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



On June 9th, 2020, 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’.


A response was issued by the Secretary of State for DFID.

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."


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