Lighthouse Projects on Social Justice and Sustainability


The Lighthouse Projects on Social Justice and Sustainability initiative surfaces leadership examples of how business, social enterprise and civil society leaders are integrating social justice – environmental, economic, gender and racial – within their sustainability strategies and driving multi-stakeholder coalitions for inclusive futures during and beyond the pandemic. The compendium of examples highlights business and multi-stakeholder action in partnership with vulnerable communities at the intersection of social justice and sustainability in key areas: climate, food systems, health, technology and poverty alleviation.

The Challenge

In 2020, Black Lives Matter, the Amazon and Australian wildfires, and the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on people of colour globally have driven massive attention to systemic injustices across our societies. Pandemic, protest and societal disruption have created an inflection point for many business and social enterprise leaders to evaluate their sustainability strategies: not only in bolstering their internal practices, but also rethinking their commitments to already-vulnerable communities within their ecosystems. These are the same communities bearing the brunt of the current COVID-19 crisis and future crises in climate, healthcare, food systems and other areas highlighted in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In addition to the surge of corporate discourse on environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, several business leaders are responding to this moment by thinking holistically about long-term sustainability and, as part of their corporate vision, taking an integrated approach to justice: economic, environmental, gender, racial and social. Leaders from business, government and civil society are readying themselves to take bold new steps in engaging with already-vulnerable communities during and beyond the pandemic.

The Opportunity

The Lighthouse Projects on Social Justice and Sustainability initiative will highlight how businesses and social enterprises paving the path towards integrating social justice and sustainable development are partnering with vulnerable communities to place them at the centre of both their sustainability initiatives and core business functions.

The outputs of the initiative will be in the form of:

A Lighthouse Report on social justice and sustainability, to be launched in June 2021. This compendium of 10-20 lighthouse examples highlights how leaders are defining their stakeholder responsibility to social justice related to their core business and in public action with marginalized communities, in key areas: climate & environment; food systems; health & healthcare; technology and poverty alleviation. Recognizing there is no “one way” to integrate social justice within corporate sustainability agendas, the report will highlight various processes for integrated justice and lift up successful models of engagement between businesses and marginalized communities.

A series of virtual ‘Inclusive Futures Dialogues’ in 2021-2023 aimed at bringing together industry, government and civil society leaders on stakeholder responsibility to social justice and designing for inclusion in the decade of delivery.

The Platform for Shaping the Future of Global Public Goods

Driving multi-stakeholder action on climate, food systems, sustainable development investment, technological innovation and other areas in the decade for delivery, the Platform for Shaping Global Public Goods works at the intersection of social justice, sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals: in catalysing innovation, accelerating communities of action and driving equity and social justice in SDG action and impact. Through collective action with industry, government, international organizations and civil society, the platform drives and supports action initiatives including the UpLink COVID Social Justice Challenge and Cohort, the Global Future Council on Systemic Inequalities and Social Cohesion, the Global Future Council on Human Rights, and the Technology and Social Justice Community.

For more information, please contact:

David Sangokoya, Head, Civil Society and Social Justice, Platform for Shaping the Future of Global Public Goods

Ty Greene, Community Specialist, Civil Society, Platform for Shaping the Future of Global Public Goods

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