Infrastructure like energy, transport, irrigation and information and communication technology are crucial to communities, and investments in them are essential for achieving sustainable development. The outcomes of many other 2030 targets are reliant on strong, sustainable infrastructure.

While infrastructure is essential to achieve many social outcomes, innovation is the foundation of efforts to achieve environmental outcomes, such as increased resource and energy efficiency. Development and environmental preservation will not happen without technology and innovation, and there needs to be more investments in high-tech products that transform manufacturing and the way in which we manage our natural resources for consumption.

Transportation & Manufacturing

People need efficient transportation to access services, attend work and go about their daily lives; transportation services drive economic development. In 2015, the estimated global economic impact of air transport was $2.7 trillion, equivalent to 3.5 per cent of global GDP. However, the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states represent far less air travel and freight volumes, with each country group accounting for only 1 per cent to 2.7 per cent of the global total.

Manufacturing is also a principal driver of economic development, employment and social stability. Globally, manufacturing value added as a share of GDP increased from 15.3 per cent in 2005 to 16.2 per cent in 2016. The least developed countries continue to struggle in value added as a share of GDP: in 2016, manufacturing value added per capita amounted to just $100 in these countries, compared to $4,621 in Europe and North America.

Carbon & Emissions Intensity

As many countries move to more efficient and less energy-intensive industries, their emissions of carbon dioxide per unit of manufacturing value added are generally declining. From 2000 to 2014, Europe and Northern America reduced their emissions intensity by 36 per cent. All of the 10 largest manufacturing countries saw decreases in their emissions intensity. Such promising trends are not reflected in the global emissions intensity level, however, since a significant share of global manufacturing value added has moved to countries with generally higher intensity levels.

Investments In Research & Development

Investments in research and development to drive innovation is key to achieving sustainable levels of development, and investment in R&D grew 0.2 per cent to 1.7 per cent of global GDP in 2014 over 2000. Worldwide, there were 1,098 researchers per million inhabitants in 2014, ranging from 63 in the least developed countries to 3,500 in Europe and North America. Official development assistance (ODA) for economic infrastructure in developing countries reached $57 billion in 2015, an increase of 32 per cent in real terms since 2010. The main recipient sectors were transport and energy ($19 billion each).

Technologically Complex Products

Manufacturing is increasingly shifting towards more technologically complex products. While medium- and high-tech products continue to dominate manufacturing production in industrialized economies (where they contribute about 80 per cent of total manufacturing output), the share has barely reached 10 per cent in least developed countries.

Mobile-cellular services have spread rapidly and have allowed people living in previously unconnected areas to join the global information society. In 2016, 95 per cent of the world’s population and 85 per cent of people in the least developed countries were covered by a mobile-cellular signal.


Innovation To Achieve The Global Goals

Gary Fowlie, Head of the International Telecommunication Union Liaison Office to the United Nations, explains how technology and innovation connects to the pillars of sustainable development, including economic growth, social inclusion and environmental balance. Innovative products that come from science and technology are essential for us to achieve the SDGs.

The World Needs Innovation

Never before in history has innovation offered so much promise to so many in such a short time. We now have the promise to take humanity to Mars and 3D printing is ready to disrupt every aspect of human life: from printing cars to human organs. These are big promises, but what if only 1% of them come true? We need innovation.

Information Technologies For The SDGs

Information and communication technologies accelerate progress towards each SDG. Infrastructure that can support an increasingly digital world is essential to ensure that industry thrives and economies grow.


Conducting good, sustainable business is dependent on strong infrastructure and constant innovation. The private sector relies on resources, labor and service support from around the globe, and the ability to engage with them is key to establishing new markets and growing the economy. Digital communications and technology-based skills are integral to modern business, and since consumers live in every corner of the world, infrastructure to reach them is paramount.  However, basic infrastructure is not universally available.

The private sector should take command of this opportunity and commit to sustainable industrialization, promoting innovation across the value chain. By doing this, companies canerations, can support upgraded local infrastructure, invest in reliable, renewable energy, and help connect the disconnected world by increasing access to life-changing technologies.

GRI, UNGC Release 'Practical Guide' for Companies to Report Their Impact on the SDGs

Many companies already act and report on climate change, water management and labor conditions. This guide can help companies take stock of their current actions and discover additional priorities to contribute to achieving the SDGs (read more).

KPMG: How to Report on the SDGs & Global Goals

4 in 10 of the world’s largest companies already reference the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their corporate reporting, suggesting that business interest in the SDGs has grown quickly since their launch in September 2015 (read more).

Project Breakthrough: Growing The Businesses of Tomorrow

If we are going to achieve a sustainable future, as outlined by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the role of business will be critical. In fact, if viewed in the right way, achieving the SDGs presents huge market opportunities for businesses (read more).


1) Media Package

  1. Program Photographs & Illustrations (Max. 10 Images)
  2. Detailed Project Description (Max. 500 Words)
  3. Optional: URL/Link to Supporting Video

2) Financial & Strategic

In order to determine financial performance & potential for scalability, please answer the following questions:

  1. Please describe how the SDG business initiative is linked to your company’s core competency/competencies.
  2. Please provide an overview of the business case associated with your SDG business initiative.
  3. Please provide evidence of planned program expansion over the coming quarters and/or fiscal years.

3) Magnetism & Inspiration

How has your business initiative been a source of magnetism and inspiration? Please provide examples of your company’s  influence on each of the following:

  1. Industry Impact
  2. Corporate Culture
  3. Key Stakeholder Groups

SDG #9 - Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure - The Global SDG Awards

4) SDG Impact Metrics

What progress has your organization made towards achieving SDG #9? Please select and provide one (or more) supporting metrics to help evaluate your social & environmental impacts (see below for a list of possible options to select from):

Please describe how has your company has:

  • Improved the quality of manufacturing in development countries through training, funding or technology transfer (i.e. – # of facilities supported, and quality improvements under ISO 9001, ANSI, AQL, etc).
  • Improved access to infrastructure & technology for your target population (i.e. – proportion of individuals with broadband and/or mobile cellular subscriptions, % of rural populations living within 2 km of an all-season road, etc).
  • Increased industry’s share of employment and GDP within developing countries and regions (i.e. – # of new manufacturing jobs, incremental economic value generated in $ USD and as % of GDP).
  • Increased scientific research and R&D spending within developing countries.
  • Other KPI (please insert and describe).


OPTIONAL: Please provide a description/overview of 3rd party assurances relating to the verification of the metrics and figures provided above.


SDG #1 - No Poverty - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #2 - Zero Hunger - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #3 - Good Health & Well-Being - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #4 - Quality Education - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #5 - Gender Equality - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #6 - Clean Water & Sanitation - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #7 - Affordable & Clean Energy - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #8 - Decent Work & Economic Growth - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #9 - Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #10 - Reduced Inequalities - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #11 - Sustainable Cities & Communities - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #12 - Responsible Consumption & Production - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #13 - Climate Action - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #14 - Life Below Water - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #15 - Life On Land - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #16 - Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #17 - Partnerships For The Goals - The Global SDG Awards