the lens of risk management or as a mere checkbox exercise for ratings and compliance, ultimately seen as a cost. Instead, sustainability should be embraced as an intrinsic driver for a company's survival and prosperity, particularly in times of crisis.

The key lies in integrating the business strategy and sustainability strategy seamlessly. This integration empowers teams across all functions to adopt a sustainability perspective in their daily activities. Moreover, it becomes paramount to effectively communicate sustainability objectives to internal teams, ensuring a clear understanding of the organization's sustainability goals.

Going forwards

In closing, as loudly echoed in the opening “history has taught us that the leaders who succeed are the ones who meet the needs of the future by moving forward.”  As we reflect on the insights shared during this summit, I am genuinely thrilled by the boundless potential that lies ahead of us as we take on the challenge of advancing the SDGs at an accelerated pace, propelling us toward the realisation of Agenda 2030.

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