Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth; full and productive employment; and decent work for all.

The digital economy is creating a greater demand for digital skills. The enabling technology is already available: 3.6 billion people – or 47% of the world population – have Internet access. And 95% of the population has cell-phone-signal coverage. These technologies are helping to level the enormous inequality in wages between emerging and developed countries. They also connect people anywhere to the global marketplace and offer enhanced opportunities for growth and prosperity.

Sustainable Economic Growth Secures Social Stability Everywhere

Addressing youth unemployment

In Europe, 6.6 million youth between the ages of 15 and 24 were considered NEETs in 2015 NEETs in 2015 – young people who are neither employed nor in an educational or training program. Another 4.4 million young adults leave education and training early.

These young people are missing out on the opportunity to learn and acquire skills, knowledge, and competencies that they could use throughout their lives to participate more fully in a prosperous and inclusive society.

In an attempt to counteract these numbers, representatives from business, education, and youth organizations came together to launch “The Pact for Youth” at the recent 2020 Enterprise Summit in Brussels. The goal of this pact is to create a fair and equitable culture of partnership between these three groups in Europe that will help prepare young people for quality jobs and responsible citizenship. The pact hopes to create an open job marketplace that will offer job opportunities for interested and flexible young Europeans. The pact also supports ubiquitous Internet access across Europe to enable massive open online courses (MOOCs). With free access to education, young professionals can prepare for job opportunities in both a classical economy as well as the digital one.

Creating advanced job opportunities everywhere

There is more that information technology can do. The digital economy is creating a greater demand for digital skills. The enabling technology is already available: 3.6 billion people – or 47% of the world population – have Internet access. And 95% of the population has cellphone signal coverage. So what is keeping Amira, who lives with her family in Indonesia, from working remotely as a Web site designer or graphical presentation expert? The only thing she is missing is access to international buyers.

Upwork, an open global exchange platform for digital services and goods, closes this gap. Independent of their physical location, people can bid for smaller work projects such as a last-minute Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. Or, based on their skills, people could bid on even larger Upwork projects, such as developing a Web site.

This approach is helping to level the enormous inequality in wages between emerging and developed countries. At the same time, it connects people anywhere – including many of today’s youth – to the global marketplace and offers enhanced opportunities for them to grow and prosper.

Combating forced labor

Slavery was abolished centuries ago, yet it continues around the world. There are an estimated more than 40 million forced laborers in global supply chains and forced marriages today – from conflict minerals in the Congo and fishing in Thailand to migrant workers in the United States and North America. And many of these laborers are children.

These laborers are forced to work for little or no pay and, in some cases, under the threat of violence. The majority are exploited for manual economic labor in the private sector, under conditions they did not agree to, for someone else’s profit. Despite the widespread illegality of slavery, profit estimates from slavery are as high as US$150 billion.

Fighting the criminal methods of slavery directly is very difficult. However, creating transparency of products produced through slavery enables consumers to make a conscious decision with everything they buy. For instance, Made in a Free World (MIAFW) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 to combat human trafficking by enabling companies to eradicate forced labor in their connected and integrated supply chains.

MIAFW’s database maps the bill of materials of countless numbers of products and services right down to their raw materials and labor sources. Imagine connecting MIAFW’s data with the insights of historical and real-time intelligence from hundreds of global government, business, and other data sources in a global sourcing and procurement network. Based on such combined information, companies could make conscious decisions about their suppliers, eliminating products made with slave labor throughout their entire supply chain.

SAP is doing its part

At SAP, our vision and purpose is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. Our technology is helping organizations like MIAFW tackle the challenges of eliminating modern-day slavery from supply chains. For instance, SAP Ariba solutions are helping MIAFW leverage the powerful community of more than 2 million companies who use Ariba Network. These organizations, which drive nearly US$1 trillion in commerce on an annual basis, will in the future be able to identify businesses that use slave labor in their supply chains

Cloud-based solutions like the SAP Rural Sourcing Management solution facilitate sustainable economic development in countries like Uganda, which is leveraging digital agriculture to grow its middle class. Agriculture continues to be the most important sector for the country, providing a major source of employment and wealth creation as well as food. Together with the farming collective Kalangala Oil Palm Growers Trust (KOPGT), SAP created a digital platform that grants farmers affordable access to global market prices and data on palm oil demand. The platform provides integrated sales and reliable payment services as well.

We also promote the education of youth and the underprivileged as part of our social initiative portfolio. For many refugees in Germany, landing a job means more than just a pay package. Work means integration, acceptance, recognition, and self-confidence. Due to language struggles and missing paperwork, this is often hard to achieve. To break down employment barriers and ease integration into the German job market, SAP joined in with other German businesses to offer 100 internships for refugees.

Despite the great opportunities digitalization holds to provide decent work, there are concerns about its potential negative effects on employment. The core competency of SAP in the last 45 years focused, and continues to focus, on business process improvement and automation. That purpose goes hand in hand with SAP’s sense of responsibility to create software solutions that complement the workforce’s tasks. These solutions are designed to make lives safer and support workers as they provide positive social and environmental services to their customers.

In a high-risk work environment, Internet of Things technology from SAP helps increase safety for the mining workers of OJSC Lukoil. Mandatory automated, preshift health checks measure blood pressure and temperature on a daily basis. With support from SAP software, these tests can be conducted much faster and can help identify medical problems of workers proactively. This helps reduce risk at work and prevent tragic accidents.

Secure, reliable public transportation service is provided in Keifuku thanks to combined technology from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation and SAP. By monitoring driving conditions based on weather, traffic, and the biometric data of bus drivers, the software helps maintain higher safety standards for the drivers and passengers of the local bus service in the city of Fukui.

< Back to the Overview