Leaders call on the Prime Minister to Create a Socially Just and Green Recovery from Covid-19


In a letter coordinated by the UN Global Compact Network UK and UKSSD, leaders of over 150 businesses, civil society organisations, and from public life have called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to use the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to create a socially just and green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The letter calls on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to use the SDGs to consolidate and future proof Covid-19 recovery plans in the UK. Signatories include NatWest Group, Nestlé UK & Ireland, RELX, Linklaters, Good Energy, HSBC Group, Mott MacDonald, Unilever, and public figures such as filmmaker Richard Curtis, the Mayor of Bristol, the Chairman of the Local Government Association and Dr Mya-Rose Craig (aka Birdgirl).

The letter recommends that the SDGs are used to:
1. Prioritise the most vulnerable in our society and level-up regional and societal inequalities;
2. Build coherent policies for a healthy planet and to aid the transition to net zero;
3. Unite all sectors behind a plan to build a stronger and more resilient economy.

It responds to a recent speech made by the Prime Minister where he said we must ‘work together to get shared goals back on track including ... the Sustainable Development Goals’.

The letter supports this and states, ‘we do not need to reinvent frameworks or agreements, we can instead use the global goals as the basis for a socially just and green recovery in the UK and abroad’.


Acknowledging the number of letters the PM has received calling for a green recovery and a net zero carbon future, the letter highlights that these environmental goals do not have to be in conflict with social and economic needs, and that the SDGs provide an ideal way of creating co-benefits.

On the launch of the letter, filmmaker and SDG Advocate, Richard Curtis said:

"The COVID crisis has shown more than ever that we must work together to secure a better future. The Global Goals are a powerful tool to help us do this; they provide a common vision and a practical blueprint for collaboration. The breadth of support for this letter demonstrates a commitment to working with the UK government to deliver healthy lives, healthy societies and a healthy planet for everyone. We can only build back better together and I hope that the Government will use the Goals to help them do this."

With Michael Izza, CEO of ICAEW adding:

"The Sustainable Development Goals are an important framework to ensure governments and businesses are pursuing the long-term public interest, so we hope the Prime Minister will use them as a foundation for the UK's post-Covid recovery plans. As chartered accountants we think it's vital businesses look beyond profit and have a wider social purpose, and we're pleased to have so many organisations join our call to government to put these goals front and centre."

Signatories to the letter

Baroness Northover

Baroness Sheehan

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool

Lord Harris of Haringey

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale

Lord McNicol of West Kilbride

Lord Bird of Notting Hill

Lord Purvis of Tweed

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

Rt Revd Richard Atkinson OBE, Bishop of Bedford

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart KCMG

The Earl of Sandwich

Jonathan Pell, CEO, Adam Smith International

Gary Waite, Portfolio Manager, Alpha: r2 Ltd

Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water

Stuart McLachlan, CEO, Anthesis Group

Jane Fiona Cumming, Director and Co-founder, Article 13

Dervilla Mitchell, Chair, UKIMEA Region Board, Arup

Harriet Lamb, CEO, Ashden

Ben Moore, Managing Director, Attollo Offshore

Mike Hanson, Director of Sustainability, BaxterStorey

Colin MacIsaac, CEO, FH Bertling International GmbH

Sue Riddlestone OBE, Chief Executive and Co-founder, Bioregional

Dr Mya-Rose Craig, President and Patron, Black2Nature and the Global Goals Centre

Stephanie Draper, CEO, Bond

Will Travers OBE, Executive President, Born Free Foundation

Peter Mather, Group Regional President, Europe, and Head of Country, UK, BP plc

Lizzi Testani, Chief Operating Officer, Bristol Green Capital Partnership

Richard Griffiths, Chief Executive, British Poultry Council

Helen Ashworth, National President, Business and Professional Women UK

Yusuke Mizoguchi, Senior Managing Director, Canon UK & Ireland

Professor Tim Jackson, Director, Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, University of Surrey

Lexie Jones, CEO, Change Agents UK

Terry Fuller, Chief Executive, CIWEM

Matthew Layton, Global Managing Partner, Clifford Chance

Jeroen Ouwehand, Global Senior Partner, Clifford Chance

Leendert Den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager Great Britain, Coca-Cola European Partners

Federico Tonetti, Group Safety & Sustainability Director, Compass Group

Mark Roberts, CEO, Conscious Creatives

Caroline Norbury, Chief Executive, Creative Industries Federation and Creative England

Albert Maasland, CEO, Crown Agents Bank

Simon Wyatt, Partner, Cundall

Dan Mobley, Corporate Relations Director, Diageo

Kamran Mallick, CEO, Disability Rights UK

Liam Cowell, UK Managing Partner, DLA Piper UK

Sir Nigel Knowles, Group CEO, DWF

Emmanuelle Spriet, CEO, E-Voyages Ltd

Steven Andrews, CEO, Earthwatch Europe

Iain Patton, CEO, EAUC - The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education

Mathios Rigas, CEO, Energean plc

Dr Stephen Martin, Chair, English Learning for Sustainability Alliance

Anya Ledwith, Founder, Eshcon Ltd

Sarah Hunter, CSR Director, Euromonitor

Jeremy Rees, CEO, ExCeL London

Steve Varley, EY UK Chairman and EY Global Vice Chair – Sustainability (elect), EY

Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt, Head of EOS, Federated Hermes

Chris Mahady, Managing Director, Findel Education Ltd

Daniel Crossley, Executive Director, Food Ethics Council

Sue Pritchard, Chief Executive, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

