February 13, 2020, Abu Dhabi, UAE — Achieving the common vision of sustainable cities around the world will require an engaging framework for the private sector, and integrated reporting can play a vital role in spurring immediate and concrete actions.

This was the call raised by ADEC Innovations CEO James Donovan in the Business Assembly during the recently-concluded Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10), where he was joined by other global leaders in discussing their roles in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Habitat’s New Urban Agenda (NUA).

For Donovan, norms and standards that measure any organization’s progress on sustainability are seen to play an increasingly important role in contributing to these global goals.

“There is a need to bridge the communication gap between governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector, and society to ultimately achieve sustainable development. Norms and standards will provide an environment that enables us to address the significant trillions of dollars in financial gap to achieving the SDGs,” Donovan explained.

Integrated reporting, in particular, is seen to have the potential to influence the private sector and pave the way for actual change.

“People-first PPPs (public-private partnerships) supported by data are important, especially in measuring the non-financial aspects to translate these investments’ value and impact,” Donovan said.

These sentiments were in response to the challenge posed by UN Habitat’s Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif, who urged all WUF10 participants to focus on concrete outcomes for sustainable cities.

“I know that we share a common vision of sustainable and safer cities. We will go further today. We know that urbanization is unstoppable,” Sharif said.

Donovan was joined by the UN Development Programme’s Policy Advisor on Inclusive Growth Renata Rubian, Global Development incubator Wadzi Katsidzira, and ARCADIS Shelter Programme Director Bert Smolders in the business assembly moderated by Monitoring and Evaluation Collaborative Association (MECA) Vice President Gabriel Pettyjohn.

During the assembly, Donovan, along with his fellow panelists, engaged in discussions on the role of cross-sectoral collaboration in upgrading the sustainability of cities globally and how to set standards for such collaborations.

Realizing standards and norms is one of the core competencies of Donovan’s company, ADEC Innovations, which provides assurance solutions for governments, businesses, and coalitions in following international guidelines and agreements.

ADEC Innovations

ADEC Innovations advances sustainable practices around the world and helps organizations grow and operate responsibly. Seamlessly delivering fully integrated, cost-effective consulting, data management, and software solutions, ADEC Innovations helps clients save time, reduce costs, optimize resource use, and drive operational efficiencies in a world where sustainability matters. www.adec-innovations.com

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