Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

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

The growing digital economy is creating a greater demand for digital skills. 49% of the world population has Internet access and 95% of the population has cellphone 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. However, more progress is needed to increase employment opportunities, particularly for young people; reduce the gender pay gap and promote safe and secure working environments to ensure decent work for all.

Sustainable Economic Growth Secures Social Stability Everywhere

Addressing youth unemployment

According to the World Economic Forum, over 60% of children entering primary school today will have jobs that do not exist yet. At the same time, the World Bank estimates that 60% of the world’s population remains excluded from the ever-expanding digital economy, including 4 billion people around the globe who still lack access to the Internet.

In 2019, SAP joined forces with 19 other international companies at the Global Alliance for YOUth at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The Global Alliance for YOUth sets out to tackle issues like automation and the global skills gap to build a better future for younger generations. In addition to preparing young people for quality jobs and responsible citizenship, the alliance acts as an open employment marketplace, offering opportunities for interested and flexible young people. The digital nature of the approach also includes massive open online courses (MOOCs). With free access to education, young professionals can prepare for job opportunities in both the classic as well as the digital economy.

Creating advanced job opportunities and combating forced labor

There is more that information technology can do, such as connecting people with skills to international buyers for such skills. 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 can bid on even larger Upwork projects, such as developing a website. This approach helps to level the enormous inequality in wages between emerging and developed countries.

Along with better job opportunities, the world also calls for dignity of labor. It is estimated that there are more than 40 million forced laborers as well as 150 million child laborers in global supply chains today. These laborers are forced to work for little or no pay and, in some cases, under the threat of violence. 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, aiming to combat human trafficking by enabling companies to eradicate forced labor in their connected and integrated supply chains. Based on MIAFW, FRDM was founded as a company, offering a database that maps the bills of materials of countless products and services in order to track their raw materials and labor sources.

SAP is doing its part

At SAP, our purpose is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. Our technology is helping organizations like FRDM tackle the challenges of eliminating modern-day slavery from supply chains. For instance, SAP Ariba solutions are helping FRDM leverage the powerful community of more than 2 million companies that use Ariba Network. These organizations, which drive nearly US$1 trillion in commerce on an annual basis, will soon 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 as well as reliable payment services.

SAP is strengthening its support of the social enterprise sector by making it easier for organizations to find and do business with certified social enterprises on Ariba Network. SAP is the official technology partner of Social Enterprise UK, the expert body for the UK’s social enterprise sector. Together, we aim to facilitate better connections between corporate buyers and other employees with social enterprises, helping them spend better and in a more socially and environmentally sustainable way. The potential of this partnership is substantial. Globally, Ariba Network supports 2.3 times more commerce than Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay combined. SAP believes greater corporate procurement from social enterprises is key to improving the social and environmental impact of business.

As a culture-centric business, MOD Pizza is focused on positive social impact. This includes providing opportunities to people who otherwise face barriers for steady employment. For instance, those exiting the justice system, individuals with intellectual development disabilities, and 18- to 24-year-old youths who are neither in school nor workingSAP SuccessFactors solutions support MOD Pizza to manage a diverse and inclusive workforce, following its people-first purpose. Starting with above-industry pay and hiring people with special needs, up to including people in need of a second chance.

NAF, a national network of education, business, and community leaders, brings job opportunities to high school students: They support kids and students in underserved communities. NAF’s educational design ignites students’ passion for learning and gives businesses the opportunity to shape America’s future workforce. NAF is gradually transforming the learning environment to include STEM-infused, industry-specific curricula and work-based learning experiences. To increase their impact and reach millions of students, they use innovative SAP technology, especially SAP SuccessFactors.

CenterPoint Energy chose to implement the incident management capabilities of the SAP Environment, Health, and Safety Management to capture leading-indicator safety data to help prevent incidents and injuries. The system was a key component of a very successful strategy to increase employee participation as evidenced by the usage statistics and also the large number of observation records entered. All of this data coming in allows safety teams to mitigate risks, solve problems, and ultimately show significant decreases in safety incidents.

The ability to understand and address the expectations and needs of their 95,000 employees is the primary focus of Koç Holding during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Leveraging Employee Pulse from Qualtrics – made available for free by SAP in response to the crisis – enabled Koç Holding to quickly reach thousands of employees and implement new benefits that improved their employees’ overall well-being, reducing anxiety levels from 60% to 12%.

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Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure