Global launch:

Global Opportunity Report 2018

A world at risk; a world of opportunity

Remi Eriksen

Remi Eriksen

Group President and CEO of DNV GL, a role he has held since August 2015. Amongst many public leadership roles, he is on the Executive Committee of World Business Council for Sustainable Business Development (WBCSD).

The Global Opportunity Report 2018 was launched at DNV GL's headquarters in Høvik, near Oslo, Norway on 1st February by the report's partners: UN Global Compact, Sustainia and DNV GL. Group president and CEO of DNV GL, Remi Eriksen gave the opening address:

Risk and opportunity are two sides of the same coin. This is something well known to DNV GL. For us, managing risk is directly connected to our central purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment. And, what we see with our customers, is that when they manage risk effectively they become more competitive - and the opportunity side opens up. 

Less capital is required for uncertainties and contingencies, and funds becomes available for exploring and developing new opportunities. Even better, as a company becomes adept at navigating risk, it builds up a strength to play across several sectors and becomes a disrupter – like Amazon and Google in the context of digitalization.

Today is also about disruption; it is about seeing opportunity in risk and taking action. That is one of the great strengths of the Global Opportunity Report – it presents real-world examples that inspire. Like the story of an entrepreneur in Ghana who is leveraging blockchain to secure land rights; or the case of companies recycling waste to produce an alternative to cement, to feed the building boom in emerging economies.

In between our first Global Opportunity Report in 2015 and this year’s edition, we have interviewed over 17,000 business leaders, of all types around the world – from CEOs of established corporations to start-up entrepreneurs – and invited them to come up with business solutions that tackles the world’s biggest risks.

This year’s report concentrates on the Sustainable Development Goals, which have been hailed as the biggest business opportunity ever.  It’s a market worth some 12 trillion USD, according to the UNDP. The SDGs represent the largest piece of market research ever conducted. I believe they collectively represent the kind of future humanity desires. But there are risks – grave risks – associated with failure to deliver on the SDG ambition.

In our Future of Spaceship Earth report, there are four SDGs lagging and not likely to be achieved in the absence of extraordinary action from business, governments and civil society. 

These four SDGs are the focus of this year’s Global Opportunity Report: SDG 10 “Reduced Inequalities”, SDG 12 “Responsible Consumption and Production”, SDG 13 “Climate Action”, and SDG 14 “Life Below Water”.

A key take away from the 2018 Global Opportunity Report is that even within the most serious challenges facing people and our planet, there are considerable opportunities. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating – it is up to businesses everywhere, together with government, to bite into this report, test its findings and respond to it with solutions of their own.

Beyond this event, and at a global level, we need to intensify the power of partnerships. That is the thinking behind the Global Opportunity Explorer, which we, with UN Global Compact and Sustainia, have established with 5 other great partners: Grundfos, Storebrand, SpareBank 1, Innovation Norway and Nordic Impact.

The Explorer allows business leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors to connect with new partners, projects and markets.

Some of you may know that towards the end of last year, DNV GL became fully owned by the foundation, Det Norske Veritas – placing our independence beyond doubt, and intensifying our own commitment to a purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment. 

The Global Opportunity Report 2018 is an enactment of that purpose.

As the co-chair of the SDG Advocates, I am pleased that the report concentrates on four of the goals that require urgent action."

Erna Solberg, Prime Minister, Norway

Image gallery from the 2018 report launch

Norwegian Prime Minister and Co-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocates, Erna Solberg, had a message for attendees at the launch.

“For UNOPs it is important that we are in the forefront – we need green, socially viable and cost efficient solutions, not just to stay in business, but to deliver to people in need. That is where innovation really matters.”

Grete Faremo, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

DNV GL's Sven Mollekleiv and UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo.

"Many companies are grappling with what the partnership goal (SDG#17) means. Here, with the Global Opportunity Report and the online Global Opportunity Explorer, we are showing hundreds of great examples of what such partnerships look like in real life."

Lise Kingo, Executive Director, UN Global Compact

DNV GL's Sven Mollekleiv and UN Global Compact CEO and Executive Director Lise Kingo.

"We are here to celebrate opportunities, which make our neurons fire much more strongly than threats like cost, catastrophe and uncertainty."

Per Espen Stoknes - Professor, BI Norwegian Business School

Psychologist and Green Party politician Per Espen Stoknes, Head of Innovation at Sparebank1 Svein Skovly, and Country Retail Manager of IKEA Norway Clare Rodgers.

"Tonight we are launching Entrepreneur Ship One, an initiative where Norway has a strategic advantage - in the ocean space - to try to get the world community to act on exactly the challenges highlighted in this report."

Johan Brand, co-founder, Kahoot!

Clockwise from top left, Kahoot Co-Founder Johan Brand leads a quiz on the key findings of the Global Opportunity Report 2018. DNV GL Chief Sustainability Officer Bjørn Kj. Haugland, Founder and Executive Chairman of Sustainia Erik Rasmussen, UN Global Compact CEO and Executive Director Lise Kingo, and DNV GL Group President and CEO Remi Eriksen participate.

Norwegian/South Africa singer Nosiswe Baqwa inspired with song and reflections.  “The best way to change the narrative is to bring other storytellers in. To open the doors to allow for different perspectives, backgrounds and sectors." said Nosiswe. "When we are innovative in our spaces, we are innovative with our thinking and solutions.”

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