Tokyo, May 19, 2018 – Rakuten, Inc. today announced that it will introduce a new global initiative for sustainability, Goals Beyond the Game, before FC Barcelona’s final match of the season against Real Sociedad on May 20. Eleven children between the ages of 6 and 9 will get the opportunity to become Young Ambassadors for the program and accompany the top players from FC Barcelona onto the pitch for the players’ entrance. Each child will represent one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015.
The Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. They provide clear guidelines and targets for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own priorities and the social, economic and environmental challenges of the world at large. The SDGs, unanimously adopted by all 193 Member States of the United Nations, are the world’s bold 15-year commitment to leave no one behind.
“From the day Rakuten was founded, we have dedicated ourselves to empowering people and society through the Internet” commented Masatada “Seichu” Kobayashi, Chief People Officer, Rakuten Inc. “By championing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, we want to emphasize that our commitment to making contributions to society is our most important value.”
“Barça Foundation is fully aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially with those SDGs related to the end of poverty, promotion of equality and quality education, reduction of inequalities and promotion of peace and justice,” explained Maria Vallès, Barça Foundation General Manager. “One of the ways to make sport a useful tool for achieving these goals is through partnerships such as the Barça Foundation and Rakuten alliance. I’m proud to say both organizations are closely collaborating on this initiative to raise awareness about SDGs around the world.”
“Companies like Rakuten or football teams like FC Barcelona, can take us to audiences and take us to places we otherwise wouldn’t reach, which is incredibly important for us,” commented Alison Smale, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, United Nations. “On behalf of the UN we thank Rakuten and FC Barcelona for joining us in promoting the 17 Sustainable Goals.“
Rakuten has been conducting initiatives for sustainability in partnership with various stakeholders, leveraging their business assets to address social issues. This is represented in Rakuten’s four pillars of our sustainability activities:
1. Accelerate Social Innovation (Solving social issues with our technologies and services)
2. Realize Sustainable Consumption (Contributing to realization of sustainable lifestyles)
3. Make Local Communities Sustainable (Supporting Internet business, not only in cities but in remote areas)
4. Improve Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Aid (Assisting those in need, hand in hand with our stakeholders)
Children from all over the world were able to apply for the opportunity to be part of the program on Rakuten’s global program website. In order to apply for ambassador positions, applicants were asked to select one SDG and then post a pledge on the program website, with the option of sharing their pledge on social media with the hashtag #GoalsBeyondtheGame as well. Selected pledges will be shown at Camp Nou during the game on May 20 and during half time breaks.
Selected Young Ambassadors will be invited to accompany players onto the pitch for the opening of the match on May 20, as well as the opportunity to join a special VIP experience with their families on match day at Camp Nou and will receive special jerseys bearing the SDG logos.
About the SDGs
On 1 January 2016, the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force. The Goals call for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
For more information, visit https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/
More on Rakuten and the SDGs can be found here: https://global.rakuten.com/corp/sustainability/commitment/sdgs/
Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to more than 1 billion members around the world. Since 2012, Rakuten has ranked in the top 30 of Forbes Magazine's annual "World's Most Innovative Companies" list. The Rakuten Group has over 14,000 employees, and operations in 29 countries and regions. For more information, visit http://global.rakuten.com/corp/.
About FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona was founded 118 years ago in 1899, and is unique in many ways. The club is owned by its more than 145,000 members and can boast of being the most successful club in Europe in recent years. Since the 2004/05 season the club has won four of its five Champions League titles and nine of its 25 domestic league titles. Due to its very special personality, ‘Barça’ is recognized as being ‘more than a club’. The team’s distinctive style of play is projected around the world by the best players and coaches of their time in combination with club’s famous reliance on homegrown talent.
All of this goes hand in hand with FC Barcelona’s ongoing ambition to become the most admired, beloved and global sports institution on the planet. This mission is supported by such core principles as humility, effort, ambition, respect and team-work, while the club is also famed for its commitment to society, which is channeled through the FC Barcelona Foundation and its work to educate children through the positive values of sport. Such unstoppable growth in recent years has led to a global reach of more than 315 million fans and made FC Barcelona a world leader on social media.
About the Barça Foundation
The Barça Foundation was launched in 1994 to support the children and youth of the most vulnerable social groups through sport and education, with the objective of contributing to a more just and inclusive society. The Barça Foundation frames its activities within the UN programme Sport for Development and Sustainable Development Goals. The main action lines are educational access and support, violence prevention and conflict resolution in childhood and youth and fighting against social exclusion and discrimination. Today, the Foundation reaches more than 1,000,000 beneficiaries around the world.