Deb Leary OBE, D.Univ, FRSA, CCMI, CEO, Forensic Pathways

Amanda Powell-Smith, CEO, Forster Communications

Professor Graham Smith, Chair, Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development

Edward Braham, Senior Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Rosie Teasdale, Executive Director, FSC® UK

Solitaire Townsend, Co-founder, Futerra

Jo Hand, Co-founder, Giki

Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Glasgow Caledonian University

Juliet Davenport OBE, CEO and Founder, Good Energy

Sarah Mitchell, Director, Heart of the City

Alison Brown, Executive Partner, West, Herbert Smith Freehills

Steve Nunn, CEO EMEA, HH Global

Noel Quinn, Chief Executive, HSBC Group

Trewin Restorick, CEO & Founder, Hubbub

Ray Sweeney, CEO, Ikkaido

Paul Polman, Co-founder & Chair, IMAGINE

David Williams, Founder & Managing Director, IMPACT

Stephen Mann, Chief Executive, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

Michael Izza, CEO, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

Anita Longley, Chair, Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

Peter Taylor, Director of Research, Institute of Development Studies

Adam Donnan, Chief Executive Officer, Institution of Environmental Sciences

Keith Barr, CEO, InterContinental Hotels Group

Saker Nusseibeh CBE, CEO, International at Federated Hermes

Jess McQuail, Director, Just Fair

Barry Fisher, Chief Executive, Keep Scotland Beautiful

Matthew Sparkes, Co-chair, Legal Sustainability Alliance

Caroline May, Co-chair, Legal Sustainability Alliance

Neil Heslop, Chief Executive, Leonard Cheshire Disability

Estelle Levin-Nally, Founder & CEO, Levin Sources

Charlie Jacobs, Senior Partner and Chairman, Linklaters

Alastair Marsh, CEO, Lloyd’s Register

Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman, Local Government Association

Sir Richard Leese CBE, Chair of the Local Government Association’s City Regions Board, Local Government Association

John Pearce, CEO, Made in Britain

Didier Boudy, CEO, Mademoiselle Desserts

Tony Burdon, CEO, Make My Money Matter

Chris Harrop OBE, Group Sustainability Director, Marshalls plc

James Libson, Managing Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mike Haigh, Executive Chair, Mott MacDonald

Pat Black, Chair, National Alliance of Women's Organisations

Alison Rose, Chief Executive, NatWest Group

Sarah Welsh, CEO of Retail, N Brown Group

Christopher R. Jackson, President & CEO, NEC Europe Ltd.

Steve Butterworth, CEO, Neighbourly

Stefano Agostini, Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé UK & Ireland

Bernadette Sexton, Chief Executive Officer, Oxford Policy Management

Panos Kakoullis, CEO-Elect, PA Consulting

Dan Jarman, Executive Director, Pact Global (UK) CIO

Charlotte Österman, Partner & Director of Sustainable Development, Pax Tecum Global Consultancy

John Fallon, CEO, Pearson

Jack M Broadley MA, Founder and Business Owner, Pelorus Consulting

Richard Foley, Senior Partner, Pinsent Masons

Richard Curtis CBE, SDG Advocate, screenwriter, producer, director and Co-Founder, Project Everyone

Dr Márcia Balisciano, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility and Chair, RELX and UN Global Compact Network UK

Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director, Responsible Jewellery Council

Catarina Tully, Managing Director, School of International Futures (SOIF)

Peter Harrison, Group Chief Executive, Schroders plc

Keith Anderson, CEO, Scottish Power

Brian Bickell, CEO, Shaftesbury plc

Sinead Lynch, Country Chair UK, Shell UK

Jeff Twentyman, Head of Sustainability, Slaughter and May

Lucy Findlay MBE, Managing Director, Social Enterprise Mark

Ben Carpenter, Chief Executive, Social Value UK

Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive, SSE plc

Sara Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce

Keith Skeoch, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Life Aberdeen

John Scanlon, CEO, SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK

Nichola Hughes, Director, Sustainable NI

David Kassler, Global CEO, Tag Worldwide Group Ltd

Nick Hampton, Chief Executive Officer, Tate & Lyle PLC

Alex Cresswell, Chief Executive and Chairman, Thales UK

Christopher Davis, International Director of Sustainability, The Body Shop

Andrew Harding, Chief Executive - Management Accounting, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director, The Equality Trust

Olivia Sibony, COO, The Hot Breakfast

Dr Darren Moorcroft, CEO, The Woodland Trust

Bevis Watts, CEO, Triodos Bank UK

Peter Anderson, Managing Partner, Troup Bywaters + Anders

Luke Wilde, Managing Partner, Founder, twentyfifty Limited

Victoria Page, Co-chair, UKSSD

Dominic White, Co-founder, UKSSD

Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever

Dr Alec Wersun, Chair, United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education UK & Ireland Regional Chapter

Professor Joy Carter CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor, University of Winchester

Carole Parkes, Professor of Responsible Management and Leadership, University of Winchester

Angie Pankhania, Acting Executive Director, United Nations Association – UK

Claire Barnett, Executive Director, UN Women UK

Kate Cawley, Founder, Veris Strategies

Matthew Moshiri, CEO, Verisk Maplecroft

Rebecca Hall, Managing Consultant Human Rights and CSR Lead, Verisk Maplecroft

Dr Robin Prince, Managing Director, Water Resources East (WRE) Ltd

Mark Read, CEO, WPP

David Symons, UK Director of Sustainability, WSP

Manjula Lee, Founder/CEO, World Wide Generation

Andrew Terry, Director of Conservation & Policy, ZSL - Zoological Society London

David Connor, Founder, 2030hub


Letter to the Prime Minister